If you’ve ever had a question about Four Roses, no matter how obscure, there’s one man to turn to, Four Roses Ambassador Al Young. Young has been around for fifty of the brand’s one hundred twenty-nine years and, to mark the occasion, Four Roses is releasing their 2017 Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Small Batch Bourbon to honor Young’s decades of dedication and tireless work with the brand.
Young’s done a lot of the years for Four Roses. Most notably, in 1990, he was named Distillery Manager and then in 2007 he became the Four Roses Ambassador. It makes sense, too, that Young is also the brand’s historian, having literally written the book on the brand—Four Roses: The Return of a Whiskey Legend—which came out in 2010.
For this special edition release, four of Four Roses’ ten recipes (created from two mashbills and five proprietary yeast strains) were hand-selected together by Young and Master Distiller Brent Elliott. This special Small batch bourbon follows the release of 2016’s Elliott’s Select, the first special release created by Master Distiller Brent Elliott.
The recipe for this special edition (which will be bottled at 54.9% ABV) includes five percent, 23-year-old OBSV (delicate fruitiness, with hints of spice, vanilla and caramel), twenty-five percent fifteen-year-old OBSK (full-bodied, light spice, caramel), fifty percent thirteen-year-old OESV (light, creamy, fruity), and twenty-percent twelve-year-old OBSF (herbal, full-bodied).
This combination of bourbons, according to Elliott, creates a whiskey that has honeysuckle and caramel on the nose, peach and apricot stone fruit flavors that mix with oak and sweet, rich fig on the palate, and a slightly minty finish.
In addition to the liquor inside, the bottle, too, will be a limited-edition throwback that is modeled on the design from 1967—the year Young started at Four Roses. Around 10,000 bottles are being produced. It will launch on June 10 and cost $150.