Thursday, July 02, 2015


Four Roses Distillery in Kentucky, has announced that Master Distiller Jim Rutledge will be retiring on September 1st.

Jim has worked in the industry for 49 years and has been the Master Distiller at Four Roses since 1995. His passion, enthusiasm and loyalty for Four Roses was instrumental in returning Four Roses Bourbon to the USA after spending more than 40 years exclusively in European and Japanese markets.

Jim Rutledge - Master Distiller at Four Roses for 20 Years

In 2001, Rutledge was inducted into the inaugural class of the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame. He was given a “Lifetime Achievement Award” by Malt Advocate Magazine in 2007 and in 2008 Whisky Magazine named him “Whisky Ambassador of the Year – American Whiskies.” In 2012, Whisky Magazine also named Jim to its Icons of Whisky Hall of Fame, for global whiskies.

When asked about retirement and what may lie ahead, Rutledge stated that his passion for the Bourbon industry and especially Four Roses, will never diminish and he plans to stay involved in the industry he loves in so much – perhaps including various roles as Four Roses.

Commenting on the news, Satoko Yoshida, Four Roses Distillery’s CEO, said: “The entire Four Roses team of employees wish to sincerely thank Jim for his many years of passion for the Bourbon he made for so many years and also the dedication and loyalty he exhibited throughout his career for the employees of Four Roses. He will be missed as the ‘face of Four Roses Bourbon,’ but we now wish him much happiness and success in his retirement years. I am also excited to have the opportunity to work with Brent in his new capacity as Master Distiller.”

Current quality director Brent Elliott, Four Roses current Quality Director, will take over from Jim Rutledge as Master Distiller when he steps down on September 1st.

Source: Four Roses Distillery