Hello Queen City Drinks!
I am thrilled to be joining the ranks of such distinguished and dipsomaniac writers. My name is Ginny Tonic. I am the co-host of The Charlie Tonic Hour, a Cincinnati-based podcast. Along with my side-kick Charlie we explore the best things in our world when it comes to life, music, reading, technology, alcohol, and events. We like to call ourselves an alcohol infused culture podcast with a side of sexy. You can get new shows every Wednesday on iTunes, Sticher, and right there on our website.
Although we include a drinks segment on every show, I was looking for another place to share my love of spirits and was thrilled to discover Queen City Drinks. Since I am new here I thought I would start with my favorite mid-range bourbon of the moment: Four Roses Small Batch.
Four Roses Small Batch
I first fell in love with Four Roses when I did the Bourbon Chase in 2010. A 200 mile team relay around the bourbon trail in Kentucky, with stops for tours and samples? How could I refuse. We stopped at the Four Roses distillery the morning of the second day. The beautiful grounds, friendly staff, and out-of-this-world bourbon balls won me over right away. They had a commemorative bottle ready for the runners to purchase so of course I had to take one home with me. Since then I’ve had some in the liquor cabinet whenever I can afford it.
Since buying the distillery and name from Seagrams in 2002, the current owners of Four Roses have been doing a great job of rebuilding the brand. They currently offer a yellow label, small batch, and single barrel bottles of their bourbon. In my opinion the small batch version of Four Roses hits the right interaction of price and taste. At about $25 a bottle it has a lot more complexity of flavor than the yellow label, and while the single barrel is a better bourbon I don’t think it is an extra $8 a bottle better.
Four Roses Small Batch is a blend, but it’s a blend of no more than four different barrels that have been chosen by their master distiller. The result is a bourbon that is smooth and not too sweet. Good for sipping or in a Manhattan, but too good to mix with cola. It does have some heat to it. I get a slightly spicy flavor, with strong finish and a very pleasant nose. If you are looking for a good introduction to a slightly upper market bourbon with a little more complexity than Woodford Reserve or Makers Mark, I highly recommend Four Roses Small Batch.