Four Roses is a Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey brand owned by the Kirin Brewery Company of Japan. Effective September 1, 2015, Brent Elliott is the master distiller of Four Roses.
Four Roses Yellow Label is the brand standard, much like Jim Beam White Label or Johnny Walker Red Label. This is going to be the bottle that you find on a regular basis in most liquor stores at a reasonable price/ This is a good bourbon and may quickly become one of your “old reliables.” You will find that this is a mixable whiskey, perfect for almost any whiskey drink you are in the mood for. Its character is floral, smooth, and sophisticated. It is a great introduction to bourbon for the uninitiated.
Appearance: It’s yellow label—and the bourbon itself has a yellow quality to it. Like finding old newspaper clippings in an attic, especially the extra-yellowed outer corners (why does that happen?). Also: weak ginger or lemon teas.
Nose: It smells…like bourbon. I know, this is not saying a lot but I get to taste a lot of bourbon. Some smell more like bourbon than others. That doesn’t mean it’s alcohol-ey, it means it smells like good bourbon. Rich, a browned butter, and the warm pleasantness that surrounds you when you’re well into a glass sitting with someone you like while sitting by a fire. It smells, quite frankly, like comfort. (Also, apples.)
Palate: I’ve tried a bunch of Four Roses concoctions, and they never disappoint. This one is easy-drinking and light, and yet with enough substance to do well on its own, neat, or on the rocks. It has a light syrup mouthfeel but not syrupy sweetness. It’s a little chewy. Also, apples. Again. It tastes like its smell, which is to say good bourbon, not surprising or amazing, but a solid, easy-drinking beverage. It tastes like a more expensive bottle.
What some of our whisky enthusiast friends have said about Four Roses
Quote 1 “Nice flavors and good finnish
Four Rose’s yellow label is my go to bottle. If I feel like splurging I go to small batch. I think it is the best of bourbons. Have not had pappy but I’m good with four roses”
Quote 2 “Great value. Go ahead and buy some Really Expensive Bourbon and do a blind tasting against 4R. The Really Expensive one might win, but it’s really expensive. This is a terrific every day choice.”