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Jim Rutledge

The bloom is back on the rose for this bourbon

I'm a wine guy. Ok; girl. Some would say that is a minor technicality. But not in the world of bourbon. You either swing one way or another. There's straight whiskey and there's blended whiskey. Yet, Four Roses has been both.

It didn't have a choice.

Sam Bronfman, owner of Seagrams, purchased the brand in 1943 and turned it into something that it was not. At the time of purchase, it was the No. 1 selling straight bourbon whiskey in the USA. There were distilleries in both Kentucky and Maryland.

We Marylanders owned a piece of its proud history. In its glory days.

When Sam Bronfman made the purchase, there were 20 million gallons of straight whiskey in the offing. A...