The story of Four Roses began when Paul Jones, Jr., the founder of Four Roses Bourbon, became enamoured by the beauty of a Southern belle. He sent a proposal to her, and she replied that if her answer were “Yes,” she would wear a corsage of roses on her gown to the upcoming grand ball. Paul Jones waited excitedly until she arrived in her beautiful gown with a corsage of four red roses. He later named his Bourbon “Four Roses” as a symbol of his devout passion for the lovely belle.
The brand's distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, was built in 1910 with Spanish Mission-style architecture, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The brand was purchased by Seagram in 1943. Around the end of the 1950s, Seagram discontinued the sale of Four Roses bourbon within the United States in order to focus on sales of blended whiskey, although it introduced other brands of straight bourbons in the 1960s and 1970s, such as Benchmark and Eagle Rare. In 1999, Four Roses brand ownership passed from Seagram to Vivendi/Universal, then in 2001 to Pernod Ricard and Diageo before being purchased by The Kirin Brewery in 2002. Kirin discontinued the sale of blended whiskey to focus exclusively on Four Roses Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey.