There were hundreds of whiskey brands around in the late 1800s but only a handful survived Prohibition. One of those six brands was founded in 1888 by Paul Jones, Jr. That brand he started 129 years ago is what we know today as Four Roses Bourbon. We know a lot of that history thanks to the archival efforts of Four Roses Senior Brand Ambassador and company historian, Al Young. Al himself hasn’t been around the entire 100+ years but he’s close.
Al Young Celebrating 50 Years in the Whiskey Business
Four Roses Distillery is recognizing Al Young’s 50 years in the whiskey business this June with the release of a special 2017 Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Small Batch Bourbon in Young’s honor.
Al Young has served in a variety of roles at Four Roses for the past 50 years. In 1990, he became Distillery Manager and in 2007 was named Four Roses Brand Ambassador, a role that has him crossing the country sharing the story of Four Roses and its Bourbon. As the brands historian he’s researched archives, distillery records, news accounts, photos and artifacts in order to write the coffee-table book Four Roses: The Return of a Whiskey Legend, published in 2010. Al Young was inducted into the Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame in 2015 and is also a member of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame.
“After 50 wonderful years with Four Roses, I am honored to be recognized with my own bottling of the Bourbon that I love so dearly,” said Al Young. “It is surreal seeing how the brand has grown during my years here and I am proud to have played even a small part in its continued success.”
Stay Informed: Sign up here for the Distillery Trail free email newsletter and be the first to get all the latest news, trends, job listings and events in your inbox.
Four Roses Small Batch 2017 Limited Edition Barrel Strength 50th Anniversary Edition
Four Roses Master Distiller Brent Elliott and Al Young worked hand-in-hand to select four of Four Roses’ 10 unique Bourbon recipes to create the Small Batch Bourbon.
The recipes, each with different Four Roses’ flavor characteristics, include;
- 5 percent of a 23-year-old OBSV (featuring a delicate fruitiness, with a hint of spice and creamy vanilla and caramel)
- 25 percent 15-year-old OBSK (full-bodied, light spice, caramel)
- 50 percent 13-year-old OESV (light, creamy, fruity)
- 20 percent 12-year-old OBSF (herbal, full-bodied)
How to Read a Four Roses Single Barrel Label – It’s as Easy as OESO [Infographic]
“After he’s spent half a century handcrafting our product and guiding the Four Roses brand, Al’s 50th Anniversary Bourbon had to be as memorable as the man himself,” said Master Distiller, Brent Elliott. “He wanted to utilize an older Bourbon, if possible. We tried different quantities of the 23-year-old and the chosen 5 percent was just the right amount. It mingled with the other recipes perfectly for an incredible flavor.”
Elliot says the Bourbon exhibits aromas of sweet caramel and floral honeysuckle. The palate offers flavors of fresh peaches and apricots, encompassing a luxurious and warm fig and rich oak, finishing with a hint of mint.
“With the blend of recipes used, I believe we have created a unique Bourbon worthy of Al’s legacy,” said Elliott.
The bottle that will hold this Limited Edition Bourbon is just as storied as what’s inside. For this bottling, Four Roses has selected a retro bottle shape and label, modeled after the bottle design from 1967, the year Al Young started with the company.
Approximately 10,000 bottles of the 2017 Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Small Batch Bourbon are planned for distribution. The Bourbon will launch on June 10, 2017 at Whisky Live Louisville.