Tuesday, July 1, 2008

It's a Bourbon!

Accompanied by my two sons, I finally made the trek to the Maker's Mark distillery in Loretto, Ky., on Monday, June 23. I have been a Maker's Mark Ambassador for several years now and was among the first to have my name engraved on a barrel some six years ago. My barrel, along with 149 others, finally matured and were ready to come home. Each Ambassador in this inaugural batch was given the opportunity to purchase two bottles during the months of April through June. My time was running out and I'd be damned if some toothless hillbilly was going to get his grubby paws on what was rightfully mine.

Here I be at the start of the distillery tour. Maker's Mark makes a big fuss over Ambassadors with all sorts of fanfare. There were four of us on the tour. Of the four of us, there was one other dude like me who was there to pick up his babies.

The tour would not be complete without a visit to the tasting room. You get to sample Maker's Mark in two forms...in its infancy which is referred to as "White Dog." It smells and tastes like corn. Yuck.

The second snifter has a taste of the good stuff. Good for what ails ya.

The proud father...the only thing missing now are the wax bonnets.

After expertly dipping my bottles in the molten hot wax, I carefully applied the finishing touch: a date stamp on the top of the bottle. Only Ambassadors are allowed this sacred privilege.

The Harper lads, Dale (left) and Jace, pose proudly at the entrance to the Maker's Mark Visitors Center. The boys gladly endured the six-hour round trip drive to share this special moment with their pop.