Single barrel Four Roses delivers smooth ride

The Ohio River did not play fair during the Kentucky Derby Festival. High water forced the cancellation of the Great Steamboat race. The race was rescheduled for Wednesday. And it is expected to be a beautiful day. Maybe the officials over at the Derby Festival should just plan the race for summer every year.

The Belle of Louisville will be taking on the big bad lady from Cincinnati – the Belle of Cincinnati. The riverboat may be so desperate to curry favor with the race fans that they temporarily changed their name to The Belle of Kentucky. Shameful pandering. And the boat from Cincinnati probably will have some tricks to beat the home team’s Belle of Louisville.

In preparation for the race, I sampled some Four Roses Single Barrel bourbon. A special selection of the bourbon will be served aboard The Belle of Louisville.

Specifically, the barrel numbered NN 5-6T from the recipe coded recipe coded OBSV was selected by a panel of judges for the cruise. The secret code must mean something to someone. I do know that it means something to Master Distiller Jim Rutledge who has an assortment of yeasts that are used to craft various Four Roses bourbons. He says if you change the yeast the flavors can change considerably.

If that recipe is anything close to the single barrel sample I researched, it looks like it might be smooth sailing on the Ohio River.

A Four Roses single barrel I had a few weeks ago was not the most memorable bourbon I’ve had. The glass I just finished changed my mind. It was smokey with a slight citrus, cherry, vanilla aroma.There was no burn at all. It was smooth from beginning to end.

If straight bourbon is not your thing, the folks at Four Roses have a recipe for a Rose’rita. If you want to give it a try, here’s what you’ll need to mix your own. They will be serving those on board when The Belle of Louisville cruises to victory

2 – parts Margarita Mix

1 – part Four Roses Bourbon

Mix over ice

Add a dash of Grenadine – do not mix. The red color will settle near the bottom of the glass for a nice multi-color effect.


About Kim Kolarik

Exploring bourbon one sip at a time and sharing the experience.© Contact me at I've followed the original bourbon trail from my native Pennsylvania, where the whiskey rebellion erupted to Louisville, Kentucky, my current home. Bourbon is now in a revolution of expansion. I'll be bringing you news, information and tasting notes of bourbon from Kentucky and the emerging craft distillers from around the United States. I am photographer, designer and editor. --Kim D. Kolarik
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