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  • Writer's pictureColumbus Barrel Co.

Distillery Highlight: Four Roses

We at Columbus Barrel Co are fortunate to have relationships with many distilleries, and I’m excited to introduce our customers to them in greater detail now that we have a place to do so with The Mash blog. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for these partnerships. The high-quality bourbon aged in their barrels and then distributed to us is directly reflected in the intense bourbon smell and unique charring lines found on the barrel staves we use in many of our products. With more people than ever making their way to Kentucky to experience “The Bourbon Trail,” we have to tell you about the amazing $55 million expansion project that was just completed this year at Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg, KY. It’s a company near and dear to our hearts because it was our first Distillery partnership, after being fortunate the sit down for a bourbon tasting with former Four Roses Master Distiller, Jim Rutledge.

Four Roses is one of – if not THE – most well recognized name in the bourbon industry, but did you know that it took a long hiatus from being sold in the United States? Although the company traces production and sales back to the 1860’s, and even had an office on the historic “Whiskey Row” in Louisville, KY, Four Roses was only sold in European and Asian markets from the 1950’s until the early 2000’s. Actually, it’s still the leading bourbon brand in Europe and Japan today. We have legendary Master Distiller Jim Rutledge to thank for bringing Four Roses back to the US in 2002 after the Kirin Brewery Company acquired the Four Roses Bourbon brand trademark and production facilities. Bless you, Jimmy! Four Roses is the only Bourbon distillery that combines two mashbills with five proprietary yeast strains to distill and age 10 distinct Bourbon recipes, each with its own unique flavor profile.

The recent expansion project invested $34 million alone into just the Distillery, allowing bourbon production to increase by 130,000 barrel a year. To celebrate the doubling of production and exponential growth Four Roses has experienced since returning to the US, they launched “Small Batch Select” – Non-chill filtered, bottled at a 104 proof, and the first permanent addition to the Distillery’s Bourbon lineup in 12 years. Four Roses Master Distiller Brent Elliott says, “Small Batch Select includes six of our recipes and offers truly unique flavor characteristics from our current lineup of Bourbons. It’s all new, but at the same time, it’s an extension of what we do, and what we do well.”

Next time you find yourself road-tripping to Kentucky for the Bourbon Trail, be sure to stop by Four Roses Distillery for a tour. Not only are you sure to learn about the history of bourbon, but you may be lucky enough to purchase one of the 2019 Limited Edition Small Batch featuring a 21-year-old Bourbon from the distillery’s OBSV recipe, a 15-year-old OESK, 15-year-old OESV and 11-year-old OESV, all perfect for tucking alongside one of our unique gifts.

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