It’s hard to believe that Four Roses Bourbon, the best selling bourbon in the United States in the 30s, 40s and 50s once exited the U.S. market. After a change in ownership in 2002 the 40 year exile of Four Roses bourbon finally ended with a decision by new owner Kirin Brewery Company, Ltd of Japan to bring Four Roses back to its home market. Two years later the first Four Roses single barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey made a return. And the rest as they say is history.
Since 2004 Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky has been making headlines and winning bourbon competitions ever since. As bourbon has grown in the U.S. and around the world the Four Roses Distillery has grown as well. In April 2019 Four Roses completed a $55 million expansion that doubled production to help meet market demand and now they are on the move again.
Four Roses Distillery Tourism Up 43% – Expansion to Double Visitor Capacity
Four Roses Distillery Master Distiller Brent Elliot said, “At Four Roses we’ve seen a 43% increase in tourism over the last five years.” With that steady increase in mind Four Roses celebrated a groundbreaking and announced an expansion of the visitor center to accommodate more fans and enhancements to the overall guest experience.
For the design of the 14,446-square-foot visitor center, Four Roses looked to its history. In 1910, Louisville-based architecture firm Joseph & Joseph designed the distillery in the Spanish mission-style that is unique to Four Roses and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, that firm – now Joseph & Joseph + Bravura – is designing the distillery’s latest expansion in that same style.
The interior space will have an accompanying 3,850-square-foot outdoor covered patio and cocktail area. The expansion will allow Four Roses the potential to double visitor capacity.
“We are proud to take this next step in our history and provide an enhanced experience to our visitors, while maintaining our commitment to producing top-quality Bourbon,” said Four Roses Guest Experience Manager Kelli Wright. “Our new visitor experience will expand our hospitality and give our guests even more opportunities to learn about our brand, our history and heritage, in some very welcoming and comfortable new spaces.”
The visitor center project is expected to break ground in early 2021 and be completed by the end of the year. The expansion and guest experience enhancements will include the following.
- New state-of-the-art bar featuring cocktails and tastings of Four Roses’ current Bourbon portfolio and exclusive product tastings
- Four new seated tasting rooms offering a space for enhanced educational experiences
- Updated retail gift shop with Four Roses’ Bourbon products and other branded merchandise for sale
- Outdoor patio space where visitors can enjoy the beautiful distillery grounds
The visitor center will also offer interactive, educational experiences dedicated to the rich 132-year history of the Four Roses brand, including an interactive display showcasing archived Four Roses bottlings, vintage advertisements and other memorabilia.
The award-winning bourbon company experienced exponential growth since its return to the United States in 2002. An official stop along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, the Four Roses visitor center first opened in 2004 and was remodeled in 2012. Tour experiences at the Four Roses Warehouse & Bottling Facility located in Cox’s Creek, Ky. began in 2004 and the visitor center opened in 2014.
Jim Rutledge Talks about the 40 Year Exile of Four Roses Bourbon [Video]
Paul Jones: Founder Four Roses Bourbon, Born September 6, 1840 – Died February 24, 1895
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