N: Warm and woody, with dark fruits - plums, black cherries - jostling for attention against creamy vanilla aroma while deep wood notes provide a bed. Rye spicing is evident and slightly aggressive but not disagreeably so.
P: Dry on the palate initially with plenty of wood; giving way to cinnamon and black cherries with a light bit of vanilla, slight toffee and faint maple syrup. Rye picks up right behind this, giving a nice kick and slightly floral note. Light orange balances the wood which starts to come to the forefront again.
F: Finishes dry with black pepper and oak, a little cinnamon and black cherries; rye spicies and a hint of nutmeg.
Interestingly, the Four Roses creaminess is better developed at this age than at the usual 10y. The barrel notes have a strong influence and are powerful, but it's not tired or overoaked. Lively and flavorful, but deliberate with age. If Four Roses released this wide it could be a legitimate contender to the Pappy throne.
The nose has a much more subtle rye influence than the 16 year old, but it's still there and grows as you continue to nose it. The first thing I get on the palate is a nice rye spice followed by more distinctive baking spices with clove and allspice, along with some chocolate; these spices fade nicely into the finish. This is a strong, spicy number.