I have always felt that the distillery campus in Loretto was picturesque and historic. After many visits, I wanted to experience Maker’s Mark through the eyes of a first-time visitor.

Of my two guests, one was a long-time fan of Maker’s Mark and is in their ambassador program. The other had no preconceived notions on bourbon in general but was willing to visit and learn.  While initially planning to view the experience through the prism of two people, something else happened along the way.  During a tour of approximately 30 people, the guide asked for a show of hands of first-time visitors. Interestingly, I was the only repeat visitor in the group. The result was not what I expected, but it identifies the continued growth and excitement of bourbon. 

The bottom line is that my guests viewed the experience in similar ways. The campus was unique, and dipping your bottle in the red wax was mandatory even for the non-bourbon drinker. What was unexpected was the impact the art glass displayed during the tour would be memorable.  It is unique to Maker’s Mark that they include colorful glass art throughout the experience.  The artwork was created by esteemed artisans Steven Rolfe Powell and Dale Chihuly, to name a few. For me, it was different; for one of the first-timers, it was what they liked the best about the visit.

Picture of a guest dipping his bottle of Makers Mark Bourbon
Dipping your personal bottle of bourbon at Maker’s Mark Distillery

Dipping your bottle

Maker’s Mark is an iconic brand known throughout the world for its signature red wax seal and its elegant bottle shape.  Using wheat as the flavoring grain, this brand jump-started the idea of premium bourbon. Maker’s Mark is a must-visit for anyone interested in bourbon.

Located in the city of Loretto Kentucky, Maker’s Mark is not located on a highway but is nestled in the countryside using two-lane roads. The name Loretto came from a nearby Catholic congregation known as the Sisters of Loretto. The town is small, and the barrel rickhouses of Maker’s Mark are visible throughout the western portions of Loretto.

The distillery is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark. Known initially as Burks Distillery, the property was purchased by Bill Samuels in 1953, who, along with his wife Marjorie, created and marketed this well-known brand.

Whether or not you are a seasoned bourbon enthusiast or a first-time visitor, you will find something to like at the Maker’s Mark Distillery.  Take the time to walk through the historical grounds, experience the unique glass art, and sample some iconic whisky during your visit.  Maker’s Mark, through the eyes of a first-time visitor, shows that there is something for everyone.

The successful dipping of two bottles of Makers Mark Bourbon
Successfully dipping two bottles of Maker’s Mark

The Maker’s Mark Ambassador program

The Maker’s Mark Ambassador program is an active marketing effort that I signed up for many years ago. When you sign up, your name goes on a filled barrel.  Once that barrel matures, you receive notice that you can come in and purchase bottles from your barrel with your name on the bottle.  During the aging process, Maker’s Mark will communicate with you about the barrel progress, special events, and will even send you occasional gifts.  We will feature more on this later in the year as my first Maker’s Mark Ambassador barrel will be ready for bottling in the Spring.