Four Roses started as an independent brand, but was purchased by then-spirits giant Seagrams in 1943. Seagrams decided to stop selling the straight bourbon in the US and used it as their international brand, while selling a blended whiskey product stateside. In 2002 the brand was purchased by Kirin of Japan, and in 2004 it was re-introduced as a straight bourbon in the US market. The Limited Edition Single Barrel was introduced in 2007, and has been an annual release. Starting in 2008 the “Mariage” was introduced, which was changed to “Limited Edition Small Batch” from 2010 on. Additionally, the gift shop has sold specially-selected bottles regularly, some of them particularly sought after. See also the Seagrams Timeline for more info.

 

Photo libraries, in ascending order by bottling year

Four Roses Yellow Label 86pf, 1955

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Four Roses Blend of Straight Bourbons, 1956

The reason this is called a “blend of straight bourbon whiskeys” is that Seagrams had multiple distilleries, in different states. If it was all distilled in one state it could simply be labeled straight bourbon whiskey, but I imagine this had some bourbon distilled in Kentucky and also some distilled in Indiana, so by regulation it had to be called a blend of straights.

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Four Roses Blended Whiskey, 86pf, 1960

Photos courtesy of Kurt Suda

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Four Roses Blended Whiskey, 86pf, 1965

Photos courtesy of Kurt Suda

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Four Roses Blended Whiskey, One Gallon, 1968

Photos courtesy of Ted Doggett.

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Four Roses Mariage 2008

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Four Roses Mariage 2009

The Mariage series, started in 2008, was the predecessor to the annual Small Batch Limted Edition. A small annual release, it’s a mingling of different recipes at barrel proof by master distiller Jim Rutledge.

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Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch, 2010

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Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch, 2011

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Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch, 2012

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Four Roses Gift Shop OBSV 16yr, 2012

Starting in late 2011 and continuing into late 2012, Jim Rutledge selected some special barrels of 16 and 17 year old OBSV recipe bourbon for sale solely at the gift shop. While he generally prefers his bourbon to be aged 8-10 years, Jim believes this extraordinary batch may have been the result of a mutated batch of yeast. Some of this same whiskey also made its way into the Small Batch LE bottlings in 2012 and 2013.

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Four Roses OBSV Gift Shop OBSV 17yr, Barrel 18, 2012

Starting in late 2011 and continuing into late 2012, Jim Rutledge selected some special barrels of 16 and 17 year old OBSV recipe bourbon for sale solely at the gift shop. While he generally prefers his bourbon to be aged 8-10 years, Jim believes this extraordinary batch may have been the result of a mutated batch of yeast. Some of this same whiskey also made its way into the Small Batch LE bottlings in 2012 and 2013.

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Four Roses OBSV Gift Shop OBSV 17yr, Barrel 73-3W, 2012

Starting in late 2011 and continuing into late 2012, Jim Rutledge selected some special barrels of 16 and 17 year old OBSV recipe bourbon for sale solely at the gift shop. While he generally prefers his bourbon to be aged 8-10 years, Jim believes this extraordinary batch may have been the result of a mutated batch of yeast. Some of this same whiskey also made its way into the Small Batch LE bottlings in 2012 and 2013.

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Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 125th Anniversary, 2013

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Four Roses Single Barrel LE 2013

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Four Roses Single Barrel LE 2014

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Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch, 2014

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Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch, 2015

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