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Happy Father's Day

Four Roses Yellow Label Original Bourbon 75cl
Four Roses Yellow Label Original Bourbon 75cl
Four Roses Yellow Label Original Bourbon 75cl
Four Roses Yellow Label Original Bourbon 75cl

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Spirit Type: Bourbon Whisky

Country: USA

ABV: 40%

Bottle size: 70cl


In the extensive lineup of Four Roses bourbons, which includes this one, small batch, 100 proof single barrel OBSV, small batch and choose, the single barrel proof, small batch limited edition, and numerous one-off limited releases, Four Roses Yellow Label is the most reasonably priced and approachable bourbon. Yes, Yellow Label is available everywhere, including the US, Japan, and the rest of the world.

Four Roses Yellow Label is brewed from all 10 permutations of mash bills (2 of them) and yeasts (5 of them), unlike all the other releases that selectively use one or a few of the combinations; the proportions of each in the blend are unknown. That suggests that it's possible to experience a little bit of all Four Roses has to offer.

Beginning with slightly dark and light honey, Four Roses Yellow Label progresses to dry licorice, charred oak, vanilla, pineapple, cardamom, faintly earthy caraway seed, apple, a tinge of clove, and toasted grain. Yellow Label has a herbaceous forwardness similar to many other Four Roses bourbons. It's also relatively light, with not much there, in part due to the ABV.

Similar flavors of slightly darker honey, dry licorice, dry oak, pineapple, vanilla, gushers-like candy sweetness, and a whiff of soggy bread are released as the mixture is swirled. I'm not sure what it is, but there's a faint shadow in the backdrop that may be dark fruit and herbs, I suppose.

The smells of Four Roses Yellow Label can be summed up as herbaceous, fruity, and delicate. Although it smells good, it doesn't do much for me, either. Actually, it reminds me of a herbal MGP rye, like Sagamore Spirit Rye (derived from MGP), but with less dill.

Yellow Label begins with herbal and earthy honey (thanks to the greater rye percentage), caraway seed, licorice, fennel, roasted wood, rosemary, and pineapple, much how it smells. It always surprises me how floral and tropical-forward some rye whiskeys can be.

After "chewing" on honey, caraway seed, licorice, vanilla, pineapple, roasted oak, clove, and toasted grains, it becomes earthy and herbal once more. It doesn't necessarily taste youthful, simply thin and underdeveloped, probably due to deliberate blending choices and proofing. It's not horrible at all, just nothing especially notable. In addition to honey, pineapple, roasted oak, and caraway seed, the finish is mildly sweet and herbaceous.

After "chewing" with honey, dried licorice, caraway seed, more toasted grains, and oak, it doesn't deviate too much, but it does get drier and more earthy with each sip. So, no complaints to make.

Four Roses Yellow Label tastes excellent, but it doesn't perform better than its price in the end. A digression: Yellow Label makes me think of Traverse City Bourbon. Although the handcrafted bourbon from the Michigan distillery is less aged (3 years), the flavors are more dense and robust in comparison.

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