Bourbon industry loses a legend

Over the holiday, the bourbon world lost a true legend and historian. Who passed? What distillery did he work for?

bourbon: man in a black polo smiling at the camera

Photo courtesy of Four Roses social media

Four Roses announced they lost Al Young over the holidays. He was an ambassador and had a wealth of industry knowledge when it came to bourbon that spanned over half a century.

Young spent 52 years with Four Roses at a variety of capacities. In 1990 he was made Distillery Manager and in 2007 was named Four Roses Brand Ambassador.

However, he did not start his career with that bourbon distillery. His career began in 1967 at Joseph E. Seagram and Sons, Inc. before settling in at Four Roses.

“Young’s infectious charisma, trademark grin, and energetic passion for Kentucky’s signature Bourbon industry made him an iconic figure among Bourbon fans all over the world,” said Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillery Association.

He published a book called Four Roses: The Return of a Whiskey Legend in 2010 that depicts the brands 131-years. He researched archived records, news accounts, photos, and artifices to complete his work.

In 2015 he was inducted into the Whiskey Magazine Hall of Fame and became a member of the Kentucky Distillery’s Association Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame.

“Al was an ambassador for Kentucky Bourbon long before the job was even invented,” said Gregory. “The thing I’ll remember most is that Al was always smiling. Always. You just knew he loved his job, his family and his life. We were lucky to share in his spirit.”




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