J. W. Rutledge Distillery is the future of bourbon
There’s been plenty of speculation as to what former Four Roses messiah Jim Rutledge would do with his seemingly unwelcome retirement. Now we have our answer. He’ll be launching J. W. Rutledge Distillery!
While Four Roses is in excellent hands with Master Distiller Brent Elliott, it’s heading in a direction that didn’t sit well with Jim Rutledge. The owners, Kirin, understandably wanted to start cranking out flavored whiskey to capitalize on the growing demand. Just because everyone’s doin’ it though doesn’t mean everyone wants to. Such is supposedly the case for Rutledge who has been very opposed to the idea.
Rutledge says the focus will be high quality Kentucky Straight Bourbon and a Straight Rye whiskey. And much like Four Roses (and much different than most distilleries) there will be multiple J. W. Rutledge Distillery mashbills and multiple yeast strains.
Watch for the J. W. Rutledge Distillery IndieGoGo campaign to launch next week. I don’t know what bank or investor wouldn’t loan Rutledge and co. the money needed to start a distillery given that With whiskey selling faster than it can be produced and the Jim Rutledge name guarantees sales. That said, why take out a loan when crowdfunding lets people give you money nearly for free and builds a loyal consumer base before you even produce a product.
I’ll anxiously await the first bottles of J. W. Rutledge Distillery to roll off the line in a few years. I wouldn’t be surprised in the meantime if Rutledge went elsewhere to select a few barrels – something he does incredibly well – and released a NDP spirit.