Some of you may have noticed that back in December, I took a little trip out to Kentucky with some folks, namely kep, Powzy, dvelcich, NRCards, FalconA, and FalconA's dad. In a relatively short amount of time, we ate chicken livers and pickled trotters, we drank a fair quantity of bourbon, and we also found a few hours to get down to Cox's Creek and taste through some barrels at Four Roses. I've felt lucky to find such lovely barrels when we've done this in the past, so I was skeptical that we'd find one that was truly excellent this time around. As it turns out, we are luckier than I thought. Once again, we were fortunate enough to be presented with two really incredible barrels. While they certainly stood out among the barrels we had in the room, it's worth noting that we also had some nice reference samples available, including our third barrel (D.B.F.Y.), the delightful 16 year-old OBSK they did for the opening of the new bottling facility, and some other well-regarded FR bottlings from the past. First thing's first, so you don't miss it at the bottom: We're going to make these available very soon. If you want to get the link to reserve a bottle when available, you must be on the TalkBeer mailing list. You can sign up here if you haven't already. These are now sold out. Now onto the details... TalkBeer Single Barrel Bourbon #004 OESQ, 9 years 1 month, 118.3 proof, Warehouse M Char up front on the nose, then, with a little air and a little time for the pour to open up, that char gets underlaid with more and more vanilla until it really starts to hint at just how dessert-ready this one is. Likewise, that same air & time that develops the nose on this one makes for great flavor - vanilla, vanilla, vanilla. After all this, it closes out with this amazingly long toasted vanilla marshmallow finish. Just a classic example of the kind of qualities I love most from certain Four Roses barrels. TalkBeer Single Barrel Bourbon #005 OESV, 10 years, 119.4 proof, Warehouse P On the nose, it's a huge warm winter spice bomb. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, really whatever pie spice you want to find in here, you'll find it. The first sip follows with distinct velvety presence of caramelized brown sugar, which provides great balance to the spice notes that are now being spread out across the palate. With all this mouth-coating and spice-bombing, the finish is significant and lasting, and probably my favorite aspect of this one. Now, some photos! Preparing our palates at The Silver Dollar the night before the pick Inside one of the warehouses The tasting landscape Our name on the wall in the Four Roses barrel selection room Talkin' about barrels Close-up of some 'character' on barrel 004 The selection crew and our haul As for the barrels, they are en route to one of our favorite breweries for their next adventure. More to come on that in the next few months.