Four Roses Single Barrel OBSF – “Kissed by a Rose” 57.8%

Secret Santa Kentucky Bourbon Blind Review

An annual tradition to exchange samples with fellow spirit lovers and a good friend of mine sent me 4 fun ones to try out. Starting with sample “A” and it’s a hell of a baseline with a bourbon distillery I really enjoy and a barrel strength pick at that!

Tasting Notes

These blind notes are presented as I was tasting along with how I felt at the time. 1 ounce was rested, capped for roughly 5-10 minutes. No water added. A final ounce was poured and tasted immediately after, with no resting.

Lots of rye and fragrant spices on the nose. Ceylon Cinnamon with its delicate floral spice, black peppercorn, and cardamom. I get some cereal grains like oats in here. There are some dried black tea scents and a pine needle potpourri but maybe the Christmas candles in the house are getting to me. Finally, a very faint lemon oil.

Quite a wild range of flavors on the first sip. Really fruity and floral but settled down a bit with some honey and brown sugar sweetness that balances it. Where I was once feeling this was rye, I’m now more confident this is a high rye bourbon or barely legal instead. Bit of ginger snap cookies. Burnt, brûlée sugars. The heat from the proof and spices really plays well here on the palate.

The finish is all black pepper and oaky bitter tannins. It’s followed by a creamy toffee sweetness. The bitter tannins are welcome for what is a rather sweet dram.


This is an exceptional pick. I’m already a fan of Four Roses and high rye bourbon in general so it’s a hit in my book. Whenever I’m given the chance, I buy Four Roses picks. I don’t think one recipe is greater than the others, especially with them being single barrels. I do however enjoy trying each and every one of them.