The Heritage Tour: An Evening with Bill Samuels Jr. of Maker's Mark

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Join us Tuesday, March 30th at 7pm for an evening with Maker's Mark Diplomat, Greta Harper and Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame legend, Bill Samuels Jr. as he guides us through the storied history and heritage of Maker's in a way few others can do!

The SLBS is beyond proud to host this extremely limited engagement with one of the icons of the Bourbon Industry and a pioneer in his craft.

In this virtual event, we will be tasting and hearing first-hand the development of 4 different expressions provided by Makers Mark including their limited-edition Wood Finish Release, FAE-01 which was just released at the distillery on March 4th. In the lineup for the evening will be:

Maker's Mark
Maker's Mark Cask Strength
Maker's Mark 46
Maker's Mark Limited Edition FAE-01

The evening with be more than just the Whisky, it will also focus on the people who made the distillery and the brand what it is today.

Bill Samuels Jr: The Man, the Myth, the Legend.

As a teenager, Bill got a PhD in salesmanship by driving Harland Sanders around Kentucky as the Colonel was launching his new chicken business. Later, Bill earned a degree in engineering physics, helped design both the Gemini and Polaris missiles (during what he calls a "brief and disastrous career as an aerospace engineer"), and became friends both with the founding administrator of NASA and with America's leading physicist at the time (Edward Teller). Then it was on to law school and the White House (as an intern) before joining his father in the family business. 

When the son of Bill and Margie took over as president in 1975, his father's only words of advice to Bill Samuels, Jr., were "Don't screw up the whisky." Bill, Jr., has honored that wish while displaying a flair for innovation - just like his parents. He created a first-of-its-kind Ambassador program that allows Maker's Mark's biggest fans to feel like part of the family. And, like his father, Bill, Jr., made his mark on the family legacy and the bourbon category itself in 2010 with Maker's Mark 46™, the brand's first new major product in over 50 years.

Bill Samuel Sr., Maker's Mark Founder and Sixth Generation Distiller

Bill Samuels, Sr.'s quest to create Maker's Mark® began with his only copy of the family's trusted, 170-year-old recipe. The one the sixth-generation distiller promptly set on fire, of course.

After accidentally burning a set of drapes in the process, Bill experimented with different flavoring grains, searching for a mash bill all his own. To save years of aging time, Bill baked several loaves of bread with various grain combinations instead of distilling them. His quick thinking not only saved time but also led him to swap out the traditional rye grain that is commonly used in bourbons, for soft, red winter wheat. This replaced the hot bite of rye with the delicate sweetness that Maker's® is known for today.

Margie Samuels: Making Her Mark.

The flavor of Maker's Mark stood out from the crowd, so co-founder Margie Samuels wanted to ensure the bottle did the same on store shelves. It's said that Margie is the reason most folks buy their first bottle of Maker's Mark and Bill is the reason they buy their second. The shape of the bottle, look of the label, signature red wax topper and even the name itself are all thanks to Margie.

The Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Famer (the first woman involved with a distillery to be inducted, by the way) hand-dipped the first bottles in her kitchen using a home fryer to melt the wax. Margie's fried chicken was never quite the same, and neither was the whisky business. While every sip of Maker's® tastes just like the one before it, no two bottles are exactly alike. Those red tendrils give each bottle its own unique flourish.

A lot of the success of Maker's is due to Margie's passion and ingenuity. In her honor, and in recognition of National Women's Month, the St. Louis Bourbon Society will be donating 10% of each ticket sold to The Women's Safe House. Founded in 1977, The Women's Safe House, formerly St. Louis Abused Woman Support Project, was the first domestic violence shelter in St. Louis; operating solely with volunteer support.

We hope that you will join us for a memorable evening with one of the icons of the Bourbon industry.

*All Makers Mark Samples by Maker's Mark distillery to our on-premise partners.


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