Gentlemen and Ladies, start your engines. Or start salivating. Whatever. Here comes the next Four Roses Limited Edition.
In April, just in time for the Kentucky Derby, Four Roses will release another limited edition bourbon. It is to honor the brand's founding 120 years ago. It will be barrel strength again, single barrel and in the single barrel bottle, very similar to the Rutledge 40th Anniversary edition in that respect. This is a 12-year-old and non-chill filtered. Proofs will range from 103 to 116. There will be approximately 3,000 bottles produced.
I've had a sample and it's very unusual, with very bright fruit flavors. My main thought was of the homemade raspberry preserves a friend of mine's mom makes, maybe even pomegranate. I haven't talked to Jim Rutledge about it, but my impression is that he set out to find something a bit different. Don't even think about stashing this in the bunker. You really have to drink it.
Although they haven't said so per se, I suspect this will be an annual thing, at least as long as they continue to be successful. The last one sold out quickly and generated a lot of buzz.
The 40th was primarily sold in Kentucky, with a little bit going to New York. This one will be in Kentucky, New York, New Jersey, Tennessee and Illinois.
Suggested retail is $69 to $100, depending on the market, probably cheapest in Kentucky and Tennessee, most expensive in NYC. That's a bit more than last fall's Rutledge 40th. The standard Four Roses Single Barrel sells for about $35 a bottle, so they basically double it for the limited editions.
Also, here's good news for those of you just dying to get your hands on any Four Roses bourbons. Although I don't know which ones, they expect to have distribution in 15 more states by the end of 2008, bringing the total to 20.