Monday, October 30, 2023

Oliva Serie V Lancero and Four Roses Small Batch

This Four Roses Small Batch Select Bourbon has been on my shelf since February 2020, with only a few pours taken. It had floated to the back row and simply been overlooked. Sadly, I hardly remembered much about it so I grabbed the bottle recently to enjoy on a warmish evening. 

Small Batch Select is a regular production release, consisting of a blend of six of Four Roses' ten mash bills. It is bottled at 104 proof. The aroma has a touch of alcohol, but sweet, dark fruit and oak predominate. On the palate the spice notes kick things off. That initial kick is joined by dark fruit, and vanilla sweetness. It's flavorful and well-balanced. The finish lingers with spice and candied fruit notes and the mouthfeel is creamy and clean. 

I paired the flavorful bourbon with an Oliva Serie V Lancero. I've been enjoying more lanceros of late. I find the slender sticks typically have flavor profiles similar to their counterparts in different vitolas. However, those flavors are often intensified or concentrated somewhat. Be that from the higher wrapper-to-filler ratio, or the focused smoke coming out of the cigar could be debatable. They do take a more skilled roller to create and I find they are generally well-constructed and perform well. 

The 7 x 38 stick has a Habano Sun Grown wrapper with Nicaraguan tobaccos for the binder and fillers, including Jalapa Valley Ligero. The usual Serie V flavors of cocoa, coffee, roasted nuts, and cedar are present, all seemingly slightly enhanced in the elegant cigar.

This pairing was especially pleasurable. The Four Rose Small Batch Select bottle likely won't be ignored in the coming weeks. Fortunately it seems to be readily available  in my area. 


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