Four Roses special bourbon marks 120th

Four Roses will mark its 120th anniversary next month with the issuance of a limited edition bourbon.

Four Roses Barrel Strength 120th Anniversary Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey, which may be vying for the title of longest bourbon name, will be released in mid-May. It has been aged 12 years, is uncut and non-chill filtered, and has a proof range of 103 to 116. Approximately 3,000 bottles will be produced.

Company lore says Four Roses itself was named for the corsage a Southern belle wore to accept distillery founder Paul Jones Jr.'s marriage proposal.

Master distiller Jim Rutledge, a member of the Bourbon Hall of Fame, said the Anniversary Bourbon has "a mellow yet robust spiciness with delicate, fruity flavors and hints of nutmeg, vanilla, toasted almonds, baked apples and pears. The long, smooth finish includes touches of caramel and cocoa."

Formerly the nation's top-selling bourbon in the 1930s, '40s and '50s, Four Roses virtually disappeared in the '60s when then-owner Seagram began selling the brand exclusively overseas. Under new owner Kirin, Four Roses Bourbon was returned to the U.S. in 2002 with distribution limited to Kentucky, and at the same time, the blended whiskey was discontinued to focus solely on bourbon. Last year, the brand expanded distribution to New York, New Jersey, Tennessee and Illinois and further expansion is planned.

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