A brilliant thirteen year-old Straight Kentucky Bourbon from a living master of the genre.
Whiskey legend Jim Rutledge has had a storied career. He is famous for rescuing Four Roses from bottom-shelf oblivion by bringing quality and integrity back to the brand after Diageo sold it to Kirin. Well, Jim "retired" a few years ago, but he had been hinting on a few private projects that he was working on. Word began to spread in late 2018 when eagle-eyed fans spotted his application for label approval at the US Treasury office (responsible for liquor taxation). Soon after in 2018, his J. W. Rutledge Distillery website went live and he has launched a trio of products so far: High Plains Whiskey, J. W. Rutledge Whiskey, and a revitalization of the famous Cream of Kentucky brand. His own distillery in Crestwood broke ground in 2019 and we’re rooting for him.
Jim Rutledge’s Whiskey expertise is unquestioned. And he has been carefully managing the Cream of Kentucky brand because he knows that his reputation is everything and with every bottle that reputation is on the line. And you can see that attention to every detail in the oddly precise age statements that he has applied so far. So, when the Cream of Kentucky 13 bottle says thirteen years, you can bank on it. This is a sourced Spirit (stills are still being installed at Rutledge), but it is sourced exceptionally well. The distillery and mash bill are kept secret, but the palate hints at corn in the 70% - 75% range, malted barley in the 8% - 10% range, and rye making up the balance. And it is served plenty strong at 51% ABV.
Back during the day, the famous American artist Normal Rockwell painted ads for the Cream of Kentucky brand.