Jim Rutledge and his team at Four Roses have done it again. After their Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon was named “American Whiskey of the Year” by Whisky Advocate Magazine, they turned around and had their 2013 Limited Edition 125th Anniversary Small Batch Bourbon named “Editor’s Choice” by the same publication.
I had an opportunity to meet Jim Rutledge during Derby week 2013. He explained to me that Four Roses is a unique distillery because it uses five different yeast strains and two different mash bills in different combinations to create each of their ten different bourbon recipes. So their Single Barrel, for example, is not just their regular Four Roses bourbon taken from one barrel. It’s completely different bourbon. I also learned that if you really love the sweet oaky flavor of bourbon, the 10-18 year range is preferable. Once you get into the older bourbons the oaky notes dissipate, which makes older bourbons more appealing to Scotch drinkers.
I learned more about bourbon from Jim Rutledge in ten minutes than I had from years of my own research. He is one of the nicest people you will ever meet, and his passion for his work comes through in his love for educating the public about bourbon. It’s no wonder his work has achieved such high praise.
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