Four Roses Distillery

Four Roses Distillery

On day four we went to Four Roses Distillery. It is set in a Spanish style building, inspired by the original owner’s trip to California wine country. They begin by taking you through the history of the company and its bourbon. The company was acquired by Seagrams in 1943, the now defunct Canadian spirits company, which produced it with such poor quality that the Four Roses brand became synonymous with rot gut. Eventually they stopped producing it in America because it competed with the company’s own whiskey products. So for a time it was only sold in Europe and Japan where it grew a loyal customer base. In 2002, Four Roses was sold once again to current owners, the Kirin Brewing Company, which wanted to bring it back to the U.S. and back to the quality it was once known for.

Four Roses Test Shed

Four Roses Test Shed – They use Only #Non-GMO Corn

Four Roses Fermentation Tubs

Four Roses Fermentation Tubs

Four Roses Still Room

Four Roses Still Room

We had not tried this particular brand straight before. We know it has become quite popular in the craft cocktail houses. This tasting earned the biggest surprise of the trip. Their $20 yellow label bourbon had a wonderful sweet nose and went down smooth. It only got better from there. Luckily we looked up and confirmed our local liquor retailer sells Four Roses, including some single barrel versions, so we did not need to purchase it at the distillery.

Four Roses Tasting - All were very good!

Four Roses Tasting – All were very good!

Corsair Tasting Bottles

Corsair Tasting Bottles

We then began our trek toward Nashville, but stopped at Corsair Artisan Distilleries in Bowling Green, KY. This was a little different than most of the other places we visited because they produce many other spirits besides bourbon. They only had one bourbon and from what we were told, it sold out in 12 days. Now there is no real definition to “small batch” but these guys are tiny. Think along the lines of 10 barrels, 15 gallons vs. the traditional 53 gallon barrels that most distillers use, for any one spirit. All are hand crafted. They make bourbon, which was good, but also a gin, genever, spiced rum, other whiskeys and much more. We enjoyed their triple smoke single barrel that has malted barley smoked with Cherry Wood, Beechwood and Peat. It had a rich smoky flavor that we just loved.

Corsair Tasting Room_watermarked

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