Legendary retired Four Roses master distiller Jim Rutledge emerges to start up a new distilleryApril 28th, 2016
Jim Rutledge, former master distiller of Four Roses, announced today his plan to build, “… a modern, highly efficient, environmentally friendly, and sustainable distillery near Louisville, Ky.” Jim retired from Four Roses in September
2015. According to the press release, a 30-day crowd funding campaign will commence in May to kick off the endeavor Jim, along with two friends and business associates, have initiated. Details are available on the J.W. Rutledge distillery website. The distillery’s website offers the opportunity to vote on the first JW Rutledge-labeled bourbon’s mashbill. Plans include distillation of, “very high quality” Kentucky straight bourbons, a wheated bourbon, and to have a straight rye whiskey aging within the first year of operation. A mid-size distillery that ultimately may include a pot still in order to expand into other types of beverage alcohols is planned according to the website.
The recipient of Whisky Advocate magazine’s 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award, Jim is in his 50th year in the distilled spirits business. His career began in research and development at Seagram’s Calvert distillery in Louisville, Ky. He worked in almost all areas of production management at the distillery. “He also worked 15 years in Seagram’s New York Corporate Headquarters, prior to being transferred back to his Kentucky home and Seagram’s Four Roses Distillery operations in 1992,” according to the press release. In 1995, Jim became the master distiller at Four Roses. He is recognized for the high-quality bourbons he produced at Four Roses and the role he played in returning Four Roses bourbon to the U.S. (it had been available only in international markets for four decades).
Welcome back to distilling, Jim!