Four Roses LESB 2014 vs 2015

I liked the 2015 edition so much, I went on bottle-spot and found someone selling the 2014 for a “mere” 2x retail, so I lifted two of them. Prices have certainly gone up, but at the same time availability has increased for older stuff… I wasn’t into bourbon a few years ago, so finding a BTAC at retail was never something I experienced, so bottle-spot is where I have been sourcing and trading for a lot of interesting bottles recently.

Anyway, here it goes….

Similar color to the 2015, sparking golden amber, slightly lighter. This all makes sense as it is a little younger. The breakdown on this one is: again a blend of four mash bills, OBSK 9 year, OBSV 13 year, OESV12 year and OBSF 11 year.

The nose has a touch more hotness compared to the 2015, and the proof is a touch higher: 111.8 vs 108.6. I’m getting a lot candied orange peel, almond butter, pumpkin pie, maple wood charcoal and Werther’s Original. It’s very good but not quite up to the 2015 on the nose.

I have decided that I love non-chill filtered bourbons. And this is no exception. The gritty mouthfeel is delightful and the finish keeps going on. The palate is very enjoyable but again, not quite as complex as the 2015. When the bottle was first opened it smelled and tasted a little stale, the key was the wait and keep it open for a few hours. If I rated this when I first opened, if would have graded quite poorly.  After a few hours the palate is lovely.

Overall, this is a other amazing bourbon. I’m going to try to find the 2013 and earlier online if possible to try, but my guess is the 2015 will be unmatched. This one gets a 95/100.  It’s a shame that Rutledge is retiring, because these limited editions are amazing.

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Here is the release from Four Roses about this one:

Four Roses Distillery will release the newest in its series of limited-quantity special bottlings with the 2014 Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon, featuring four of the distillery’s ten Bourbon recipes from barrels ranging in age from 9 to 13 years.

Four Roses is the only distillery that combines two mashbills with five proprietary yeast strains to produce ten distinct Bourbons, each with its own unique characteristics. These Bourbons can be mingled in nearly infinite combinations to create a wide range of flavor profiles.

Master Distiller Jim Rutledge selected four of the ten Bourbons to create the 2014 Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon: 13-year-old Bourbon from Four Roses’ OBSV recipe, 12-year-old OESV, 11-year-old OBSF and 9-year-old OBSK.

“It’s exciting and challenging to select the Bourbons that will be used in various percentages for a special and different Limited Edition Small Batch,” Rutledge said.

The 2014 Limited Edition Small Batch, bottled at barrel strength, is both bold and refreshing, with aromas of light orange zest, glazed maple and fresh spearmint. The flavor profile includes orange citrus and mellow hints of honey, which are expertly mingled with a palate of mild cloves and cool mint for a long, bold and smooth finish.

“We’ve only scratched the surface with what we can do with our ten Bourbon recipes relative to varying flavor profiles for special releases,” said Rutledge.

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