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Issue #4 - Living Legends is Delivered to You Each Wednesday
This Week We Take A Look at:
Jim Rutledge
Bourbon royalty!
Living Legends
by Colonel Steve Akley
With our Living Legends Series, we take a look at the true players in the world of bourbon and how they have impacted the industry. It's going to be a fun journey, I hope you will join me each Wednesday as we explore the Living Legends of Bourbon.
PS - Why is a Cadillac the logo for the Living Legends series? Well, that's not any Cadillac, it's the tail fin of a 1959 Caddy, which I think is the greatest automobile ever built. That's just a personal choice, though. I also like the fact the name of the car, "Cadillac" can be synonymous with the "greatest version of something." If you say, "That's the Cadillac" of golf clubs," you are saying, "it's the best." Since we are celebrating the "biggest contributors to bourbon" it just feels right.
Jim Rutledge

Jim Rutledge
Owner JW Rutledge / Master Distiller Emeritus for Four Roses Distillery

The Jim Rutledge File
  • 50+ year career in bourbon
  • Brought Four Roses brand back from the dead
  • Key figure in the resurgence of bourbon
  • Continued role in the bourbon industry after retiring from Four Roses
Jim Rutledge is an icon. That's truly all there is to it. It's just one of those things that cannot be argued. 

He created some of the best whiskey most of us have ever drank or will ever drink. He, along with a dedicated team, brought Four Roses back from extinction. This literally was probably about as likely as building a successful dinosaur park in the movie Jurassic Park. Unlike the movie where it does happen but then goes terribly wrong, Four Roses continues to get better-and-better, even after Jim's retirement based on his hard work there. 

I've said for a long time, and will continue to say, the Four Roses turnaround is one of the key moments in bourbon history that led to the resurgence of bourbon to where we find ourselves today. There isn't that one thing that led to bourbon becoming so popular, it was a handful of calculated and lucky happenings and Four Roses place a significant role in what is happening in the world of bourbon today.

What I truly respect about Jim Rutledge is he is the most real person you will ever meet. What I mean by that is, he will tell you he is a "no bullshit guy" (his words to describe himself) and he truly is. Jim will always tell you the truth. He doesn't sugar coat anything. He just lines out the facts when he talks history. He tells you the good side and the bad. He also is a person of his word. If he tells you he will do an event... that's gold. Jim is a guy that won't commit to anything he might not be able to do, but once he does commit, you can guarantee he's there.

Today, some 6-years after retiring from Four Roses, Jim continues to play an important role in a few start-ups, as well as continuing to try to open his own distillery while launching a few sourced brands of his own.


If you ever get a chance to meet Jim, be thankful you get that moment to speak to him. He truly is a living bourbon legend.
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The ABV Network's Series 3 Coin is In!
The ABV Network's newly released challenge coin celebrates one of the most important contributors to the taste of bourbon, the barrel. The front of the coin features a fiery charring of the barrel and the back has some fun facts about barrels used to age bourbon. This is a limited edition, be sure to get yours today.
Get Your Series 3 Coin Here!
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Featured Virtual Bourbon Event
The Ultimate Whiskey Blending Championship
Create the Ultimate Blend Win Bragging Rights & More!
Test Your Blending Skills Against A Pro
The ABV Network is the only place in the world you can test your whiskey blending skills via a competition. Our Ultimate Whiskey Blending Championship is back again in 2022 and bigger than ever. This time we've got more whiskey for you to blend to you can really refine your samples. As always we'll have a pro competing. This year it's Adam Stumpf, owner of Stumpy's Spirits. Our winner wins a highly coveted Vendome Whiskey Thief (a $390 value) and incredible bragging rights. Learn more, or grab a ticket to this October 6 event by clicking here. Please note this first session is just to line out the rules and get you going. You blend your whiskey the month of October and mail it in. Final results are shared in an event on Sunday, November 14.
The winner gets a genuine Vendome copper whiskey thief. This is truly what the pros use. Check them out here: https://bit.ly/2EUEQRS.
Get in the Know!
Last year, we launched texting as a way to keep you up-to-date. We're talking breaking industry news, big ABV Network happenings and "text only deals" from the ABV Network Shop. The only way you get these updates, though, is by signing up for them. Please head over to abvnetwork.com and fill out the form to get signed up.
The ABV Network's Virtual Bourbon events are some of the most creative stay-at-home bourbon events in the industry. Click here to see what we have!
Save 10% at the ABV Network Shop everyday with the #ABVNetwork Crew Club member card along with deals at 70+ other distilleries, restaurants bars and bourbon-focused businesses. Additionally, get involved in events with people from the bourbon industry, free "Learnin' Bourbon" online classes, barrel picks and more by joining the Club. 
Sign Up for the #ABVNetworkCrew Club Right Here!
The ABV Network Spirits Taster
Only $12.99 in the ABV Network Shop
On the Rocks Bourbon Pepper, with its blood orange and bourbon is like an Old Fashioned cocktail you season your steaks, burgers, chicken or chops with. Click the ONLINE SHOP button below to order yours today!
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Copyright © 2021 Bourbon Zeppelin, All rights reserved.


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