Four Roses is a brand of bourbon produced in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, but owned by the Kirin Brewing Company of Japan. While the brand might seem new, the trademark stretches back to 1888, when Paul Jones Jr. opened an office in Louisville's "Whisky Row". In 1922, Jones bought the Frankfort Distilling Company, and ran it through Prohibition as one of only six distilleries permitted to operate - they made medicinal bourbon.
In 1943, the Seagram's company bought out Frankfort Distilling, mainly for the Four Roses brand. They then proceeded to divert production to the European and Japanese markets, so that Four Roses disappeared from the US by the 1960's.
In 2002, the Kirin Brewing Company bought the Four Roses trademark, and formed a company in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. Four Roses now produces bourbon from 5 distinct yeast strains and two different grain bills (75/20/5 and 60/35/5 corn/rye/malted barley). The resulting bourbons are aged in one story rack houses (taller rack houses lead to variations in the finished bourbon as the temperature gradient increases with the height of the building), and are blended together in varying proportions to make their lineup.
The Four Roses range includes the standard Yellow Label, an 80 proof blend of all ten bourbons, a 90 proof Small Batch, which is a blend of four bourbons, a 100 proof Single Barrel, marked with the barrel and rackhouse, a Limited Edition Single Barrel at 100 proof, that is 17 years old, and a Limited Edition Small Batch, which is a 100 proof blend of three bourbons between ten and fifteen years old.
Some popular cocktails containing Four Roses
- Shadows & Tall Trees — Bourbon, Sweet vermouth, Cynar, Nocino, Bitters, Cinnamon syrup
- Daisy If You Do — Bourbon, Bénédictine, Bitters, CioCiaro, Agave syrup, Grapefruit juice, Lemon
- Bonfire Sutra — Whiskey, Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur, Bianco Vermouth, Ginger liqueur, Bitters
- Kallygoola — Bourbon, Bianco Vermouth, Ramazzotti, Cassis, Orange peel
- An Oblique Manhattan — Bourbon, Sweet vermouth, Bitters, Absinthe, Cherry shrub, Orange peel