More than 50 years ago, Kentucky distiller Bill Samuels, Sr., founder of Maker's Mark, set out to make a better tasting bourbon whisky. What he discovered was that if you used winter wheat in the mash instead of the traditional distiller's rye, your bourbon whisky was smoother and less bitter...and that's made all the difference.
As distinct as the Maker's Mark® taste are its bottle and name. Designed by Margie Samuels (wife of Bill Samuels, Sr.), the square-shape container was inspired by her collection of cognac bottles. In keeping with the look of the French spirit, Mrs. Samuels decided to hand dip the very first bottles in red wax in her kitchen home fryer—a process that has now expanded and has blessed millions of the famous bourbon bottles. Taking it one step further, Mrs. Samuels, a collector of English pewter, recognized that any worthy craftsman uniquely branded each of his creations with what became a personal “Maker’s Mark.” She deemed it a perfect title for her husband’s handmade bourbon.
The iconic bottle and wax defines the care that goes into making each bottle of this hand-crafted bourbon. Since the first bottle sold in 1958, each bottle is still hand-dipped with a red wax by people, not machines.
In 2010, the first new product ever for Maker's Mark, Maker's 46™ Bourbon was introduced. Maker's 46 Bourbon is created by removing fully matured Maker's Mark bourbon from its barrel, affixing ten seared oak staves to the inside of the original barrel, then putting the Maker's Mark back in and aging it several more months. 46 is the number assigned by the barrel maker to the process he created specifically for this project.