Review: We Tasted the 2022 Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch

The Kentucky distillery is hosting a lottery for its most coveted annual release

August 23, 2022 6:15 am
Four Roses 2022 Limited Edition Small Batch release
Four Roses 2022 Limited Edition Small Batch release, available via lottery through Aug. 28
Four Roses

What we’re drinking: Four Roses Distillery 2022 Limited Edition Small Batch 

Where it’s from: Located in Lawrenceburg, KY, Four Roses produces not only one of our favorite affordable everyday bourbons but also a few elevated limited editions that we dig. Their annual LE Small Batch is a non-chill-filtered and barrel-strength release. 

Why we’re drinking this: Besides the fact that Four Roses was our 2021 Distillery of the Year and continues to be one of the best deals if you’re looking for an affordable bourbon

The annual Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch release is a bit different and also very difficult to procure (see below). There are 10 recipes used for various Four Roses releases — or two mashbills across five proprietary yeast strains, originally done for consistency. The standby Four Roses Bourbon blends all 10 into a solid 80-proof sipper, while the LE Small Batch releases focus on just four recipes, utilizing much older barrels.

“We want each year to offer consumers something rare, unique, a little bit older but also something to demonstrate our versatility, just by dipping into those 10 different recipes,” says Master Distiller Brent Elliott, who spent about two months going over 30+ test blends for this year’s release.

The 2022 expression combines four recipes: OESF (14 years), OESV (14 years), OESK (15 years) and OBSV (20 years). You can see those abbreviation meanings and their respective tasting notes here. As Elliott notes, he wanted to bookend the bright, refreshing notes of the OESF with the high-rye and oak complexity of the 20-year OBSV. “The F and V create a unique flavor,” he suggests. Let’s see what that entails. 

How it tastes: Bottled at 109 proof, you’ll get a lot of vanilla and butterscotch on the nose, while the palette brings out cloves, apricot, cocoa, berries and brown sugar. It’s rich and almost dessert-like in mouthfeel, while still balanced and complex enough to let in other flavors (I got more oak, cinnamon and even a hint of mint on subsequent sips). 

Fun fact: Four Roses is offering a limited quantity for sale at the Four Roses Distillery Visitor Center via a public lottery drawing. You can register here for the lottery (held from Aug. 22 -28) and those who are selected via a random drawing will schedule appointments to pick up their purchase at the distillery.

Where to buy: Didn’t win the Four Roses lottery? This 2022 Limited Editon Small Batch will hit select retailers on September 17th with an MSRP of $179.99. They’ll go fast, as they’re only producing 14,000+ bottles.


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