Maker’s Mark bourbon is something special.
It’s made lovingly by hand, at an exceptionally pretty and eco-friendly distillery, presented in one of the coolest bottles on the market, and tastes sublime. And in deference to the distillery’s Scottish heritage, it’s one of the few American brands to be a whisky not a whiskey 🙂
Naysayers may call Maker’s Mark’s production processes old-fashioned or dated. And they’d be right. There are newer production techniques available these days. This is the 21st century after all, where keeping up with technological progress is seen as mandatory and where mobile phones have taken over from religion and various chemical combinations as a way to achieve a state of ecstasy.
But sometimes a focus on technology can take attention away from what’s really important. At Maker’s Mark, it’s important to make a high quality product, and their production techniques work perfectly to achieve this – using a roller mill rather than a hammer mill to prepare the grain ensures that the precious cereal doesn’t get scorched, and using an open cooker instead of a pressure cooker to cook the grain results in the subtle grain flavours permeating the whisky. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Why mess with perfection? Okay, you get the message. No more cliches, I promise.
The Maker’s Mark grain mix (in which rye is replaced with wheat) and its production processes result in a bourbon that is refined and smooth. The distillery’s founder, T William Samuels, set out to deliberately create a whisky that was more elegant than the harsh products on the market in the 1950s. To further cement Maker’s Mark as an up-market bourbon, Samuels took the advice of his wife, Margie, to dip the neck of the bottle in red wax to seal it. This tradition continues today, with each bottle hand-dipped and each wax seal therefore unique and reflective of the dipper’s own personal dipping style. Margie designed the Maker’s Mark bottle too, and named the product based on the identifying marks and symbols of quality on her pewter collection. I know I promised no more cliches, but I really just have to say that… behind every great man is a great woman!
Although Samuels started Maker’s Mark in 1953, a distillery has existed on the site since 1805, and Maker’s Mark therefore has the distinction of being the only operating distillery in America to be given the status of a National Historic Landmark. The distillery occupies some 200 acres of the 620 acre Star Hill Farm (which finds its way onto the bourbon’s label in the symbol of a star incorporated in the design). The land not used for the distillery is run as a nature preserve, part of which is an arboretum of plant species native to Kentucky. The distillery’s commitment to planet Earth has also recently been demonstrated in their investment in the bourbon industry’s first renewable energy whole stillage treatment solution. What the mouthful of a term means is that Maker’s mark is now able to recycle the water, grain and yeast waste (known as stillage) from their production process for use as energy, thereby reducing their dependence on natural gas sources.
General Tasting Notes
After reading all about the Maker’s Mark distillery, we bet you’re curious to taste their whisky – click here to buy a bottle of Maker’s Mark now!
Distillery Contact Information
Address: 3350 Burks Spring Road, Loretto, Kentucky, 40037
Tel: (270) 865 2099
Tours: Tours are free of charge and take place Monday to Saturday (all year) every hour on the half hour from 10:30 to 15:30. On Sundays (March to December only), tours are at 13:30, 14:30 and 15:30. The distillery is closed on Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
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