Ahhh Makers Mark…nothing reminds me of fall and winter like that whiskey bottle with red wax! The Makers Mark bottle is by far one of the most recognizable in the bourbon world. Makers Mark holds a patent on the signature wax seal that has made Makers such an icon. Every bottle is also marked with an SIV – an abbreviation for Samuels, 4th Generation. Back in the day, T. William “Bill” Samuels Sr bought the distillery that would become known as Makers Mark and produced the first bottles in 1954.
As a relative newcomer to the bourbon game, Samuels got a little help from Pappy Van Winkle – owner of the Stitzel-Weller distillery. Since he was heavily influenced by the wheated mash bill that Stitzel-weller bourbons are known for, his new bourbon was wheated as well. Where he went his own way was in using absolutely no rye in Makers Mark bourbon, but used malted barley instead.
Again, being a newcomer to the bourbon world, Samuels didn’t have the luxury of waiting for his experimental barrels to age before trying them out and settling on the best ones. Instead, he came up with his mash bills, baked them as loaves of bread, and chose the best tasting mash bill as his foundation.
Today, Makers Mark (and Maker’s Mark 46) are made with a mash bill that is 80% corn, 16% red winter wheat, and 14% malted barley.