Jim Rutledge, master distiller for Four Roses Distillery, checks the bourbon mash in fermentation tanks at the Four Roses plant in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. Photo by Bloomberg via Getty Images.
Jun Araki isn’t from Kentucky. That much is clear when he speaks. He is calm and clear in Japanese with his friends, and slower and less sure in English with a gift-shop clerk. But when Jun Araki took a vacation, he chose to visit central Kentucky. He knows someone here.
“I like Jim Beam,” he says as he finishes the Maker’s Mark distillery tour. The Jim Beam distillery is a few miles away. It’s close to the headquarters of Araki’s third-favorite bourbon, Four Roses.