FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Distillers’ Association today shared news of the sudden passing of Al Young of Four Roses, 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 an ambassador for Kentucky Bourbon long before the job was even invented,” Gregory said. “The thing I’ll remember most is that Al was always smiling. Always. You just knew he loved his job, his family and his life. We were lucky to share in his spirit.
“Al was one of our industry’s truest champions, and he will be missed by all.”
Young began his career in the distilling industry in 1967 with Joseph E. Seagram and Sons, Inc. As his career progressed, he gained knowledge and experience at several of the Seagram’s distilleries in Kentucky and Indiana before ultimately settling at Four Roses in 1990.
He was a 2011 inductee into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame, a member of the inaugural class of the Order of the Writ, and one of the KDA’s official historians due to his 50+ years of experience and abundance of institutional industry knowledge.
Gregory said the KDA and its 40 members offered their deepest condolences to Al’s lovely and longtime wife, Gretchen, their three children, and the entire Four Roses family.
“Our distilling family and our beloved Commonwealth has lost a treasured visionary who was a friend to everyone he met,” Gregory said. “We encourage whiskey lovers around the world to raise a glass of Four Roses today and toast the enduring legacy of our dear friend, Al Young.”