I’m signed up for two newsletters from LeNell’s, a liquor store in Red Hook that seems to specialize in true small-batch bourbons and other hard to find desirables of the cocktail-oriented community. In the last newsletter on the cocktail of the month, LeNell wrote:
A few bourbons exist that are known as “high ryes” having a higher percentage of rye than normal. Four Roses, Bulleit, Basil Hayden’s, and Old Grand Dad are a few high rye bourbons. Four Roses Single Barrel is finally in the New York market, and at this time, is the only market outside of where you can get this whiskey. The proof of 100 makes me happy. The legend of the name makes for a nice story to go along with the cocktail, too.
Needing no more encouragement and given my appreciation of Jim Beam’s rye, I decided to go out and get myself a little of the Old Gran Dad. I’m a big fan of the rye taste and it’s definitely my preferred (and incidentally the original) whiskey for making Manhattans, but I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on some of this Four Roses business.
[Update: See the comment below for a correction regarding the availability of Four Roses outside Kentucky and New York.]