There's much to love about the world's great Scotch, Japanese, and Irish whiskey distilleries, but when it comes to innovation, the wily bourbon producers of the United States have been leading the way for years.
In Kentucky and beyond, purveyors of America's native spirit have refused to let the excellence of their existing products stand in the way of coming up with new ones. Over the last decade and a half, a plenitude of incredible new whiskey has come to market from well-known houses, and one of the most active among them is Four Roses.
You can taste a few of these new whiskies for yourself at The WhiskyX, September 13 at Fair Market. Tickets are available here, and include samples of more than 60 whiskies from around the world, as well as some of Austin's best food trucks, a concert from X Ambassadors, complimentary haircuts and beard trims from Shed Barber and Supply, the chance to try out the Samsung Oculus, and more. The event benefits the Austin Humane Society.
In June 2017, for instance, the venerable 130-year-old brand wowed the whiskey world with the release of a Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Small Batch Bourbon to commemorate senior brand ambassador and Kentucky Distillers' Association Hall of Famer Al Young's 50 years of employment at Four Roses, and what a fine tribute it is.
A blend of four distinct proprietary recipes, the "Al Young" (as it's affectionately known) exhibits aromas of sweet caramel and floral honeysuckle. The palate offers fresh peach and apricot flavors, encompassing a luxurious and warm fig and rich oak. It finishes with a hint of mint.
The bourbon was originally priced at $150, but expect to pay more on the secondary market, which is pretty much the only place you're likely to find the highly coveted Al Young whiskey these days.
The 2019 Small Batch is the first limited-quantity bottling to feature a 21-year-old whiskey from the distillery's fabled OBSV recipe. It was blended with a number of younger expressions, yielding a uniquely nuanced whiskey replete with soft fruit flavors and a touch of spice.
The 2019 Limited Edition Small Batch is a non-chill filtered whiskey. For the uninitiated, chill filtering is a process that removes fatty acids that can cause whiskey to get foggy when served over ice. Some people, such as Four Roses master distiller Brent Elliott, believe that those acids and other "offending" compounds actually convey some alluring characteristics to the whiskey's nose, mouthfeel, and finish.
That's certainly the case with this whiskey, which offers tantalizing aromas of oak, honey, red raspberries, and toffee. The palate brims with cinnamon, baking spices, and mellow barrel flavors that serve as prelude to a rich and lasting finish.
And while Al Young will always be near and dear to the brand's heart, this latest special release marks the completion of the Four Roses distillery's $55 million expansion project, which doubled production capacity to accommodate for growing demand.
Approximately 13,000 hand-numbered bottles of the 2019 Limited Edition Small Batch bourbon have been made available in the U.S., with a suggested retail price of $140.
Watch the video below to get a taste of what's in store at The WhiskyX, then head here to buy your tickets.
Article written by Dan Dunn