Four Roses Small Batch was one of the earliest bourbons I tasted for American Hooch and now I’ve come back to try their entry-level offering here in the US, the so-called ‘Yellow’. The Four Roses series is often described as a less aggressive, rounder bourbon in contrast to the the many big, oaky, charred offerings on the shelf. The Small Batch definitely lived up to that, here’s hoping that the lower-priced Yellow doesn’t mean significantly reduced quality.
– 80 proof
– Made by Four Roses Distillery (acquired a few years ago by Kirin)
The Four Roses Yellow packaging, like that of the Small Batch, has a bit of a feminine streak to it. This is likely a conscious choice to match the cognitive associations with roses, but it’s done in a very understated way: a story about a “Southern belle” on the rear label, the round edges of the bottle and labels, and – of course – the flowers.
They have done a good job of not over-doing it here. There are very few unnecessary flourishes in the script and the decoration consists of simply text and the four-rose logo. This is a good thing.
The nose is disappointingly shallow. It’s got Band-Aid and some honey-lemon in there and some sharp alcohol, but that’s about it. Not displeasing, but just not much.
On the palate, Yellow is definitely smooth. It’s also pretty fruit-driven with melon, lemon, and only the slightest bit of heat. The finish is almost non-existent making this seem like I’m drinking a very subdued cocktail instead of a straight bourbon.
There’s nothing fantastic about this bourbon, but nothing really wrong with it. It is pleasant and has a refreshing quality that you don’t see in most bourbons – so it’s got that going for it. For $20 though? Not too bad, especially if you’re new to bourbons.