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CHARTER 101 1.75L
It's great fun working with Buffalo Trace to develop these Private Barrel "handles." With Charter 101, I want to bring our customers a high-proof, high-value whiskey, and it doesn't get much better than a half a gallon of 101 proof single barrel rye mash goodness. Off the still, Charter 101 is the same juice as Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, and George T. Stagg. It is younger than any of these, and stronger than the first two. This barrel offers a mellow nose corn, earth and rye and a similar palate with rather more intensity, with particular rye in the finish. This makes a great house Bourbon or foundation for your daily Manhattan. Tasted straight up it has some serious thump, and a little water helps release additional flavor.
FOUR ROSES OBSF Barrel Strength
As you likely know, Four Roses produces ten different Bourbons off their stills. To accomplish this, they use two grain bills—OE, at 20% rye, and OB at 35% rye—and five yeasts—K, F, O, Q, and V. After maturation in their unique single-story warehouses, these ten recipes yield a wide range of flavor, which Four Roses usually vats together to produce their various Bourbons. Now, for the first time, you can taste these Bourbons in single barrel format, straight from the barrel, exploring the flavor of one yeast strain at a time using both grain bills. Eventually, we will offer all ten whiskeys. Check back for future releases.
FOUR ROSES OBSK Barrel Strength
FOUR ROSES OBSO Barrel Strength
FOUR ROSES OBSQ Barrel Strength
FOUR ROSES OBSV Barrel Strength
I have been waiting for this whiskey a long time, ever since meeting up with Four Roses' ten recipes at a landmark tasting in the quality control lab in January, 2007. Along with K yeast, Four Roses V yeast functions as their take on more or less classic Bourbon flavor. The other yeasts such as Q and F and, to a lesser extent, O yeast, generate striking, even unusual flavors that add color and accent to a blend. But V and K are the core of the program, and required reading for any Four Roses fan. Furthermore, V yeast is the original yeast at Four Roses; the other four were added in the early 1970s. So the two V whiskeys are a glimpse into history, with Four Roses flavor circa 1943, when Seagrams bought the distillery.
FOUR ROSES OESF Barrel Strength
FOUR ROSES OESK Barrel Strength
FOUR ROSES OESO Barrel Strength
FOUR ROSES OESQ Barrel Strength
FOUR ROSES OESV Barrel Strength
How is this barrel strength Bourbon only 102.6º proof? It's actually not uncommon for the barrels in Four Roses' warehouses to clock in at lower proofs like this. For starters, Four Roses fills the barrels at 120º, rather than the legal maximum and industry standard of 125º. Furthermore, unique to Four Roses in the Bourbon industry is their use of single story warehouses. At about 25 feet tall, these warehouses do not generate the kind of heat in upper stories that other Bourbon warehouses attain, heat which helps elevate the alcohol in such barrel strength 120º+ proof whiskeys as Bookers or George T. Stagg. The 2008 and 2009 releases of Four Roses Mariage have been 107.8º and 109.6º, respectively. The beauty of this low proof is that you can drink these silky Bourbons with very little or no water, as both my V yeast Bourbons are exceptionally approachable straight from the bottle...or the barrel!
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