I have blogged about Four Roses bourbon a good bit. Last April, my buddy Mike Bonin sent me a private selection single Barrel from Hi Time Wine Cellar in California, which was an Oesq recipe. I took the bottle to Hudson Funk to convince him to order a barrel. He tried it, he liked it, Hokus ordered a barrel, and now it is here!
The Hokus Pokus Private Selection is a ten year old OESK, which is the low rye spicy vanilla yeast bourbon. It’s a hefty 118 proof (hefty for Four Roses anyway). K is the most sought after yeast, and OESK is one of the most sought after recipes. OESK is typically a part of Four Roses’s limited edition small batches and was a special Single Barrel bottling selected last year by master distiller Jim Rutledge for the distillery store. So Hokus Pokus did well in the selection.
Appearance is a dark amber; swirling leaves huge thick legs that almost make a sheen more than discrete legs. Nose is rich with Caribbean vanilla, dark caro syrup, and baking spices. Lovely. On the palate, vanilla, light caramel, a hint of dark chocolate, and cinnamon, with a lovely slight oak overtone, like an underlying bassoon in an orchestra. It’s not very pronounced but you would definitely notice it if it wasn’t there. Finish lingers with vanilla and cinnamon. And lingers.
For those that don’t get the whole bassoon analogy, the other way to look at it is that this Four Roses has more…cowbell.
Excellent. This bottling is a prime example of how good Four Roses can be. This just has a lot of character. I compared it to the 8 year old OESQ I have and, yes, the OESK is better.
Most Four Roses bottlings like this will set you back $90. Hokus is charging $65, which is a very nice price for what this is. All my Louisiana readers definitely need to hit up Hokus in Alexandria, Lake Charles, or Baton Rouge Prairieville to get one or two of the 162 bottles out there. Hokus hit this one through the uprights like LSU did with Auburn last Saturday.