Strolling down the whiskey aisle of your native liquor retailer, you might have seen the candelabra-looking whiskey bottle with the crimson wax dripping down from the highest. It is a bottle of Maker’s Mark, an icon of Kentucky bourbon whiskey – provided that you take a look at the bottle, it is spelled bourbon “whisky.” What provides?
Maker’s Mark is made in America and American whiskey is at all times spelled with an “e,” in contrast to in each different nation — besides Eire — the place it is referred to as “whisky.” It could look like only a matter of spelling, however there are precise differences between whiskey and whisky. So, it is actually odd to see a distiller bucking the pattern of its residence nation.
When representatives of Maker’s Mark have been requested about it, they acknowledged in a Tweet on X (formerly known as Twitter) that the normal Scottish spelling was in honor of the Scottish-Irish heritage of the Samuels household, who introduced the Maker’s Mark model up from its humble roots to its present legendary standing of creating bourbon for over eight generations. After all, Maker’s Mark has solely been round because the Fifties however its founder, Invoice Samuels Sr., hails from an extended and revered lineage of whiskey distillers.
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Maker’s Mark Would not All the time Respect Household
The selection of spelling is an oddity within the American whiskey scene, particularly contemplating that loads of different distilleries have Scottish-Irish heritage. It turns into even stranger when you think about the origin story. Bear in mind the eight generations of whiskey-makers? Nicely, it seems that Invoice Samuels Sr. inherited a 170-year-old whiskey recipe that his household had come to be recognized for. Solely Invoice and his spouse did not prefer it very a lot.
His spouse is even broadly quoted as saying, “That s*** will blow your ears off.” So, when Invoice lastly got here into possession of the recipe, he ritualistically burned the one copy. It is actually essentially the most American factor we are able to consider, but it surely nonetheless appears like a slap within the face. Invoice then got here up along with his personal recipe and named it Maker’s Mark. Maybe he felt responsible for breaking the hyperlink in an extended household historical past and referred to as his product “whisky” to make up for it.
The Samuels not personal Maker’s Mark, however the custom appears right here to remain. The distillery has modified arms a number of occasions over time. Invoice Samuels Sr. would break custom once more by promoting the corporate in 1981 as an alternative of preserving it a household enterprise. Later, Jim Beam purchased Maker’s Mark in 2005, after which the corporate Suntory purchased Jim Beam in 2014. Maker’s Mark is now produced by the Japanese firm Beam Suntory. It isn’t clear why Beam Suntory would proceed to label it as “whisky,” however that’s the way it’s spelled in Japan.
Learn the original article on Tasting Table.