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Featured Recipe: OBSQ

blog | 07/17/2020

5 Barrel scaled



By now you know Four Roses takes a different approach to crafting fine Bourbons. That’s because only we combine five proprietary yeast strains with two mashbills to create 10 distinct Bourbon recipes – each with its own unique character. We then use those recipes – together or on their own – to achieve a wide range of flavor profiles.

Last month, we highlighted OBSO – a rich, fruit-forward recipe that can only be found in two of our products: Four Roses Bourbon and Four Roses Small Batch. But this month, we have an even more exclusive recipe to showcase: one you can only experience in our classic Four Roses Bourbon. Ladies and gentlemen meet OBSQ. 

OBSQ combines our rye-forward “B” mashbill with our floral “Q” yeast strain. The Q yeast strain is of particular interest because of how it changes during maturation. Here’s how our Master Distiller, Brent Elliott, describes the Q strain and how it pairs with the B mashbill:

The Q yeast strain’s expressed character is quite different from our other strains, and it is especially interesting how it evolves over time in the barrel. Historically, Q batches were only used at a low formulary percentage for “top notes” in Four Roses Bourbon. The delicate and fresh notes of honeysuckle, rose and lavender – which are very apparent on the nose at younger ages – contribute to the complexity and final character of Four Roses Bourbon.
However, once we started aging Q batches longer for our Private Selection Single Barrel Program, the taste changed, melding oak tones from the extra maturation with floral tones to create a candied and rich Bourbon with much more depth and complexity than expressed at younger ages.

It’s worth mentioning that either the high-rye B mashbill or the floral Q yeast strain are capable of defining a Bourbon on their own. But when the two are combined to create OBSQ, the result is a very robust, spicy and floral Bourbon – no matter the age.

Again, OBSQ is most readily experienced in Four Roses Bourbon, but if you’re lucky, one day you may come across a bottle of Single Barrel OBSQ from a private barrel pull. Until then, pick up a bottle of Four Roses Bourbon and challenge your palate to spot the spicy floral contributions of this extraordinary recipe.

We hope you enjoyed learning a little more about the OBSQ recipe. Stay tuned for next month, when we take a deep dive into the nuances of flavor with another great recipe – OBSF. 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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