Thursday, April 28, 2016
Here Is the Scoop on Jim Rutledge from the Man Himself
Rumors about Jim Rutledge have been burning up the interwebs for the last few days. Today, he revealed his plans. To get right to the heart of the matter, click on "Jim's Message" and watch the video.
Just in case you don't know, which is hard to imagine, Rutledge was Master Distiller at Four Roses Distillery for nearly 21 years. He has been in the distilling business for 50 years, most of that with Seagrams and its successors, until Four Roses was sold to Kirin in 2002. He started out at Seagram’s Calvert Distillery in Shively (a Louisville suburb).
Rutledge was inducted into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame in the inaugural class (2001) along with Parker Beam, Lincoln Henderson, Elmer T. Lee, Fred McMillen, Booker Noe, Jimmy Russell, and Bill Samuels, Jr. He served on the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Distillers Association for 13 years and on the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Bourbon Festival for 9 years – the last 7 years as Chairman.
Without his advocacy, it is possible Four Roses Bourbon would never have been re-introduced into the U.S. market. His initial argument was that they should at least sell it in Kentucky so the people who made it could buy it. He then led the brand's re-launch into all 50 states, in the process visiting most of them as brand ambassador.
His partners in the new venture are a lawyer and a finance guy, both of whom are industry veterans.
They plan to raise some of their capital through crowdfunding, but that site won't go live until next week.