Four Roses eyes expanded US sales with distillery expansion

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP/WKYT) - An iconic Kentucky bourbon that reintroduced itself to American whiskey drinkers in the past decade is ready to ramp up production in hopes of gaining a greater foothold in the U.S.

Four Roses Distillery on Tuesday celebrated the completion of a $55 million expansion that will double production capacity at its plant at Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

It's only been since 2002 that the 131-year-old brand's straight bourbons returned to American bars and liquor stores, after Japanese-based Kirin Brewery Co. purchased Four Roses. A previous owner had turned Four Roses into a blended whiskey for U.S. consumption.

Since the initial reintroduction, Four Roses has spread to all 50 states along with dozens of foreign markets. But demand outpaced supply - a problem the distiller hopes will vanish with the expansion. The distiller says a majority of the expanded volume will be made for the U.S.

"We took Four Roses Distillery, originally built here in 1910 and we were at a capacity of four million original proof gallons, we've essentially doubled our capacity adding double the equipment, a whole new line of fermentation and now we have the capabilities of producing eight million OPG's annually," a spokesperson told sister station WKYT.

It will take the bourbon a few years to age, meaning it might take some time before we see it in stores.

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