FOUR ROSES: THROUGH THE DECADES (1970 – 1980)

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.


As you may know, Four Roses was the top selling Bourbon in the U.S. in the 30s, 40s and 50s. However, Seagram made the decision to discontinue the sale of Kentucky Straight Bourbon in the U.S. and sell only blended whiskey here.

Four Roses Kentucky Straight Bourbon was moved to the rapidly-growing European and Asian markets, where it quickly became the top-selling Bourbon, and remains a top-selling Bourbon in both Europe and Japan today.

Meanwhile, Four Roses Blended Whiskey sales began slowly declining in the U.S. due to a gradual change in taste preference of American consumers. So, in the 1970s, Seagram launched a new Four Roses product—Four Roses Premium American Light Whiskey—which was claimed to be America’s highest-selling “Light Whiskey” at the time. This product was similar to another product that the brand launched in early 1971, Four Roses Premium Blended Whiskey.

At this time, a young man named Jim Rutledge, who would later become one of the world’s most legendary Master Distillers, was working with Seagram in the Louisville Plant’s Research and Development Department. In 1975, he was transferred to Corporate Headquarters in New York and worked there until 1992.

Four Roses 1973 Advertisement

1973 Advertisement

Four Roses 1970s Server’s Bill Tray

1970s Server’s Bill Tray to promote Four Roses Premium Blended Whiskey

Take a look at more Four Roses artifacts and memorabilia commemorating the 130-year history, and share your own pieces of Four Roses history here.