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Maker's Mark

The history of Maker’s Mark began when William “Bill” Samuels Sr bought the Burks Distillery in Loretto, Kentucky for $35,000. Kentucky is well known as the Bourbon capital of the world due to having the perfect soil and water for the ingredients for Bourbon.

Production started in 1954 and the first batch was bottled in 1958 under the brand's trademarked red wax seal.

Maker’s Mark is incredibly unique in that no rye is used as part of the mash. Instead of rye, Maker's Mark uses red winter wheat as well as corn and malted barley.

They came to this mash in a very incredible way, Samuels apparently developed seven candidate mash bills for the new bourbon. As he did not have time to distill and age each one for tasting, he instead made a loaf of bread from each recipe and amazingly the one with no rye was judged to be the best. It was during these times that Samuels received a considerable amount of assistance from Stitzel-Weller, the owner of Pappy Van Winkle whose distillery produced the wheated Old Fitzgeralf and W.L Weller bourbons.

Maker’s Mark is aged for around six years and is then only bottled when the company’s official tasters agree that it’s ready. However this aging process isn’t as easy as you may think. Maker’s Mark is one of the few distillers to rotate the barrels from the lower levels of the aging warehouse to the upper floor, this is due to the upper floors receive greater temperature variations during the year so rotating the barrels ensures the bourbon in each barrel is kept in the same conditions, keeping the same quality taste.

Maker’s Mark is sold in an eye-catching square like bottle and sealed with red wax. It was in fact William's wife Marjorie who came up with the idea of wax dipping as she thought it gave it a distinctive look, she also drew the label and came up with the name Maker’s Mark.

The Burks distillery is now considered a National Historic Landmark and is the first distillery in America to be recognised as a landmark.

Over the years Maker’s Mark and its distillery has been acquired by many different companies most recently Fortune brands who acquired Maker’s Mark in 2011 split the business and became Beam Inc which was bought by Suntory, creating Beam Suntory in 2014 with the vow that the flavour would stay true to its original form.

Click here to view our range of Maker's Mark

Written by Oliver Partington