The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2011

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UP The Four Roses Single Barrel FlowerPowered story and photos by Fred Minnick “We’ve been building barrel inventory since day one.” —Master Distiller Jim Rutledge Surrounded by barrels of his bourbon, a stoic Jim Rutledge tilts his snifter, eyeing the Four Roses Single Barrel sample’s rich russet color. Not a thing can break the Master Distiller’s concentration. He brings it to his nose, letting in the notes of apple, nutmeg, ripe pear and rose petals. Rutledge’s face erupts with pleasure. “That’s nice,” he says. “Real nice.” He sips. Before he can comment on its caramel fi nish, a fella says, “Hey, Jim, when we gonna get to try?” Chuckles are heard throughout this special tasting room in Lawrenceburg, KY, fi lled with restaurant owners and retailers. They’re here to taste Four Roses’ ten different recipes—and buy their own barrel. Rutledge smiles and starts siphoning tastes of his recipes, which combine fi ve different proprietary yeast strains with two different mashbills. One recipe is used for the Single Barrel. This year, it was the recipe coded OBSQ, a 12-year-old with a 60-percent corn mashbill. Four recipes are combined to make Four Roses Small Batch, and up to ten are mingled for Four Roses Yellow. Some barrels are rich, spicy and full-bod- ied; others are fl oral or fruity with medium body. That’s the great thing about these tastings: Restaurateurs and retailers taste them all and buy the barrel they think is best suited for their market. They also get a signed barrel for decoration. Four Roses Single Barrel, photographed at the distillery in Lawrenceburg, KY. 6 / the tasting panel / may 201 1 Program Allows Key Accounts A Private Selection

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