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Four Roses distillery

Four Roses is a popular Kentucky Straight Bourbon whiskey. Four Roses is produced in the distillery of the same name in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, and is almost annually amassed with awards. The Four Roses Yellow Label is their cheaper entry-level bourbon and entirely drinkable but more experienced connoisseurs should opt for the Four Roses Single Barrel.

Four Roses

The distillery produces 10 different types of whiskey, which result from two mash bills and 5 different yeast strains for each. Four Roses regularly proves its quality through awards from trade journals and at international competitions. For example, at the World Spirits Competition in San Francisco, Four Roses bourbons are almost annually awarded gold. The Four Roses yellow label 2016 gold, Four Roses single barrel and Four Roses small batch each won gold in 2017 and the Four Roses single barrel again gold 2018.

House style

How does Four Roses taste?Four Roses is available in three different versions. The Four Roses Yellow Label is aimed at newcomers and cocktail makers. This mild standard Straight Bourbon comes with 40% abv and features notes of oak, honey, vanilla and malt. A slightly adhesive note typical of young Bourbons is present which may put some off however. This bottling is made out of a combination of the different types produced in the distillery.

The Four Roses Small Batch has been bottled in smaller batches and plays in a completely different league than it’s Yellow Label sibling. Spices, honey toast and butter as well as dry hay give the Four Roses Small Batch a pleasant complexity. The 45% abv. turn the aromas into the right light. The Four Roses Small Batch fetched gold several times at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Also Four Roses has recognized the signs of the times and offers Bourbon lovers a single barrel bottling. With vigorous 50% abv the Four Roses Single Barrel offers an inexpensive entry into the premium segment of the Bourbon-world. Since these are individual barrels, the subtle bouquet of aromas and tasting notes do vary from barrel to barrel, but usually you will find a colorful spice mix paired with delicate coconut notes and maple syrup. On the palate, the barrel is clearly visible with nuts and chocolate flavors. This Four Roses Single Barrel should not be missed.


There are different stories about the origin of the name of the brand. Supposedly the founder Paul Jones is supposed to have named the brand in 1888 after the Four Roses his fiancée wore. A less romantic version speaks of four young ladies with the name Rose. Others claim that the brand has been named after its founder, Rufus Mathewson Rose.

Until the late 90s, Four Roses in the US was only available as a blend. In the 70s and 80s, the Straight Bourbon focused on the markets of Europe and Asia, which made the whiskey one of the top sellers there. Since the early 2000s, even in the US, bourbon connoisseurs have increasingly discovered the advantages of small batch and single barrel bottlings. From the point of view of American connoisseurs, the sale of Seagram to the Japanese company Kirin paradoxically must have been a blessing. This was a blended production and from now on concentrated on the production of the high-quality straight Bourbons, which we can enjoy today.

Four Roses factsheet

Name Pronounced AKA Region Country of Origin
Four Roses Four Roses Bourbon Kentucky USA
Status Active Whisky Type Website Tours Available
Active 1888 - Present Grain Four Roses Not Available
Manager Distiller Blender Owned by Parent Group
Brent Elliott

Can I tour Four Roses?

No, unfortunately Four Roses distillery is not open to the public for tours