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Four Roses Single Barrel vs Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel: Which Wins?

Discover the difference between Four Roses Single Barrel vs Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel in this in-depth comparison and decide which bourbon is better for You!

Four Roses Single Barrel

four-roses-single-barrel
NoseBaking spice, cherry, vanilla, honey
PalateCinnamon, rye spice, vanilla, honey
FinishMedium; caramel, baking spice, cinnamon
Alcohol content100 proof (50% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toFour Roses Small Batch, Jack Daniel’s SB

Nose is delicate, rich in baking spice, cherry and honeyed vanilla.

On the palate, the Four Roses Single Barrel has tingling rye spice up-front with a hint of cinnamon giving way to fruity notes, honey, vanilla and a tad of oak, with a creamy feel to it.

The finish has a medium-length, rich in sweet and cinnamon notes and pleasantly warm.

The Four Roses Single Barrel also carries high rye presence in the mash and it feels as the first sips are quite spicy.

But as you grow accustomed it becomes sweeter, showing rich fruity notes, along vanilla and honey making it entirely pleasing.

It bites a bit, which is understandable for something bottled at 100 proof, but its complex and layered flavor profile makes up for it providing a very good pour. Price point makes this an easy sell.

This bourbon is the best Four Roses Whiskey so you get an idea of how good it is!

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Four Roses Single Barrel:

  • Made from a mash of 60% corn, 35% rye and 5% malted barley.
  • Single Barrel is bottled from casks aged between 8 and 9 years.
  • Uses a proprietary yeast culture used to ferment the mash producing rich fruity notes.
  • The Four Roses distillery is located in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, was built in 1910 with Spanish Mission-style architecture, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Four Roses is owned by the Kirin Brewery Company of Japan.

Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel

russells-reserve-single-barrel
NoseCherry, vanilla, brown sugar, oak
PalateFruity, baking spices, vanilla, charred oak
FinishLong, spicy, with notes of citrus and charred oak
Alcohol content110 proof (55% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water, rocks
Similar toWild Turkey Rare Breed, Russell’s 10

Russell’s Reserve is crafted by Wild Turkey using the mash bill and using the same highly charred barrels.

The difference lies in the casks are hand-picked by Jimmy and Eddie Russell exclusively from the center of Wild Turkey’s rickhouse, which they believe is the best area for maturing bourbon; not to mention a higher price.

The Single Barrel is made from the same mash as the Russell’s Reserve 10 but does not provide an age statement.

The biggest difference lies in this bourbon being pulled from a single barrel, bottled at proof (no water dilution) and is not chill-filtered providing a more flavorful experience.

The nose is rich and complex, with a nice cherry note, along vanilla, brown sugar and charred oak.

The palate hits with an enjoyable fruity flavor, rich in baking spice, vanilla custard and charred oak with a creamy feel to it.

The finish stays with you nice and long, is tasty, pleasantly warm, rich in spice, orange zest and toasty oak.

The Single Barrel is similar to the 10 YO but better in every way as it displays more character and a richer flavor profile. The additional proof makes it warmer yet quite pleasing striking a very nice pour.

It drinks nicely neat yet a dash of water is enough to tame it down if you feel it a bit warm. Overall, the Single Barrel is not only an upgrade over the 10 YO but the Best Russell’s Reserve Bourbon to buy!

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Russell’s Single Barrel:

  • The Single Barrel is aged between 8 to 10 years in American oak casks that have been charred with a #4 char, also known as the Alligator Char.
  • The casks are hand-picked by Jimmy and Eddie Russell exclusively from the center of Wild Turkey’s rickhouse, which they believe is the best area for aging bourbon.
  • Each bottle is filled from a single cask before being labeled by hand.
  • The mash bill is made from 75% corn, 13% rye, 12% malted barley.
  • Russell’s is part of the Wild Turkey family which in turn is owned by Campari from Italy.

Four Roses SB vs Russell’s SB: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPrice
Four Roses Single Barrel$47
Russell’s Single Barrel$80

Four Roses Single Barrel vs Russell’s Single Barrel: Which is better?

Price gives the edge to the Four Roses

  • Those who like rye spiciness will be better served with the Four Roses, which offers rich rye presence in the mash well balanced against a juicy fruity note.
  • Russell’s Single Barrel has moderate rye presence, but comes with a high charred oak note typical of Wild Turkey’s whiskeys. It also has a nice fruity flavor and comes with a bit more proof which is always welcomed.
  • Price gives the edge to the Four Roses if you are a price conscious shopper.

Read my post containing a roundup of the best Single Barrel Whiskeys so you consider further options.

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