Welcome to the fifth edition of our monthly recipe features. This installment is pretty special because it marks the halfway point of our 10-recipe journey; it also highlights the fifth and final Bourbon recipe created from our rye-forward “B” mashbill.
As you probably know by now, Four Roses combines two different mashbills with five proprietary yeast strains to create 10 distinct Bourbon recipes. We then use these recipes – together or on their own – to achieve an infinite range of flavor profiles to please Bourbon lovers like you.
Last month, we discussed the rye and floral charms of OBSQ. This time around, we’re going to explore the delicate rye and minty character of its close cousin, OBSF.
Like the Q yeast strain, the F strain has historically been considered a “top note” recipe found exclusively in Four Roses Bourbon, where it adds complexity with its minty and herbal character. However, in recent years the F strain has been used in Limited Editions at higher percentages to more strongly influence the final character of those blends. It has such a notable flavor that it can contribute a lot, even at low ratios.
Here our Master Distiller, Brent Elliott, explains the finer points of the F yeast strain and how it expresses itself when paired with the B mashbill in OBSF:
To me, there are similarities between the flavors achieved with rye and the flavors expressed by the F strain. Because of this, the OBSF recipe gives an impression of higher rye than other yeast strains. The F influence in OBSF is not extra spice, but clove and mint notes that I often associate with rye. The overall OBSF impression on the palate is robust and especially rich. At younger ages, OBSF is bright, vibrant and crisp. As it ages, the flavors don’t change dramatically, but they soften and become deeper as they meld with the increasing oak influence.
Today, OBSF is found in the newest addition to our permanent lineup, Small Batch Select. The combination of the F, V and K strains creates a flavor not found in the individual recipes, and is balanced, complex, and different from the other Bourbons in our lineup. The F is clearly present, however, and you can taste its influence immediately.
As mentioned above, the delicate rye and minty notes of OBSF can be found in Four Roses Bourbon and Four Roses Small Batch Select. However, it can also be experienced in these past Limited Edition Small Batch offerings, if you’re fortunate enough to come across one:
2014 Limited Edition Small Batch
2017 Al Young 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Small Batch
2018 130th Anniversary Limited Edition Small Batch
So there you have it: We’ve now covered all five of our B mashbill recipes and explained the unique contributions and character of each. Next time, we begin the second half of our journey, departing the rye-forward recipes and diving into bright grains of mashbill E, beginning with the delicate fruit and caramel character of OESV. In the meantime, learn more about our 10 distinct Bourbon recipes here.
*Note, this is not a featured recipe to purchase in the Four Roses Visitor Center gift shops.
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