The 2022 Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition has arrived. Well, sort of. It’s here in the sense that samples have been distributed to industry VIPs and those bourbon connoisseurs are once again raving over this year’s blend. And the lottery to secure this year’s release has just opened.
The Small Batch Limited Edition release from Four Roses is one of the most highly sought-after bourbons every single year and it has nothing to do with hype, this release always delivers an exquisite bourbon. I had the opportunity to sample the 2022 Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition with Master Distiller Brent Elliott. Last year’s Small Batch LE blew me away but this year’s might be my favorite release yet from Four Roses.
We’ve got details on how you can score a bottle of the 2022 Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition (it’ll be a lottery), how many bottles are available to the public, what’s in this year’s blend, and tasting notes. Let’s get after it, shall we?
2022 Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition Formula
- The four liquids in this year’s limited edition small batch indlude: 14-year OESF, 14-year OESV, 15-year OESK, and 20-year OBSV
- This year’s limited edition clocks in at 54.5% (109 proof), slightly less than 2021’s 57.2% ABV
- The main flavor component of the Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition, the element that really drove this blend, is the F Yeast strains which is heavy on herbal notes
- There is a lot of 20-year old OBSV in this blend, with the Mash bill B of 60% corn, 35% rye, and 5% malted barle and Yeast V which is characterized by delicate fruit
As stated above, the four components of this year’s Small Batch LE are 14-year OESF, 14-year OESV, 15-year OESK, and 20-year OBSV. I’ll be honest, I was worried about the 20-year OBSV. Primarily because it’s just really, really hard to get good bourbon to last that long but hot DANG was it the best of the four blend components for me.
What do all of these letters mean?
Now, if you’ve made it this far in the article and it feels like you need to break some codes and don’t understand those letters above, let’s take a step back and explain that real quick (there’s also a picture below). Four Roses has 10 distinct recipes which are made up using 2 mashbills and 5 yeasts.
Masbhill B is a 60% corn, 35% Rye, 5% malted barley and obviously heavy on the Rye (which I love). Mashbill E is 75% Corn, 20% Rye, 5% Malted Barley and highlights the flavors of bright grains.
Then there are 5 distinct Yeasts (V, K, O, Q, and F) each with unique flavors ranging from florals to fruits to spice. When you start to combine these mashbills and yeasts we get the 10 recipes: OBSV, OBSK, OBSO, OBSQ, OBSF, OESV, OESK, OESO, OESQ, and OESF.
Four Roses actually has a brilliant visual rundown of the various recipes on their website if you’re more of a visual learner. Here’s what all of that looks like in this year’s chart:
What goes into blending the Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition?
When choosing what goes into the Limited Edition Small Batch release each year, Four Roses master distiller Brent Elliott starts by looking at all of their available 10+ year bourbons. The 2021 Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition was driven primarily by the Q Yeast strain which has a very heavy floral element.
So when Brent sat down to craft the 2022 Small Batch LE blend he didn’t even touch the Q Years. He tells me he deliberately wanted to try something different, and his overarching idea for this year’s blend was to work with the F yeast which is characterized by herbal notes that work magnificently with the 20-year OBSV that’s bright and refreshing.
An interesting note on the 20-year OBSV is it was briefly available last year at the Four Roses visitor center. The release was originally going to be used to celebrate the opening of the new center but the proof was too low to release as single barrels then so they knew it only going to get better. And they kept it aside for this year’s Small Batch LE.
How you can get a bottle of the 2022 Four Roses Small Batch LE
There are two ways you can purchase the 2022 Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition. The first is you can hope to find it in select retailers. The 750ml bottles have a suggested retail price of $179.99. There are 14,100 hand-numbered bottles available this year which is 400 fewer than the 2021 Small Batch LE release.
The second way to score a bottle of the 2022 Small Batch Limited Edition is by entering the lottery on the Four Roses website right here. Individuals may register for the lottery from August 22 to August 28 on the Four Roses website. Those who are selected via random draw will then be contacted via email on September 6. Purchases will be available for pickup at the Four Roses Distillery between September 17 – October 16.
It’s worth repeating: if you win the lottery, you and YOU alone can pick up the bottle.
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