Even going into his retirement Four Roses Master Distiller Jim Rutledge did not want any big fanfare. When he formally retires Monday morning it will mark his 49+ year legacy with Four Roses. But that really doesn't begin to say it all.
In 2002 Jim convinced Four Roses new Japanese Owners, Kirin to bring back to the USA the great International award winning Bourbon they had been making in Lawrenceburg KY but exporting overseas for years.. Previous to 2002 Four Roses could only be described as rotgut or just plain horrible, under Seagrams leadership because Seagrams thought that blended whiskey from their other facilities was what US taste wanted. Fortunately Kirin agreed to bring Lawrenceburg, KY back home as Jim had pleaded.
This was a pivotal turn for Four Roses Bourbon. The timing couldn't had been better. It put Four Roses back on the map in this country, just in time for the huge Bourbon surge in popularity. It is also now considered one of the top premium brands in the US. Just imagine if Jim was unsuccessful and Kirin hadn't changed course.
This move and others Jim made over the years will live in Jim's and Four Roses history for generations to enjoy. Yet tonight he only wanted a simple group of friends and co-workers as Bourbon Bistro put on a tribute to this great man we all love and admire...Jim Rutledge.
The only thing I ask is that I be given credit as the photographer in any repost or commercial purpose.
Categories & Keywords
Keywords:Bourbon, Four Roses, Jim Rutledge, KY, Kentucky, Kirin, Master Distiller, Seagrams, Zegart