(LEX 18) — The Kentucky Distillers' Association released a statement confirming that famed bourbon brand ambassador Al Young has died.
Al Young was well known for his career as the brand ambassador at Four Roses.
“Al was an ambassador for Kentucky Bourbon long before the job was even invented,” KDA President Eric 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."
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.
At Four Roses, Young also served as a researcher.
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.
Friend Jason Young, a member of the Lexington Bourbon Society, said Al Young was always willing to share his knowledge.
"...being employed at Four Roses over 50 years, you really just want to sit back and listen to him talk and learn about him and his history with Four Roses," Jason said.
The two shared a last name so they would joke that they were brothers or cousins, according to Jason.
"People just absolutely loved him," he said.
Jason was devastated to learn that Al had died, he said, but he knows that his legacy will live on.
"He is definitely not forgotten and he will not be forgotten," Jason said. "He's a fantastic man and a great friend."