Four Gate The Kelvin Collaboration II Lives Up to the Hype!

Review by Mark Pringle |

89 Highly Rated Bourbon General Review of Four Gate The Kelvin Collaboration II, Batch 6

Wow, Four Gate The Kelvin Collaboration II lives up to the hype on the first pour; starting off with a char heavy and sweet decadent caramel richness. It tastes like it smells. Wow! I’m always nervous when I purchase a premium whiskey because I rarely do it and I hate wasting money. I hit the jackpot this time with this outstanding whiskey. It is easily one of the best whiskeys I’ve ever had…and I’ve always had trouble with Cognac casks; apparently not anymore. Wow! Let's get to the review.

Four Gate the Kelvin Collaboration ii

Rating: 89


Ratings breakdown based on a 100 point scale.

  • 90-100 Exceptional
  • 80-89 Very Good
  • 70-79 Average
  • 60-69 Below Average
  • 50-60 Drain Pour

Detailed Tasting Notes

Nose Review - Rating: 92

The Kelvin Collaboration II is one of those bourbons where the nose directly reflects the palate. As soon as I opened the bottle of rich, dark, char-driven aroma permeated the room. I can’t remember too many bottles that I have opened that had such an assertive and pleasant initial smell. On the nose, I get caramel and dark but sweet fruit. Cherry and molasses are present as well. Then there is a very mild undercurrent of cinnamon spice.

Palate Review - Rating: 91

All the characteristics on the nose are on the palate as well, but much more so. From the very first sip, the char was evident. The combination of the char and the caramel sweetness was unique. I can only think of maybe three or four bottles that I’ve had that have this combination but not at this level. The palate is vibrant and caramel heavy. Unlike the nose, which stays consistent throughout the tasting, the palate evolves.

After you get past the 1st ounce or so of the tasting, the Cognac begins to unveil itself and overtakes the caramel. However, the caramel is still there. As the char and cognac intensity starts to take over, I sense some black pepper hiding below the surface. Some of the sweetness goes away, which was a little disappointing for my personal preference. However, it returned towards the end of the tasting. Throughout, the flavors are intense. I don’t taste much rum in this Cognac, and rum cask finished bourbon.

The palate gets more aggressive the more you drink it. That aggressiveness gets sharper and sharper. My only complaint is that I wish this were a tad smoother as you get into the pour.

Finish Review - Rating: 85

There seems to be more Cognac on the finish of The Kelvin Collaboration II, which provides a nice balance with the sweetness on the front of a tasting. The finish was of moderate length, but full of flavor.

Uniqueness Review - Rating: 92

Four Gate, The Kelvin Collaboration II, is a flavor bomb that has few peers regarding its robustness of flavor and combination of notes. This 12-year-old high rye Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is beautifully finished in Cognac and Rum Casks.

Value Review - Rating: 79

I don't know how to address this value rating anymore regarding premium prices whiskeys. Price doesn't equate to taste the difference. The better question is, how unique is it and if it is not unique, are the comparables a similar price.

Author: Mark Pringle
Smell IS taste. I am just a guy who has been hit with the bourbon bug and who has come to the conclusion that life is too short to drink average tasting bourbons. Go Gators!
My External Website (External Website Opens in New Window)


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