7 long years I waited for this bottle of Maker’s Mark Bourbon

this is my ambassitor bottle with my name on the bottle

this is my ambassador bottle with my name on the label

The story of this bottle started almost 7 years ago in Lexington, Ky at the Kentucky Horse shoeing school over Fathers Day weekend.  Although I am not much of a drinker I do like to have a little spirits around for cooking and celebrations. Tom on the other hand has been a whiskey and bourbon fan most of his life.So, while  attending Farrier school in Lexington,Tom found out the locations of several of the local distilleries and asked us to join him on a tour while Cody and I visited.

From Lexington we traveled about an hour south to the small town of Loretto, Ky.  Off  in the middle of no where  sits one of the worlds best Bourbon distilleries. It is hard to find but worth every effort to find it. Maker’s Mark is known as “Top Shelf Bourbon” meaning top of the line and its grounds and tours reflect this effort to produce the best of the best. It is one of the most beautiful historic places I have ever visited.  Tom and I became ambassadors to the distillery on the visit and pledged to share our love of Mark’s Mark  with the people we knew and talked to. Included in our ambassador package was the ability to put our names on a barrel ( on a Brass Plate) and fallow that barrel through the whole process of creation and finally 6 to 7 years later come back and pickup a bottle or two of the aged bourbon that was in that barrel. At the time it was just one of the many perks to the ambassador program but was so far off in the future that I never imagined us back at the distillery getting those bottles.

Ticket sent from Marker's Mark announceing our bottles were ready to pick up

Ticket sent from Marker’s Mark announcing our bottles were ready to pick up

Well that all changed when  Maker’s Mark sent  us notification that our barrel had aged and been taste tested and was in the bottling process. They informed us that  we  could pick up our bottles for a few months this year, April-Sept and the remainder of the barrels would be bottled and sold with the regular bourbon.When I looked at the dates that the bottles were available, I was in shock and over joyed,April 1st 2013 was the frist day that the bottles were available and this is my oldest sons birthday.This date was also  just days after Toms 49th birthday and ended with Easter too. Our trip plans incorporated  all of these events and I was ready to head back to Kentucky and get my hands on bottle of bourbon that was waiting in a barrel all those years for me.

The Printing Houe of Maker's Mark and a sampleof the look of all the produceing buildings

The Printing House of Maker’s Mark and a sample of the look of all the buildings

racks of aging barrels of Maker's Mark bourbon

racks of aging barrels of Maker’s Mark bourbon

This time Cody and Jamie (my daughter-in-Law) were both of age so a family trip just seemed in order. We made our reservations and plans and headed to Bardstown,Ky for a long weekend. It turned out that if you like Whiskey, Bourbon or Scotch, Bardstown is the place to be. Bardstown is located in the middle of Bourbon country, near distilleries for Wild Turkey, Jim Beam, Four Roses, Maker’s Mark and others. It was just 16 miles to our destination and  we were able to see the towering aging sheds of many distilleries along the drive. Those 5 and 6 story sheds just appear out of  fields all around the Bardstown area. At a sharp turn in the small country road you enter the Makers Mark property. Visitors arrive at the   Gate House, Toll Gate and the beautiful Tobacco barn. All that appear to take you back in time to the early 1800’s. The grounds of Maker’s Mark are also on the National Register of Historic Places, including the “Quart House” the oldest liquor store in the US.

oldest liguare store in US ... also has a drive up window for wagons and later cars

oldest liquor store in US … also has a drive up window for wagons and later cars

 

 

The Gate House handled security for the distillery in the 1800’s and now houses a nice little cafe the serves southern pulled pork BB-Q and slaw…. you will never see BB-Q with out slaw in the south. The food was great  and a beautiful place to eat on a sunny afternoon.  The tour then leads you from building to building showing visitors every step in the process from crushing the corn to the fermentation tanks to the beautiful and over sized copper stills… (  sadly that picture did not turn out). To the tasting rooms and finally the gift shop and dipping area.  The grounds are open for photography and you are able to roam the grounds as long as you please.

Fermentation tank with corn wheat and barley

Fermentation tank with corn wheat and barley

Gate house ... with barn and toll gate

Gate house … with barn and toll gate

The Cyprus tanks pictures above are 12 feet deep and several hundred years old and are still in use everyday. Maker’s Mark allows visitors to taste the ageing mash and it is remarkably sweet and reminds me of Sugar Corn Pops. The above photo is of the frist stage of fermentation where the yeast is bubbling away the sugars in the corn, wheat and barley. This part of the tour is my favorite and this time I got to see one of the tanks empty and was really surprised with what 300 gallons in a 12 foot tank really looks like.

Before Tom and I picked up our bottles we enjoyed the tour tasting  and eventually dipped our bottles in the famous red wax that is a company trade mark. This was the highlight of the tour and they did not have the tasting room on our last visit. Here we got samples of the whole process. From 130 proof  “WhiteDog”… or in other words …”Moonshine”  that is not aged at all, just pure grain alcohol to regular Marker’s Mark bourbon  90 proof, then an over aged all most to flavorful whiskey that is not very palatable, to the best of the best Marker’s Mark 46 110 proof, a new and very tasty addition to the Maker’s Mark family.

tasting glasses full from left to right.. Moonshine( whitedog) Maker's mark , over aged bourbon. Maker's Mark 46

tasting glasses full from left to right.. Moonshine( whitedog) Maker’s mark , over aged bourbon. Maker’s Mark 46

The photos that fallow are of the bottling process and photos of us dipping our own bottles of Markers Mark.

4 workers dip the red wax tops on the "46" bottles

4 workers dip the red wax tops on the “46” bottles

bottles of "46" getting filled

bottles of “46” getting filled

 

Me with my two bottles of Makers Mark... waited a long time to these

Me with my two bottles of Makers Mark… waited a long time for these.

 

 

 

This trip to Markers Mark was  better than I had remembered it.  The tasting room addition  is great. When we originally visited  Maker’s Mark the distillery was in  a dry county… NO liquors allowed  at public places. For  over 100 years of their production no one could get a taste until they left the distillery grounds. The law recently changed and  the free tasting added if you are over 21 with a current ID. The tour is a great historical look back and very educational for anyone wondering about this areas traditions of Bourbon, Whiskey and Moonshine making.

Tom and Cody after dipping a few bottles of Makers Mark

Tom and Cody after dipping a few bottles of Makers Mark

I hope that if any of you are in Kentucky, you stop at your favorite distilleries and enjoy some of the history and love!  I found  waiting those seven years to come back and enjoy Maker’s Mark again worth every minute.

Jolynn Jamie and Christopher and Paige at Maker's Mark

Jolynn Jamie and Christopher and Paige at Maker’s Mark

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Categories: Easter, family fun, fermentation, Kentucky, Maker's Mark, Travel | Tags: , , , | 25 Comments

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25 thoughts on “7 long years I waited for this bottle of Maker’s Mark Bourbon

  1. Jolynn this is such a cool post! We just recently, probably around Christmas saw a show on TV about Maker’s Mark. I love hearing about your experience and those bottles are cool with your names on them. Glad you had a fun trip back! My husband enjoys his occasional Maker’s Mark on the rocks and I will be sure to show him your post, he will get a kick out of it.. 🙂

    Like

  2. Kevin

    Awesome Post! Waiting for word on when my barrel is ready. Will be 7 yrs comes this November! thx again!

    Like

  3. This was such an interesting post, thanks!. I mainly drink beer, but if I am at one of those events where a late-night drink is on the agenda, it’s Maker’s Mark for me. It will be nice to have a little story to tell.

    Like

    • Dan even for a non-drinker the tours are so fun that everyone who ever wondered about how they make moonshine in the ” OLD Days” is sure learn something!

      Like

  4. billi jo benham

    Yes I became an ambassador in 2004 and I was wondering how do i find my bottle of whiskey. It was under the name billiJo benham.

    Like

  5. Thank you for this post. I am a big fan of Makers Mark!

    Like

  6. Pingback: Updating, Focusing, WV Mountain Mama Blog | West Virginia Mountain Mama

  7. Doug Terry

    How did you RSVP for your tour to get the bottles from your barrel?…or do you not have to do that?

    Thabks

    Like

    • Doug, thanks for stopping in and reading my blog post.Once you sign up to be an ambassador and you want to be part or a barrel/bottle program you are notified by mail with personalized tickets to indicate when the bottles will be ready. I personally just called the office phone number and gave them our RSVP over the phone. I think I looked up the phone on line but I am sure you can RSVP through their web page if you have a password set up.I let them know what day and how many was going on the tour and how many bottles we were picking up.In our case it was all 4. Hope that you are able to get those bottles they mean a lot to our family and kids. Yes you need to RSVP!!! They will not have your name on the label if you don’t. Jolynn

      Like

  8. Louise Cooper

    I am getting ready to go in October and pick up my ambassador bottle that has been aging all this time. Can you tell me what the bottle will cost me when I go and pick it up? Thank you. Louise Cooper, Huntsville, AL. Your experience sounds awesome.

    Like

    • Louise, I think if I remember correctly and prices could have changed buy now so a ruff guess is 45$ a liter bottle. We ended up with 4 and it was around 200 dollars.

      Like

      • Cooper, Louise W CIV (US)

        Classification: UNCLASSIFIED Caveats: NONE

        Jolynnpowers,

        Thanks so much for getting back with me. I had no idea how much it was going to cost me. I can’t wait to get my bottle.

        Louise

        Like

  9. DeniseInReno

    Hello all. I have been an Ambassador since 2008 and have received numerous items over the years from being a Makers Mark Ambassador. Business cards, stickers, Christmas wrapping paper, ribbons, bottle sweaters, etc. Then this past summer I also received a Golden Ticket invitation that my personal barrel with MY name on it was FINALLY ready. I have waited soooooo long for this barrel to be ready!! So exciting that after all these years of waiting that it is indeed finally ready! But unfortunately, I cannot get to Kentucky because I live in Reno, Nevada! I have only until March of 2015 to pick them up! Anyone have any ideas on how I could possibly get a hold of the bottles from my barrel by March? Can they mail them to me? Maybe? I was thinking about putting an ad on the Craigslist in Kentucky to see if someone could possibly get them for me and also ship them to me? I am so very sad because I have waited years for this personal barrel to FINALLY be done and now I have no way to get them! HELP! Thank you. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Take care for now and Happy Fall to All!

    Like

    • Denis I would call the distillery and ask them if they would ship them… I do not think any one other then you or your family is allowed to pick them up but I would call the office to make sure.

      Like

  10. Jerry Cerel

    I would like to pick up my Makers Mark bottles on Thursday November 6, 2014 I will have my son in law with me so I was told that we could get extra bottles. Please reply ASAP so that we can make plans to be there at the date specified. Thank you

    Like

    • I am not sure I can help you with this Jerry. I am a blogger and not in anyway part of the Makers Mark business. Please contact them directly.

      Like

  11. What a great story! So glad you got to see the distillery and your trip was memorable. That whole Bourbon Trail is fascinating, if you ask me.

    Like

  12. ron schaible

    hello great story very very true
    everyone should be a ambersor

    Like

  13. Awesome post. Thanks

    Like

  14. Julie Clowers

    I just received my Makers Mark ambassador certificate today in the mail! Can’t wait until barrel is aged. I’ll be almost fifty seven by then. I’ll sure it’ll be worth the wait! !

    Like

    • Yes the wait is worth it… I am on my second barrel and it should finish up in 2018 and will make the trip again to share it with friends and family. Enjoy!

      Like

      • Cooper, Louise W CIV (US)

        CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED

        West Virginia Mountain Mama,
        How do you sign up for a second bottle from a barrel? I got my first one two years ago and it was so much fun going to the distillery and picking it up and being a VIP for the day. I was so pleased with my bottle(s).
        Ambassador from Huntsville, AL (originally from Lexington, KY)

        Like

      • Hello Ambassador from Al,
        as far as I understand you can sign up again at the distillery at the tour office or on line at the website.. My husband and I signed up for our second barrel while picking up the bottles from the first barrel. He said that is was also possible to do it on line.Hope that helps..We will be getting ready to head back in 2018 for our second trip to get bottles. I am sure we will do it a third time also.

        Like

      • Cooper, Louise W CIV (US)

        CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED

        Thanks for the info. I’ll go online and see what I can find.
        AL

        Like

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