County Connections: Maker's Mark continuing to produce wax dipped bottles for over a half century

10/25/2017 10:08 AM

LORETTO – The Maker’s Mark Distillery continues to welcome visitors to their Marion County facility where folks can get a behind-the-scenes at the production process.

The distillery was established in 1953 on the site of an old 1800’s grist mill.

On October 1, 1953, T. William “Bill” Samuels Sr., purchased the “Burks’ Distillery” in Loretto, Kentucky, for $35,000. Bourbon production began in 1954, and the first run was bottled in 1958 under the brand’s distinctive dipped red wax seal.

Director of Visitor Relations Sydina Bradshaw says one the first things that strikes visitors who tour the facility are the manicured grounds.

“Well the great thing is that Bill Sr. worked on the liquid, but his wife Margie took every extra dollar that they had into bringing the distillery buildings and grounds back to life because she wanted to make sure the place was perfect for her friends to come and visit to see what they were doing and we just carried that on,” Bradshaw said.

Visitors can also tour the buildings on the grounds which shows the complete production process of making bourbon, and now, with the passage of Senate Bill 11 during the 2016 legislative session, visitors can better sample the completed product as the bill allows distilleries to sell alcohol by the glass, increase sample sizes from 1 ounce to 1 3/4 ounces, and sell up to 6 750ML bottles at their gift shops.

“The great thing is that it allows people to try bourbon in all different capacities,” Bradshaw said. “It allows them to try it from essentially the beginning stages to the end stages and gives them the opportunity to learn how to use it more flexibly.”


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