Four Roses “Kentucky Strong” Single Barrel Bourbon 16 Year 6 Months OESV 58.5% RN 36-3S Review

Four Roses Kentucky Strong OESV. 16 year 6 Months old.

Four Roses has 10 unique bourbon recipes that they make at their distillery in Lawrenceburg, KY. There are five different yeast strains (F,K,O,Q,V) used and two different mash bills (B,E) use to comprise the 10 different recipes. This gives Four Roses a lot of flavor profiles to work with when blending their bourbons or for single barrel releases!

The Yeasts:

F – Herbal Notes (Tobacco, Rye, Mint, Earthy)

K – Slight Spice (Baking Spices, Rye, Full Body)

O – Rich Fruit (Berries, Stone Fruit)

Q – Floral Essence (Floral, Rye, recipe most influenced by the barrel)

V – Delicate Fruit (Lighter fruit notes, Creamy)

The Mashbills:

B – 60% Corn, 35% Rye, 5% Malted Barley

E – 75% Corn, 20% Rye, 5% Malted Barley

Single barrels can vary greatly and that is why they are so intriguing! I will review each of the 10 Four Roses unique recipes and try to speak on the different flavor profiles and tasting notes of each. Again there are so many different variables from proof, age, distillation run, warehouse location, tier location, the wood in the barrel as well as the seasons that this particular barrel aged! Some summers are warmer than others and some winters are cooler than others.

Four Roses OESV 16 year 6 month 58.5% RN 36-3S

Four Roses Kentucky Strong OESV side label

Four roses is just awesome. As a proud Eastern Kentuckian I love what Four Roses has to done help raise money and donate supplies for people of Eastern Kentucky affected by the catastrophic flooding. Twenty-three total bottles were released and I have them all listed at the bottom of this review.

MSRP $200 (proceeds donated to flood victims) Tasted neat in a glencairn and let rest for ~10 minutes

Color – Deep dark amber

Aroma – The aroma on this explodes out of the glencairn and gets more intense the closer I get. Rich sweet oak hits first followed by peppery rye spice. The next layer is sweetness highlighted by hints of red raspberries, a touch of caramel and some leather. I could nose this for days…

Taste – Strong oak dominates on first sip followed by ripe berry sweetness. Similar to the aroma, once the oak dissipates I get a lot of spice. Black pepper, leather and a slight caramel sweetness. Nice thick mouthfeel from the V yeast is clearly apparent. The oak dominates but this is very complex with layer after layer of flavors.

Finish – The finish penetrates deep into your chest and warms you up but doesn’t stick around as long as I would like. It isn’t short but not satisfying long either. Sweetness is quick and the oak and spices linger on the palate a long long time.

Rating – 9.3/10

Four Roses Kentucky Strong OESV front label

Thoughts – A charity bottle first and foremost that is raising money for people in desperate need of help. Home run. This is the oldest Four Roses single barrel I have had and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have heard (a few) people say that Four Roses sweet spot is in the 8-12 year range and they don’t release older bottles because they are too oaky and over aged. I can now clearly dispute that at least for this one barrel older Four Roses is excellent. The oak is dominate but it is not overly oaky and there are so many layer of flavors. Personally I loved the intense oak but would have liked a little more fruity sweetness and a tad less spice/pepper. At this point though I am splitting hairs on an excellent bottle.

If you would like another review of a slightly younger Four Roses OESV Single Barrel click here.

1 | Disgusting | So bad I poured it out.

2 | Poor | I wouldn’t consume by choice.

3 | Bad | Multiple flaws.

4 | Sub-par | Not bad, but better exists.

5 | Good | Good, just fine.

6 | Very Good | A cut above.

7 | Great | Well above average.

8 | Excellent | Really quite exceptional.

9 | Incredible | An all time favorite.

10 | Perfect | Perfect

Four Roses Kentucky Strong OESV Barrel List

WarehouseBarrel #ABVAgeRelease Date
1RN36-2A55.1%16 Years 6 MonthsAugust 2022
2RN36-2B55.7%16 Years 6 MonthsAugust 2022
3RN36-3C53.9%16 Years 6 MonthsAugust 2022
4RN36-2D53.8%16 Years 6 MonthsAugust 2022
5RN36-3A58.5%16 Years 6 MonthsAugust 2022
6RN36-3C58.0%16 Years 6 MonthsAugust 2022
7RN36-3E58.2%16 Years 6 MonthsAugust 2022
8RN36-3F57.6%16 Years 6 MonthsAugust 2022
9RN36-3G57.5%16 Years 6 MonthsAugust 2022
10RN36-3H58.2%16 Years 6 MonthsAugust 2022
11RN36-3I58.0%16 Years 6 MonthsAugust 2022
12RN36-3J57.6%16 Years 6 MonthsAugust 2022
13RN36-3K56.8%16 Years 6 MonthsAugust 2022
14RN36-3L57.1%16 Years 6 MonthsAugust 2022
15RN36-3M57.4%16 Years 6 MonthsAugust 2022
16RN36-3O57.6%16 Years 6 MonthsAugust 2022
17RN36-3P58.1%16 Years 6 MonthsAugust 2022
18RN36-3Q58.4%16 Years 6 MonthsAugust 2022
19RN36-3R59.0%16 Years 6 MonthsAugust 2022
20RN36-3S58.5%16 Years 6 MonthsAugust 2022
21RN36-3U59.5%16 Years 6 MonthsAugust 2022
22RN36-3V59.5%16 Years 6 MonthsAugust 2022
23RN36-3W61.0%16 Years 6 MonthsAugust 2022

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