Maker’s Mark launches Private Barrel programmeBy Kristiane Sherry
Maker’s Mark is launching a new retail initiative where select trade customers can finish its original, fully matured cask strength Bourbon in a barrel made from a personalised selection of oak staves.
The Maker’s Mark Private Select Barrel Program will kick off in November 2015, with bottled product available for sale by retail participants from March 2016.
As part of the initiative, participants will have the opportunity to spend the day at the Maker’s Mark distillery understanding the production process.
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: Baked American Pure 2, Seared French Cuvee, Maker’s 46, Roasted French Mocha, and Toasted French Spice. According to Maker’s Mark there are 1,001 possible stave combinations.
The liquid will then aged for nine additional weeks in a customer’s custom barrel. It is then bottled, corked and dipped at cask strength, with cask details and stave combinations handwritten on the label.
Rob Samuels, Maker’s Mark Distillery COO, said: “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.
“We’ve never before given anyone this kind of access or opportunity to create their favourite 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.”
The Maker’s Mark Private Select Program will be available to Kentucky- and Illinois-based retailers in its first year. There are plans to expand the initiative to additional markets from 2016.
In July this year, a judge dismissed claims that Maker’s Mark misled consumers by labelling its whiskey “handmade”. They concluded that no “reasonable consumer” could be misguided by the claim.