Four Roses is a pretty special place in Kentucky. For decades, it distilled bourbon in Kentucky to be exported outside of the United States only. That is to say, none of the bourbon made here was sold here.
Then along came Jim Rutledge, the current Master Distiller of Four Roses. It was because of his dedication to the brand that we are now able to buy this bourbon in the very state where it is made.
The distinctiveness of the Four Roses story doesn’t end there, however. This is one of the only bourbon distilleries that uses multiple yeast strains and mash bills to create ten separate and distinctive products. According to Four Roses’ website, “From time to time, a small number of exceptionally smooth and complex barrels from any one of the 10 recipes present themselves to our Master Distiller, who selects them to be bottled as either one of our Limited Edition Single Barrel Releases, or to be mingled together as one of our Limited Edition Small Batch Releases.”
Soon, approximately 5000 bottles of the Four Roses 2014 Limited Edition Single Barrel bourbon will be released for sale to the public in mid-June. It will be an 11 year old OESF, uncut and not chill-filtered, and will range in proof from 108.3 to 127.6. According to Rutledge, “This year’s Limited Edition Single Barrel is a tribute to the loyal following we are so fortunate to have . . .This bourbon went into the barrel and was put away at a time when Four Roses had just returned to the states and it’s remarkable to see how far we’ve come as a company since then.”
Remarkable indeed. Even though we are currently facing a bourbon shortage, the reason it hasn’t yet become a major problem is because of the actions of forward-thinking master distillers like Jim Rutledge over a decade ago. Without them, we might all be drinking flavored vodka.
Photos Courtesy of Four Roses' Website and Facebook Page