You can double your pleasure tomorrow at the downtown Spec’s, where from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Maker’s Mark owner Bill Samuels, Jr. will be signing and dipping bottles.
The name Maker’s Mark refers to the way fine pewter craftsmen only put their marks on their best products. (Good thing the whisky makers didn’t go with Pew Mark.)
Maker’s Mark propagates its own yeast for fermentation. This is done with a traditional sweet yeast method, where some of the culture is left over from one batch to the next, meaning some of the cultures can be traced back to before Prohibition. (Which kind of reminds us of a generation joint.)
During production, each barrel of bourbon is sealed up with a hard walnut plug called a bung that allows for tasting throughout the aging process. Other distillers use poplar bungs, which swell and can only be removed by cutting them out.
Bill Samuels, Jr. is a seventh generation whisky maker. He’s a second generation bottle dipper, as it was his mom’s idea to seal each bottle in wax. His dad apparently wasn’t too keen on the idea, but you can guess who won that argument. – Keith Plocek