FOUR ROSES: THROUGH THE DECADES (1900 – 1910)

To celebrate the 130th Anniversary of Four Roses this year, we’re taking you on a walk down memory lane in our blog series, “Four Roses: Through the Decades.”

Stay tuned in with our Straight Up newsletter and blog to make sure you don’t miss a single mellow moment, starting all the way back in 1888 when our brand was born, to now! We are excited to share stories and relics from our past that have mingled together in harmony to form what Four Roses is today.


1900 – 1910: The Paul Jones Company

Following the death of Paul Jones, Jr. in 1895, his nephews Lawrence Lavelle Jones and Saunders Paul Jones, continued to grow the family business. The turn of the century promised to bring better times for the Joneses and their business, and with that success, they decided to build a place to call their own. In 1907 the Paul Jones Company moved to a building on the corner of Fourth and Liberty Streets in Louisville, Ky.

Main Street, Louisville, 1900

Throughout this time, the public was consumed in a national controversy about the answer to the question of “What is Whiskey?” In June of 1906, the Food and Drug act was put into place by the government, raising confusion on what would qualify as “pure” whiskey. The conversation continued through President Theodore Roosevelt’s term, and was finally put to an end with President William Howard Taft in 1909. With the exception of a few additions in later years, the current regulations for a straight Bourbon or rye, that are set in place today, originated from The Taft Decision.

Meanwhile, in an attempt to sell Four Roses straight whiskey through the mail, Lawrence and others formed the “Small-Grain Distilling Company,” which remained in place until national Prohibition was repealed in 1933. Unfortunately, there was a separation between Lawrence and Saunders over the Paul Jones Company, leading Saunders to leave the business, and Lawrence obtaining the company as his own.

Lawrence Lavelle Jones

Saunders Paul Jones