Paul Jones Jr. was the founder of the Four Roses Bourbon and it was first accredited in 1884 when he relocated his thriving business to Louisville, Kentucky on Main Street to what was known as Whiskey Row. Four years after this move in 1888 he trademarked the Four Roses name and dated sales back to 1860!
In 1922 Paul Jones Company acquired the Frankfort Distilling company, and production continued here. It remained with them until 1943 when Seagram purchased them. Four Roses was considered the most popular Bourbon in America in the 30's, 40's, and 50's, however Seagram made the bold decision to discontinue sales here and focus more on the European and Asian markets where it soon became the most popular Bourbons too.
Jim Rutledge joined the Four Roses team in 1966 who would eventually become the Four Roses master distiller. He started as part of the Research and Development team but in 1975 he was transferred to the Headquarters in New York and remained here until 1992, when Jim finally got his wish to return to Kentucky, where eventually in 1995 he replaced Ova Haney as Four Roses master distiller.
Jim remained as the master distiller for 20 years where he worked tirelessly to get the Four Roses back on the shelves in the American market, a dream which would finally become reality in 2002 when Kirin Brewing Company acquired the Four Roses trademark and facilities and began to sell in America again, which soon lead to them being one of the most established Bourbons in this market. In 2015 Jim Rutledge retired as master distiller and passed this on to Brent Elliott.