In celebration of the vital role of women in American whiskey history Maker’s Mark is recognizing its co-founder Margie Samuels with her own limited release.
Maker’s Mark Distillery is a bit off the beaten path in Loretto, Kentucky. The little distillery that could has been punching above its weight since its inception on October 1, 1953. Even today, GPS has a bit of trouble giving directions to this worthwhile destination.
One of the key punchers in making the Maker’s Mark brand known throughout the world is co-founder Margie Mattingly Samuels (1916-1985). Margie is credited with Maker’s distinctive name, cutting-edge bottle design and iconic dripping red wax. In 2014 she was the first woman directly connected with a distillery to receive the Bourbon industry’s highest honor, and only the fifth woman ever to be inducted into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame.
Back in ’14 her son Bill Sameuls, Jr. and now Chairman Emeritus of Maker’s Mark was quoted as saying, “As Associate Editor of my high school yearbook, I’ll never forget that day when I came home from school and all my things were sitting outside because Mom had thrown out my photo lab to set up a wax test kitchen in the basement.
“I was so aggravated with her in that moment, but looking back 60 years, I know that what she accomplished compared to what I might have is just monumental.”
And the rest as they say is history as Maker’s Mark Bourbon is one of the top selling premium bourbon the world over.
The Margie Samuels Founder’s Series Bottle
Maker’s Mark is commemorating Margie Samuels with the launch of The Margie Samuels Founder’s Bottle. In a nod to Margie’s achievements and to continue encouraging female creators $25 from each bottle sold will be donated to the Bellarmine University Rubel School of Business to fund scholarships for the school’s “Women of Color Entrepreneurs – Leadership Certificate”.
Watch the video to hear from Bellarmine University representatives Dr. Natasha Munshi, Dean, Rubel School of Business and Dr. Patricia Carver, Program Director, Women of Color Entrepreneurs on how the proceeds will be used.
Margie Samuels was Born Into Kentucky’s Signature Bourbon Business
Her father’s family co-founded the Mattingly & Moore Distillery (now Barton 1792 Distillery) in Bardstown in the mid-1800s. She graduated at the top of her class from the Louisville Girls High School and the University of Louisville with a chemistry degree in 1933.
At U of L, she met Bill Samuels, Sr., a sixth-generation Kentucky distiller whose family owned and operated the T.W. Samuels Distillery. They married in 1937 and set up residence at the old Samuels home place on Whiskey Row in Bardstown, next door to Colonel Jim and Mary Beam.
In 1953, Mrs. Samuels collaborated with her husband on a new kind of Bourbon using wheat in place of rye as the secondary grain. She baked bread with a variety of alternative grains, and Bill blindtasted the bread and then made his decision for red winter wheat. And the rest as they say is history.
Maker’s Mark Margie Samuels Founder’s Bottle
This special addition to the Maker’s Mark portfolio features the artwork of Owensboro, Kentucky artist Aaron Kizer, and each bottle is hand signed by Margie’s son, Bill Samuels, Jr., Chairman Emeritus of Maker’s Mark.
The Maker’s Mark Margie Samuels Founder’s bottle is available for purchase at the Maker’s Mark Distillery for $64.95 beginning Friday, March 5th.