This limited bottling may have flown under most people’s radar during the craze of 2016, but the release of Four Roses Limited Edition ‘Elliot’s Select’ Single Barrel is still one of the top prizes on our list of “Best Bourbons Year 2016”.
In January 2015, Four Roses discontinued its annual Limited Edition Single Barrel releases, citing a shortage of available stock to produce it. Then former and longtime Four Roses Master Distiller, Jim Rutledge retired and Brent Elliott got promoted to the job. Somewhere, Elliott found enough 14 year old, OESK-recipe bourbon to revive the bottling coining it ‘Elliot’s Select,’ which this year runs 10,224 (hand-numbered) bottles to disperse throughout the United States.
The yearly Single Barrel releases only uses one of the famed 10 Four Roses recipes. The last time OESK was used was in 2012, which was bottled at a somewhat younger 12 years old and at about 109 proof.
As Brent himself explained at a small Bardstown press event, Elliott’s Select was almost just thrown together, going from concept to bottling in record time. Apparently the original idea was to the juice in Elliott’s Select for the Small Batch Limited Edition to honor Jim Rutledge. Rutledge, however, reportedly wasn’t interested in having his own Small Batch Limited Edition before he retired.
Once Elliott took over, the company had it’s sights on debuting his first release with a Limited Edition Single Barrel. He took a 14 year old OESK-recipe, his personal favorite among the Four Roses’ ten mashbill and yeast combinations.What was awesome about the production run for Elliott’s Select is the 10,224 bottle count, instead of the previously reported 8,000, which was based on a conservative estimate. The general retail price is $125 per bottle.
The Taste Test
Proof: Individual bottles vary between 100.5 and 120.7 proof. My bottle was 107.2.
Visual: In the glass, the bourbon presents a bright amber appearance ribboned with gold caramel.
Nose: Sweet and syrupy, with a nice scent of charred barrel and small hints of peaches and cream.
Palate: It’s rich, dark fruit, almonds, and vanilla with a bit of spice.
Finish: Long and gentile leaving a sweet peach aftertaste.
Overall, two things really stand out about Elliott’s Select. One is how well-rounded and balanced it is, and the other is how easy it is to drink. When it comes to Limited Edition release, the goal is to savor it, but with this bottle it is extremely difficult to do that. This is amazing bourbon, and a true Kentucky master piece that deserves greater recognition.