Maker’s Mark queen joins Bourbon Hall of Fame
Maker’s Mark innovator Margie Samuels has become the first woman directly connected with a distillery to be inducted into the Bourbon Hall of Fame.
Samuels, the woman behind the name, design and iconic red wax of her family’s Maker’s Mark Bourbon brand, is also only the fifth female to receive the title.
“This is a historic moment that is long overdue,” said Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. “Mrs Samuels was one of many women in our industry to be directly involved with creating and growing a legendary Bourbon brand.
“We are proud to honour Mrs. Samuels, and we applaud her monumental contributions that forever changed the way Bourbon is made and marketed. She transformed our industry, and we are eternally grateful.”
Margie, who died in 1985, helped launch the Maker’s Mark distillery with her husband Bill Samuels Sr. Her son, Bill Samuels Jr is currently the chairman of Maker’s Mark, while her grandson, Rob, is its COO.
Fred Minnick, author of Whiskey Women: The Untold Truth About How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch & Irish Whiskey, said Margie Samuels is “arguably the most underrated Bourbon figure of all-time”.
“She absolutely changed the spirits industry,” he said. “Her feminine bottle design and dripping wax was the beautiful red dress in a sea of boring gray dresses.”
A ceremony was held yesterday in conjunction with the Kentucky Bourbon Festival to induct Samuels into the Bourbon Hall of Fame.