Four Roses ambassador Al Young diesBy Nicola Carruthers
Al Young, senior brand ambassador and historian at Four Roses Bourbon, has died at the age of 77.
Young, who died on 25 December 2019, was described as an “integral part of Four Roses’ legacy and history”.
The Bourbon brand said in a statement on 26 December: “The Four Roses family is in mourning. It is with great sadness that we share that Al Young, Four Roses’ senior brand ambassador, passed away yesterday with his family by his side.
“Husband, father, grandfather and friend, Al was an integral part of Four Roses’ legacy and history, having been with our distillery for more than 50 years. This sudden news is shocking for all of us at Four Roses. Al was truly one of a kind and we will sorely miss him, his smile and his stories.
“More than that, Al embodied the spirit of Bourbon. He was a friend to all, always there with a story and ready for a good laugh together. We will miss him tremendously, and Four Roses extends our deepest condolences to his wife, Gretchen, and all of Al’s family and friends.”
Young began his career in the distilling industry in 1967 with Joseph E Seagram and Sons. He worked at several of the Seagram’s distilleries in Kentucky and Indiana before joining Lawrenceburg-based Four Roses in 1990 as distillery manager.
In 2007, Young was named brand ambassador and was also the historian for Four Roses.
Described as a “walking and talking Bourbon encyclopaedia”, Young published the book Four Roses: The Return of a Whiskey Legend in 2010 and was in the process of updating its third edition.
Young was also a member of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association’s (KDA) Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame.
The KDA described Young as “one of the industry’s most endearing ambassadors and leading historians with a wealth of industry knowledge and experience that spanned over half a century”.
KDA president Eric Gregory said: “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. Al was one of our industry’s truest champions, and he will be missed by all.”
Young is survived by his wife Gretchen and three children.