A well-es­tab­lished

RSWLiving - - Cheers -

bour­bon brand you can’t go wrong with is Four Roses; this Ken­tucky dis­tillery is cel­e­brat­ing its 130th an­niver­sary. Four Roses Sin­gle Bar­rel is made from 10 dis­tinct bour­bon recipes, each with a unique fla­vor pro­file. When com­bined, a smooth spirit is cre­ated with aro­mas and fla­vors of cherry, and a fin­ish that leaves you crav­ing the next sip. Oak bar­rels play an im­por­tant role in fin­ish­ing the fla­vor pro­files of bour­bons. Bar­rels also have a tremen­dous in­flu­ence on wines. Imag­ine those al­ready sea­soned from whiskey. More wine­mak­ers are buy­ing these bar­rels, and it’s more than a mar­ket­ing ploy; you can taste the sub­tle in­flu­ences of whiskey-soaked wood in the wine. Mask­ing it­self as bour­bon with la­bel and bot­tle shape is Cooper & Thief Red Wine Blend ($26). It smells like the hol­i­days and looks like them, too, with a deep gar­net color. A weighty blend of mostly mer­lot and syrah, there are smaller amounts of zin­fan­del, petite sirah, and caber­net sauvi­gnon to pro­duce a sweet, jammy fin­ish. The win­ery also makes a bar­rel-aged caber­net and sauvi­gnon blanc. The 2016 Ex­i­tus Red Wine ($25.99) is a blend of zin­fan­del, pe­tit ver­dot, caber­net sauvi­gnon, petite sirah and mer­lot, aged for three months in Ken­tucky bour­bon bar­rels. It smells like cherry and bak­ing spice, with smoky caramel notes on the palate. Ex­i­tus comes in a clear, bour­bon-style bot­tle and la­bel, topped with a tra­di­tional spir­itsstyle rib­bon seal.

Gina Birch is a reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tor, a lover of good food and drink, and a well-known me­dia per­son­al­ity in South­west Florida.

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