Maker’s Mark is looking to stay up with the bourbon times, there is no doubt. They recently slipped a cask strength version of their popular Maker’s 46 into their distillery gift shop in Kentucky, and now the word on the street today is of plans for a private retail barrel program. Enter into the whiskey fray Maker’s Mark Private Select.
Maker’s Mark Private Select, much like the Jim Beam Buy A Barrel program we highlighted back in July, is focused upon the popular bourbon brand providing more unique bottlings suited to the desires of individual liquor stores selling its product. To that end, according to materials provided to us by the distillery,
the new experience will allow retail customers to “make their own Maker’s” by finishing fully-matured cask strength Maker’s Mark Bourbon in a single barrel made up of their custom selection of oak staves…participants will have the opportunity to spend an immersive and educational day at the historic Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto, KY…[and will] start with fully-matured Maker’s Mark straight out of the barrel.
Participants will receive an in-depth immersion that illustrates the essential role that wood plays in the taste of bourbon, and will select their preferred combination of five types of wood staves with which to finish their custom Maker’s expression. This collection of oak staves – each accentuating different flavors found in fully-matured Maker’s Mark – includes Baked American Pure 2, Seared French Cuvee, Maker’s 46, Roasted French Mocha, and Toasted French Spice. With 1,001 possible stave combinations, participants can create a customized finish and taste profile that is uniquely their own.
After aging for nine additional weeks in a single barrel with the participants’ custom stave combination, the Maker’s Mark Private Select bourbon will be bottled, corked and dipped at cask strength with details such as proof and stave combinations handwritten on the label.
Now, after reading this, should you be ready to drive down to or call your favorite liquor store and hound them to sign up for this program, take note – the program will initially only be available “to Kentucky and Illinois based retailers in its first year and will be expanded to additional markets in 2016.” There was also no mention of suggested retail pricing for these bottles.
“This innovative process of creating a personal expression of Maker’s Mark allows the customer to create a bourbon that wanders in some intriguing ways from our traditional taste profile, while still being distinctively Maker’s Mark,” said Rob Samuels, COO of Maker’s Mark Distillery, Rob Samuels, in a statement. “We’ve never before given anyone this kind of access or opportunity to create their favorite version of Maker’s, but we’re excited to see what folks come up with and how they like to make their Maker’s when given the chance.”
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Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...