These days, there are very few people in the bourbon industry that I would stand in line to meet. For the most part, if I happen across someone, I'll chat and see if I can't pick up a tidbit here or there, pass along a complement, etc. But it’s doubtful I’ll stand in line to do so. See, unlike most of the people who live in Minnesota*, I really hate lines. Especially when there are so many other interesting people to talk to that have no lines.
But one of the few people I will stand in line to meet is Jim Rutledge. The man is a legend and and until recently was the face of my favorite bourbon. It's no secret that I am a Four Roses fanboy. I’ve loved them from almost my first taste of their product. They produced the first bourbon I bought that broke the $80 mark (and the first that broke the $100 and $120 mark as well). There are actually photos of me standing in line to get Jim Rutledge’s signature on a bottle, shake his hand and have a few words with him.
One of the reason why I like Four Roses so much is because of the respect I have for Jim Rutledge. I’ve rarely seen someone with as much passion for the product he produces. And it was a sad day for me when I heard he was retiring.
But for those of us who couldn’t imagine the bourbon world without Jim Rutledge, there is good news. He has decided to come out of retirement and start his own distillery. JW Rutledge Distillery, LLC. The press release went out Thursday afternoon, the website went live just a tad after that. And today, they are asking for your help in raising the initial capital.
JW Rutledge Distillery has started a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. I’ve already signed on as a backer because this is a project I really think needs to happen. Take a look and if a world where Jim Rutledge is running a distillery again is a world you want to live in, think about contributing as well.
*Folks here love queueing up so much that the Department of Transportation has, at times, invested in billboards to remind the public that if they would just use both lanes when merging during a traffic jam that things would actually run smoother.
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