Four Roses Podcasts

178 – Remembering Four Roses and The Rebirth of Cream of Kentucky with Jim Rutledge

Jim Rutledge is a household name in bourbon because his wealth of knowledge is unsurpassed and famed history of reviving Four Roses. We talk about those days and ask him why he really left something so great. But, there’s a new chapter to write! This week his TTB label for a revival of an old brand, Cream of Kentucky, was approved. We talk about this bourbon, where it’s headed, as well as the entire industry on this new exclusive episode.

Show Notes:
  • This weeks Above the Char with Fred Minnick talks about the importance of social media and online forums by whiskey geeks.
  • Episode 011 and 012 with Jim Rutledge
  • Rewind us back to your retirement because it seemed like you didn’t want to stay retired for long
  • What’s your involvement at Castle and key?
  • Whatever happened to that rye?
  • Did you see a different passion at Castle & Key while it was building vs Four Roses that was a well-oiled engine?
  • What sort of corners were being cut at Seagrams at the time when you were trying to turn it around?
  • Talk about rebuilding the brand of Four Roses through acquisition, fighting, and more.
  • Be straight. Why did you leave Four Roses?
  • Did you stand up a lot to upper management?
  • It sounded like Four Roses was family. So why leave?
  • Is it hard to work at a distillery where you’re only filling 3 barrels a day?
  • Did you hire Brent Elliott?
  • What was your relationship with Brent while at Four Roses?
  • How does one go about becoming your #2?
  • Talk about funding and how to raise money to build a distillery?
  • Talk about Cream of Kentucky and the history of the label
  • Where is the growth going to be for this particular label?
  • Where do you see the American whiskey category trending over the next 5 years?


/ Four Roses, Master Distiller, podcast

174 – Expert Talk On Four Roses Private Barrels and Recipes with Brett Atlas and Travis Hill

I don’t know a bourbon enthusiast that doesn’t love Four Roses. But this one goes into the depths of expert level opinions behind mash bills, hype behind certain runs, single barrels, mutated yeast, and more. Brett Atlas and Travis Hill join the show to talk about their experiences with Four Roses, their 10 recipes, and how they blend and create their own Limited Edition Small Batches.

Show Notes:
  • Farewall to Dave Pickerell. Enjoy our podcast with him
  • The Lounge with Will Chambers –
  • This week’s Above The Char with Fred Minnick reflects on the past of Dave Pickerell.
  • Was it cask strength that got you hooked into Four Roses or was it a standard offering?
  • Give a break down of how to decipher the recipe for something like OBSQ vs OESF
  • Do you think the tasting notes on the back of the hang tag is inaccurate?
  • How often have you tried all recipes side by side?
  • Do you have a favorite 4R recipe and why?
  • Have you ever had a bad barrel?
  • Does the hype factor just play into a particular recipe?
  • How come everyone thinks OESK is the best?
  • What do you see as the typical recipe selections at a private barrel pick?
  • Have you ever walked out and never picked a barrel?
  • What do you think is a misconception of larger stores and their selections?
  • Do you think picks done by Brent Elliott are better or worse than ones done by a store?
  • Some words for Brent
  • How do you go about trying all 10 recipes?
  • Talk about trying to create your own Limited Edition Small Batches
  • Why do you think Four Roses doesn’t put out barrel proof Small Batch?
  • The ages of barrel picks have been exponentially decreasing. Can they still keep this pace?
  • Would you lose your mind over a Four Roses pick?
  • Do you think the tags on the bottle showing the rack and details of the barrel are for the distillery to trace back anything for quality purposes or is it for the bourbon geeks?
  • Are higher aged Four Roses that are 17 or 23 years old any good?
  • Can you talk about the mutated yeast that contributed to the 125th anniversary bottle in 2013?
  • Has the ME warehouse fad passed?


/ Ecosystem, Four Roses, podcast

102 – Creating Al Young’s 50th Anniversary Bourbon for Four Roses at WhiskyLive with Brent Elliott, Master Distiller

Brent Elliott, Master Distiller at Four Roses, takes us through the creation of Al Young’s 50th Anniversary bourbon at an exclusive session during WhiskyLive.

Show Notes:

  • Listen as Brent talks about every individual bourbon and how it blended all together to make Al’s commemorative bourbon.
  • Listen to Al Young’s podcast and all the past Four Roses episodes at
  • Special Thanks to WhiskyLiveUSA for letting us share this information with you during WhiskyLive Louisville. Show your support for WhiskyLiveUSA by liking their page and attending one of their events.


087 – From Never Owning a Bottle to Being The Master Distiller at Four Roses with Brent Elliott

Brent Elliott, Master Distiller at Four Roses, talks about how he never owned a bottle of Four Roses until he interviewed and how the conversation went when he was tapped to be the new Master Distiller.

Show Notes:

  • Talk about growing up in Owensboro, your history and education
  • What made you want to get into bourbon?
  • Were you a Four Roses bourbon fan when you applied to work here?
  • Was Four Roses the first place you looked at working?
  • How long have you been working at Four Roses?
  • Talk a little bit about working with Jim Rutledge under his tutelage.
  • So talk about that phone call, when it’s usually depicted in the movies as being called up to the CEOs office on the 33rd floor to get that big promotion
  • Why is there not a rye whiskey offered by Four Roses?
  • What about the rage of barrel finishes or cinnamon whiskey?
  • From Kevin Ragland on Facebook – How was the process for selecting 2016 LE went since it was the first time you would have done it without Jim.
  • Why did you come out and call it Elliott’s Select instead of just the normal 2016 Limited Edition Single Barrel?
  • From Travis Roberts on Facebook – Will FR continue their barrel selections in the future and if so, will they eventually be able to offer barrels aged 10+ years again to consumers?
  • Talk about life outside of bourbon
/ Four Roses, Master Distiller, podcast

081 – Four Roses Continues Expansion with Ryan Ashley, COO and Director of Distillery Operations

Ryan Ashley, COO and Director of Distillery Operations, talks about how his history of beer brewing led him to distillation, the Four Roses brand, distillery expansion, and even hints at a possible Four Roses Rye.

Show Notes:

  • Today’s Guest co-host is Linden Ferguson
  • Talk about your past. Where did you grow up and your education, family influence, all that
  • You’ve been known to be a big beer guy.
  • What got you into bourbon?
  • Talk about your job for a few minutes and your responsibilities
  • So before we get into it, I think this is a good time to re-introduce Four Roses to people. So talk about the uniqueness of four roses with the two yeast strains, 10 recipes, warehouses, etc
  • This big news is that Four Roses is investing $55 Million into expanding operations. And we have all been in remodeling projects so we know that you need to budget 15%, so we’ll say 63million. talk about that
  • From Michael Leeper on Facebook, What kind of issues do you struggle with as you scale up distillation?, “How do you ensure raw ingredients are available to meet your need (from grain, to glass, to packaging and ultimately labor)”, “Is there a limit to how big you can grow within the Bourbon region?”
  • Talk about working with Brent Elliott
  • Are you a stout guy or hops guy?
/ Four Roses, podcast

012- Reviving Four Roses with Jim Rutledge, Master Distiller Four Roses (Part 1)

Jim Rutledge, Master Distiller at Four Roses, joins us for Part 2 of this 2-Part podcast and discusses his travels, limited edition releases, one floor warehouses, and how he’s shaping their future.

Show Notes:

  • What experiences stand out from your travels?
  • Talk about your super premium releases such as the Single Barrel and Small Batch Limited Editions
  • What goes into the process of selecting the premium limited edition barrels over regular bottling barrels?
  • Do you look at limited editions as a form of experimentation?
  • Talk a bit about the single barrel bottle labels providing the consumer information for warehouse locations and recipe used
  • Have you selected the barrels for 2015 limited edition releases?
  • Four Roses has one floor warehouses, is that done to minimize variables of temperature fluctuations?
  • Why wouldn’t you create 10 different brands from 10 different recipes?
/ Four Roses, Master Distiller, podcast

011 – Reviving Four Roses with Jim Rutledge, Master Distiller Four Roses (Part 1)

Jim Rutledge, Master Distiller at Four Roses, joins us for Part 1 of this 2-Part podcast and talks about his education, job history, his love for bowling, and how he brought Four Roses straight bourbon back to the US.

Show Notes:

  • What was your first experience with bourbon?
  • What was your journey from different roles with Seagrams and your path into Four Roses?
  • Who gave you the opportunity to get back into distillery operations?
  • Blended Whiskey by Seagrams were top shelf at one time
  • What impact did Kirin have on Four Roses since it was primarily an export only?
  • How has the Four Roses brand grown since it’s been back in the US?
  • What are you most excited for with the future of Four Roses?
  • How are you planning for Four Roses future?

003 – The Rich History of Four Roses with Al Young, Brand Ambassador


Al Young, Brand Ambassador of Four Roses, talks about the rich history of the brand and his story

Show Notes:

  • What’s your story of how you got into the bourbon industry?
  • What are some of your daily or weekly duties as a “Brand Ambassador”?
  • Tell everyone about Four Roses: The Return of a Whiskey Legend
  • What was the book writing process like? How long?
  • Who was Paul Jones Jr and how did the name “Four Roses” come about?
  • Where was Four Roses during prohibition?
  • What role did Seagram’s play in Four Roses?
  • What are your favorite vintage advertising pieces?
/ Author, Four Roses, Uncategorized