Brent Elliot took the mantle of master distiller from Jim Rutledge last September after an almost 50 year tenure. This month he’ll make his mark in the form of “Elliot’s Select,” a barrel strength bourbon from OESK barrels, one of 10 the distillery uses in creating their award winning whiskey. Considering that Brent previously held the position of director of quality, this should prove to be a most interesting release indeed.
“Being master distiller is something I’ve found difficult to call a job because it’s a privilege and my passion,” said Elliott. “My focus continues to be what got me where I am, and what got the Four Roses brand where it is today, and that’s quality.”
Add to the fact that he took part in everything from selecting previous single barrel releases, applying his chemistry degree to evaluate Bourbons in the tasting lab, to taking part in the selection of barrels for Single Barrel bottling’s. The special edition Elliot’s Select seems like it will be the first of many top flight offerings from the brand and their new master distiller.
Four Roses OESK barrels are broken down as follows:
- O – Stands for the Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg Kentucky
- E – Represents one of the two mash bills the distillery uses; 75% corn, 20% rye, 5% malted barley
- S – Is for “Straight” as in “Straight Bourbon Whiskey” from the legal definition.
- K – Indicates one of 5 proprietary yeast strains used by Four Roses, this one in particular has a slight spice.
Elliot’s Select is said to have:
Subtle aromas of peach jam, magnolia blossoms and light oak preview the elegantly-balanced flavors of spiced vanilla, fresh nutmeg and delicate, ripe fruits. Sweet flavors of honey and light apricot linger in the finish. Its mellow character from beginning to end is very much a reflection of Elliott himself.
This release will be limited to around 10,000 bottles, 80% of which are reserved for the United States, with the remaining 2,000 bottles being sent abroad. As this is a barrel strength offering the Proof / ABV % will vary by bottle and barrel but should all come in near the 60% mark, each bottle is hand numbered and will retail for around $125 US.
Four Roses is one of the older pre-prohibition distilleries still operating in the states; and I hope to get my hands on a bottle of this to add to the other excellent releases of theirs that I’ve got on my shelf. If you grab some, let me know what you think.