For some reason, I had always got the impression that Prohibition did terrible things to the alcohol industries of the USA. It's often been held up as a major cause of what one might charitably call the "unchallenging flavours" of pre-craft American beer, because everyone forgot what real beer tasted like and the brewing industry essentially had to start from scratch after the 21st Amendment.
And yet, most bourbon distilleries seem to claim a history that starts far earlier than Prohibition. Four Roses is yet another Kentucky distillery that has been running since the 1860s, although the Four Roses trademark itself wasn't registered until 1888.
Four Roses Bourbon is another one of those confusingly named bourbons as it is occasionally called 'Four Roses Yellow Label'. It's their entry level offering, bottled at a conservative 40% ABV.
The nose is sweet and fairly light; light honey, orange curd and perhaps just a little tree blossom. Water exposes some cereal notes, and sharper citrus aromas too.
In the mouth it's gentle - honey with fresh lemon juice, with a soft, slightly spicy finish. Watered, it loses a lot of it's interest.
I've been pleasantly surprised by this bourbon. It's a fairly simple affair, but it's very drinkable and at a few pence over £21 it represents remarkable value for money - 3.5 stars.
Many thanks to Master of Malt for providing their excellent Bourbon Advent Calendar this year.
This review was originally published 9th December, 2015. It was last updated 1st June, 2023.