Rolling Standard Midwestern 4-Grain Whiskey Review & Tasting Notes


This review was originally published on July 3, 2019 at Bourbon & Banter.


DISTILLER: Union Horse Distilling

  • MASH BILL: 4-Grain (Corn, Wheat, Rye, Malted Barley)
  • AGE: Each of the whiskies used is 5 y/o, and then upon blending, they’re aged another 18 months in the barrels they originated from to properly marry the flavors together.
  • YEAR: 2018
  • PROOF: 92 Proof (46% ABV)
  • MSRP: $40.00


NOSE: Molasses | Oak | Honeysuckle | Vanilla


TASTE: Sweet Corn | Maple | Nuts | Stone-Fruit


FINISH: A medium-length finish alternates between vanilla, dry oak, and rye spice.


SHARE WITH: Folks who can appreciate an unusual whiskey and treat it as an adventure.


WORTH THE PRICE: $40 for a 750ml isn’t a barrier for most folks. Rolling Standard isn’t your average, run-of-the-mill American whiskey and, despite the grain content, is an atypical four-grain.


BOTTLE, BAR, OR BUST: I had an enjoyable experience with my sample and wish I had more to explore again. This isn’t a whiskey for beginners, but it gets a Bottle rating from me.


OVERALL: Rolling Standard Midwestern Four-Grain Whiskey is a very interesting approach to creating a four-grain. Instead of using all four grains together in the same mash, Union Horse Distilling distilled a wheated Bourbon, distilled an American Single Malt, aged both for five years, and blended them together. After the blending process, the whiskey is returned to those barrels for another 18 months before being blended again as a small batch. It is non-chill filtered and bottled at 92°.


My first thought was this was just a fancy marketing gimmick. But, after asking more in-depth questions, it went from that first thought to my being impressed by the ingenuity of the whole process. The big question, of course, is how does it taste? Time to #DrinkCurious and find out.


In my Bourbon & Banter branded Glencairn glass, the appearance is a golden amber. It left a thin rim that produced slow, thick legs that dropped back into the pool, suggesting a fuller-bodied whiskey.


The first aromas were big on molasses and oak. As I lifted the glass closer to my nostrils, honeysuckle came out, and just under my nose was pure vanilla. Inhaling through my lips brought a flavor of thick maple syrup.


The thicker mouthfeel coated my palate immediately met with a mix of sweet corn and maple. Underneath that was a nutty flavor that dissipated and led to a gentle stone-fruit quality. All of that ended with an engaging, medium-length vanilla and dry oak finish mingled with slightly warming spice.


Honestly, I believe it takes a slightly sophisticated palate to appreciate the nuances of everything going on with Rolling Standard, especially the finish. This didn’t fit the mold of a typical four-grain, likely due to Union Horse’s creative approach. The need for that more experienced palate would normally steer this into the Bar recommendation. Still, as nothing could be considered “offensive” to newer whiskey fans, I changed lanes. It earns my Bottle recommendation, especially considering the reasonable barrier of entry.





My Simple, Easy-to-Understand Rating System

  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It


Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you to do so responsibly.