Former Four Roses Master Distiller Jim Rutledge signs an autograph during the Kentucky Bourbon Festival on September 18, 2013. Photo ©2013 by Mark Gillespie.April 28, 2016 – When Jim Rutledge retired from Kentucky’s Four Roses Distillery last September after 49 years, most industry observers expected him to do some consulting work – not start a new distillery from scratch. Then again, Rutledge always did do things a bit differently at Four Roses.

Today, the Bourbon Hall of Fame member and former chairman of the Kentucky Distillers Association announced the start of a crowdfunding campaign to find construction of the J.W. Rutledge Distillery near Louisville. Rutledge is teaming up with Stephen Camisa and Jon Mowry on the project,  which they hope to partially fund through an IndieGoGo campaign scheduled to begin on Monday, May 2.

While the distillery will produce Bourbons, including a wheated-style Bourbon of the type Rutledge never made at Four Roses, the veteran distiller also plans to make Rye Whiskey once the new distillery is open. “I promise, a straight rye whiskey will be distilled, barrels filled and aging in our warehouse within the first year of operation,” Rutledge said in a news release announcing the project.

This story will be updated with additional information.

Links: J.W. Rutledge Distillery