Bourbon Blog Roll-Up #2 (May 2016)

May 2016 was a great month for American whiskey- several distilleries released new products, one renowned master distiller announced his retirement, another announced his return from retirement, the industry experienced a taste of scandal (one followed by a social media muscle flex), and bourbon drinkers everywhere sipped juleps while watching Nyquist win the Derby [and lose the Preakness]...

Here is a select recap of what happened since our last blog roll-up:

- Retired Four Roses master distiller Jim Rutledge announced his plans to come out of retirement to build a new distillery with businessmen Stephen Camisa (former Sazerac General Counsel) and Jon Mowry. Bourbon & Banter covered it well. Rutledge surprised many by soliciting $1.9 million via the crowd-funding site Indiegogo.

- Steve Ury criticized Rutledge's Indiegogo campaign, with classic subtle humor and brutal honesty, in an article he called "Jim Rutledge Lays an Egg." Many Facebookers and Instagrammers shared Sku's opinion and questioned the move. 

- Three days later, Rutledge abruptly canceled the crowd-funding campaign, returned $10,000 worth of donations, and essentially acknowledged that the funding concept was a mistake. The Whiskey Wash published the press release with some commentary.

- Dan D'Ambrosio at the Burlington Free Press reported that WhistlePig founder Raj Bhakta has been "thrown out of his own company" by board members Wilco Faessen and Christopher Evison. Bhakta filed a lawsuit to stay on the board until the end of an eventual trial.

- Chuck Cowdery reported that master distiller Greg Metze is leaving MGP after 38 years of service at that site.

- Blake at posted about his visit to Jim Beam (along with other whiskey writers) to bottle some of the new Booker's Rye (MSRP: $299). He wrote, "I don't blame Beam for the increased price tag."

- Steve Ury heavily criticized that Booker's Rye price tag in an article "Is Whiskey Over?" Sku, who has been blogging for nine years, "never set out to write a blog about hard-to-get luxury items." My first thought when I read his post was Jason from Sour Mash Manifesto. I suspect he gave up writing about whiskey for the very reasons Sku discusses. 
I highly recommend the 45+ comments below his post.