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Kentucky Bourbon Trail: Maker's Mark Distillery tour

Posted on by Eric Burke

After visiting Independent Stave we stopped off at Maker's Mark since it was on the way back to Bardstown and we wanted to get our passport stamped. We weren't planning on taking a tour, since we'd already been on the tour last April. But when a cheerful person asks me if I want a tour when I walk up, I automatically say yes. Much of the tour was the same, so we mostly just took the opportunity to take a lot of pictures. 

Entrance Sign at Maker's Mark

The Maker's Mark campus is beautiful

Almost all of the building on campus are black with red shutters

Even the more industrial looking items and buildings follow the branded look of the campus.

The inside of the buildings are showpieces too. This is a mash cooker and too highly polished copper tanks.

Fermentation tanks with the logo on the wall behind them.

I found this bottle labeling machine fascinating.

These bottles have just been dipped and are going into a chamber to set the wax.

The new tasting rooms are a major improvement. And they are also beautiful with very nice artwork.

We tasted unaged, regular Maker's Mark, "Over Matured" Maker's Mark and Maker's 46

After the tasting, you can visit the gift shop and have the opportunity to buy a souvenir bottle and dip it yourself. Robin took that opportunity.

This is probably my least favorite distillery tour. It is very pretty, very highly polished, but I felt that it was much more about style than it was about substance. We visited an aging warehouse, but it was empty. We had a tasting of a product (the "Over Matured) that the tour guide claimed was only made so that they could make sure that the stuff they've been making is good. That doesn't make sense to me. I'm not sure if there was a mistake somewhere or if they're doing extra market research. Either one would make more sense.

If you don't know anything about bourbon or never developed a taste for it, this is the one I would recommend because it will make you want to drink Maker's which will make you curious about other bourbons and bring you into the fold. But for me, this tour only rates a meh.