This wonderful expression from the good people at Four Roses clocks in at 110.2 proof and let me tell you—that 0.2 proof makes all the difference. This’ll hold up real well against a fistful of ice cubes on a hot summer night. This bourbon means business. And by business, I’m thinking of the kind of business a gangster runs out of a florist shop (God rest Pete Postlethwaite‘s soul). The nose is a massive bouquet of flowers—lilac and day lily is what I can discern, though I suspect nightshade and mandrake have their place here, too—stuffed into a 32 oz. pickle jar with plenty of briny, peppery liquid still swirling around in chartreuse splendor. Think of crushed up ammonia capsules in a Glencairn glass, or a Nose Tork™ votive candle. There is precision in the ferocity, however, just as one would find in a neurosurgeon’s laser. Each sip cornholes my amygdala, bridging neurons on opposite hemispheres and lighting up a PET scan with a riot of color. The finish recalls nothing if not maple syrup blasted from a fire extinguisher in a home kitchen grease fire. You’ll lose the whole house, but God, what a spectacle.
The Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch Barrel Strength is “shanks akimbo”–The term denotes sitting with one’s knees set wide apart, and one might do precisely this in a lawn chair on the aforementioned hot summer night. But there is also a curious sexual connotation that hovers in the phrase like alcohol vapors chasing off the better angels of our nature. Mostly, though, it’s easy to picture Mr. Wolfe sipping this in his white suit as he writes ribald rap lyrics.
–Our thanks to Nick and the folks at Four Roses for the sample!