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Four Roses Small Batch Select vs Single Barrel: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Four Roses Small Batch Select vs Four Roses Single Barrel in this in-depth comparison and decide which Bourbon is better for You!

Four Roses Small Batch Select

NoseCaramel, cinnamon, vanilla, oak
PalateCherry, cinnamon, oak and butterscotch
FinishCaramel, baking spice and charred oak
Alcohol content104 proof (52% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toFour Roses Small Batch, Angel’s Envy

The Small Batch Select is made from the same mash as the regular Small Batch but is bottled at a higher proof and is not a chill-filtered bourbon.

The process of chill-filtering is made to prevent the bourbon from becoming hazy but some people complain that it removes precious flavors from it.

Select is an emboldened version of the Small Batch, as they share tasting notes in common just that this is more tasty, yet a bit warmer due to the higher proof.

Excellent nose rich in caramel, with a dash of cinnamon, vanilla and a bit of oak coming behind.

On the palate, Small Batch Select offers a generous amount of caramel sweetness, cinnamon and nutmeg and a faint oaky hint.

The finish is long, pleasantly warm, rich in baking spice and charred oak.

Overall, the Four Roses Small Batch Select is a very good pour, quite smooth and sweet with very little burn despite bottled at 104 proof.

It has a nice buttery feel and pleasing tasting notes that make you keep coming back for more.

This bourbon provides more warmth and oak than the Small Batch but nothing that a drop or two of water can’t tune-down.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Small Batch Select:

  • Aged for a minimum of 6 years.
  • This bourbon is a blend of Four Roses’ 10 Bourbon recipes.
  • Introduced in 2019 making the first new brand extension for the brand in 12 years.
  • The Four Roses brand belong to the Kirin Brewery Company headquartered in Japan.

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 toSmall Batch, Blanton’s Single Barrel

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

On the palate, the Single Barrel has tingling rye spice up-front with a hint of cinnamon giving way to sweet 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 is pleasantly warm.

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

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

It bites a bit but is not harsh, which is understandable for something bottled at 100 proof, but the interesting and layered flavor profile makes up for it providing a fine sipper.

The Single Barrel is good enough to be ranked among the list of best Single Barrel Barrel Bourbons.

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.
  • Won the Gold Medal at the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
  • 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.

What’s the difference between Select and Single Barrel?

Mash, proof and chill-filtering makes them different

BourbonProofCornRyeMalted Barley
Small Batch Select10470%25%5%
Single Barrel10060%35%5%

Four Roses Select vs Single Barrel: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Four Roses Small Batch Select$60
Four Roses Single Barrel$37

Four Roses Small Batch Select vs Single Barrel: Which is better?

Single Barrel is the Best Four Roses

WhiskeySelectSingle Barrel
  • The Single Barrel is the Best Four Roses Bourbon, it’s remarkably smooth for a 100 proof bourbon, hits nicely with the rye spice but is perfectly balanced against sweet notes providing a great experience from nose to finish.
  • Hard to find such a good Single Barrel at this price making it a keeper.
  • Select is quite, just a tad warmer, less spicy as its mash is moderate in rye content, but I see no reason to go that high in price when you can get the Single Barrel at a fraction of the price.