Four Roses distilling head named KDA chairman

9th January, 2017 by Amy Hopkins

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association has named Ryan Ashley, chief operating officer and director of distillery operations at Four Roses Distillery, chairman of its board of directors for 2017.


Four Roses’s Ryan Ashley will act as chairman for the Kentucky Distillers’ Association this year

Ashley, who leads all distilling operations for Four Roses Bourbon and is currently overseeing the distillery’s US$54 million expansion, will act as KDA chairman until December 2017.

He takes over from Brown-Forman master distiller Chris Morris, who occupied the role in 2016.

“I am honoured to serve as KDA Chair, particularly during a time of unprecedented growth for our industry,” said Ashley. “I look forward to working closely with our members to further educate consumers and promote the original American spirit – Kentucky Straight Bourbon.”

The KDA’s board also appointed Rob Samuels, chief operating officer for Maker’s Mark, as its vice chairman, while Rick Robinson, vice president of US product supply chain for Wild Turkey Distillery, as secretary-treasurer.

Other KDA board members for 2017 include: Larry Kass, director of trade relations for Heaven Hill Brands; Pauline Rooney, vice president of distilling, maturation and engineering at Diageo North America; Joseph J. Magliocco, president of Michter’s; and Campbell Brown, president of Old Forester at Brown-Forman.

Founded in 1880, the KDA is a non-profit trade group that aims to protect and promote Kentucky’s Bourbon and distilled spirits industry.

In 2015, the KDA revealed that a record-breaking number of tourists had visited Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail and Bourbon Trail Craft Tour. Figures for 2016 will be released later this month.

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