Event to Honor Master Distiller Jim Rutledge’s 50 Years in the Whiskey Industry

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The Bourbon Crusaders and Mint Julep Tours, in conjunction with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, are hosting a Charity Silent Auction and Celebration to honor Jim Rutledge for his 50 storied years in the whiskey industry.

Jim Rutledge has been intimately involved in the creation of quality bourbon since 1966. After starting in Research & Development for Seagram Company, Jim quickly rose through the ranks. In 2001 when Seagram sold the business to Japanese alcohol company Kirin, Jim stepped up and took on the greatest challenge of his professional career. Through Jim’s drive and commitment to Kentucky Bourbon, one of America’s great bourbon brands was brought back to American shelves after a 40 year absence: Four Roses.

It was Jim’s vision and insistence for quality that turned Four Roses from a bottom shelf mixer to one of America’s great premium bourbons. In 2001, Jim Rutledge was inducted into the inaugural class of the Kentucky Distillers’ Associations, Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame. He was given a “Lifetime Achievement Award” by Malt Advocate Magazine in 2007, and Whisky Magazine named him “Whisky Ambassador of the Year – American Whiskies” in 2008. Whisky Magazine also named Four Roses to its Icons of Whisky America Hall of Fame in 2012.

In 2015, Jim retired from Four Roses as one of the most decorated Master Distillers in American history. The bourbon world was thrilled when Jim announced the formation of the J.W. Rutledge Distillery in 2016, where he will soon be producing high quality bourbon and rye whiskeys in Kentucky.

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The Charity Silent Auction and Celebration will take place on Saturday, November 5, 2016, from 7:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M., at the new Mint Julep Tours Headquarters at 1631 Mellwood Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky. The celebration will continue at an After Party and Celebratory Toast at The Silver Dollar, 1761 Frankfort Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky starting at 9:30 P.M.

All net proceeds are going to support the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), a foundation near and dear to Jim Rutledge and his family. A portion of ticket prices are tax-deductible, and the CCFA will be providing receipts.

Wall Street Journal-bestselling author Fred Minnick will serve as the master of ceremonies for the main event. The event will include food from The Silver Dollar and sweets from renowned chef and Chef-in-Residence at the Woodford Reserve Distillery, Ouita Michel of Holly Hill Inn and Midway School Bakery, special limited whiskies for tasting, a rare whiskies silent auction, and a tribute to Jim Rutledge.

Featured Pours at the Event

Some of the whiskeys being poured at the event include (subject to change):

  • Four Roses 17 year-old Single Barrel (Selected by Jim Rutledge for Four Roses Gift Shop)
  • LeNell’s Red Hook Rye
  • Charbay Hop-Flavored Whiskey (73.5% ABV Bourbon Crusaders Single Barrel)
  • Willett Family Estate Single Barrel
  • Booker’s 25th Anniversary
  • Booker’s Rye
  • Four Roses 125th Anniversary 2013 Limited Edition Small Batch
  • Maker’s 46 (Kentucky Distillers’ Association Single Barrel)
  • Several Four Roses Private Barrel Selections (Bourbon Crusaders Single Barrels)
  • additional private selections from Wild Turkey, Heaven Hill Distilleries, and Brown-Forman

Silver Tickets are $150 and include entry starting at 7pm, food, sweets, 1⁄2-ounce samples of limited bourbons and American whiskeys, and a cash bar.

Gold Tickets (SOLD OUT) are $250 and include all of the above, plus early VIP entry starting at 6:30pm. and meet-and-greet with Jim Rutledge, half barrel stave signed by Jim Rutledge, additional Gold-Level limited whiskey samplings, a commemorative whiskey glass, the opportunity to leave Jim Rutledge a personal message in the event program, door-prize raffle tickets, and free entry to The Silver Dollar After Party.

To purchase tickets, please visit the Jim Rutledge 50th Anniversary Celebration web site here.

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