Maker’s Mark Lets Retailers Customize in ‘Private Select’ Program

Whiskey enthusiasts can now make their own Maker’s Mark.

The company announced its newest program this week — Private Select.

This program allows retail customers to “make their own Maker’s,” the company says, by finishing fully-matured cask strength Maker’s Mark Bourbon in a single barrel made up of their custom selection of oak staves.

The program will kick off in limited release in November 2015, with bottled product available for sale by retail participants beginning March 2016.

Through the Maker’s Mark Private Select Experience, participants will have the opportunity to spend a day at the Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto, KY, where they will “mirror the process used by Chairman Emeritus Bill Samuels, Jr. when he created Maker’s 46 in 2010,” the company says.

“We’ve never before given anyone this kind of access or opportunity to create their favorite version of Maker’s,” states Rob Samuels, COO Maker’s Mark Distillery, in a press release.

Participants will receive an in-depth immersion that illustrates the essential role that wood plays in the taste of bourbon, the company says, and will select their preferred combination of five types of wood staves with which to finish their custom expression.

This collection of oak staves includes Baked American Pure 2, Seared French Cuvee, Maker’s 46, Roasted French Mocha, and Toasted French Spice. There are 1,001 possible stave combinations.

After aging for nine additional weeks in a single barrel with the participants’ custom stave combination, the bourbon will be bottled, corked and dipped at cask strength, with details such as proof and stave combinations handwritten on the label.

Maker’s Mark Private Select Program will be available to Kentucky- and Illinois-based retailers in its first year, and will be expanded to additional markets in 2016.

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