It had been quite some time since I last visited the Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Ky., so when I pulled into the long driveway, I shocked to see a brand new Spanish mission-style building sitting right alongside the rest of the distillery like it had been there all this time — since 1910, that is.
Obviously that new building is the reason why I was there — it was a day of celebration as the media was invited to gather with state and local politicians and industry leaders for a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the brand new 14,446-square-foot Visitor Center.
Gov. Andy Beshear was one of the first to take the podium, and spoke with both enthusiasm and optimism for the future. Despite making it through the last grueling year of COVID and crisis, Beshear said, “What is in front of us is as bright as the commonwealth has ever seen. This new Visitor Center is another exciting accomplishment for Four Roses, the Anderson County community and Kentucky’s $8.9 billion tourism industry.”
A highlight of the ceremony was a toast led by Four Roses Master Distiller Brent Elliott, which included a pour of the single barrel he hand-selected for the occasion: a 20-year-old OBSV recipe bourbon that was simply incredible. (The lucky guests at the ceremony were able to purchase a bottle of this special release, and the rest went on sale Wednesday morning when the Visitor Center opened to the public for the first time.)
After the ribbon cutting, we were ushered inside to check out all the fancy new bells and whistles. The size of the retail space alone is breathtaking and beautiful, made with white oak floors and ceilings, as well as 100-year-old reclaimed wood from a barn on site.
Off to the left is Bar 1888, named for the year Four Roses was first trademarked, where I found myself a Maple Old Fashioned — hey, they offered! Visitors will be able to get cocktails here while they wait for their tour, as well as tastings from all Four Roses expressions as well as the brand’s Limited Edition Small Batch series.
And on the right side of the retail space, you’ll find the Al Young Archive Collection featuring an interactive display showcasing the range of bottles and memorabilia from the bourbon’s 133-year history. I was lucky enough to call Al a friend, and although he is no longer with us, I know he would have absolutely loved this archive, especially since he helped unearth most of it throughout his 50+ years at Four Roses.
The Visitor Center also has four seated tasting rooms as well as a 3,850-square-foot outdoor covered patio and cocktail area.
If it’s been a while since you’ve visited Four Roses, it’s definitely time to book a tour and check this out for yourself. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sunday, noon-4 p.m.
Here are some photos of the event: