GEEK OUT: Maker’s Mark Red Seal
Maker’s Mark Red Seal
A husband and wife story helped to create the iconic brand Maker’s Mark - including its hand dipped red wax seal that identifies the brand across the world.
Bill Samuels Sr.'s family were avid American Whiskey drinkers and distillers, albeit not hugely successful. Bill Sr. was passed down a mash bill as a family legacy and it sparked his interest to make a delicious bourbon that would encompass everything he believed to be authentic American strength Whiskey. He quickly set fire to his family’s recipe and went about creating a bourbon he believed in. To find the perfect balance of corn, rye and grain, without the appropriate time and money to develop distillates, Bill baked bread in the family oven using various recipes and combinations. The one him and his wife, Margie, settled on, included red winter wheat that gives Maker’s Mark its unique spice today.
Bill Sr.'s wife, Margie, played a crucial role in the branding and development of her husband's brand new product. Her love of Cognac led to the use of square bottles like the ones she collected from France. Margie, a keen crafts lady herself, thought up the name Maker's Mark after her collection of English pewter and how the craftsmen and women would leave a mark on their proudest pieces. That heritage of craftsmanship lives on in the brand to this day.
On every bottle of Maker’s Mark “Star S IV’ is forged into the glass and label. The Star is for the farm, the ‘S’ is for Samuels and the IV because Bill Sr. was a registered fourth generation whisky maker in the commonwealth of Kentucky. Even the red hand-sealed wax dip was dreamt up by Margie, who noticed it on bottles of Cognac as a cheap and effective way to ensure the corks didn’t leak any of the valuable goods inside. Today, this method of hand dipping is still done for every bottle, giving each one a unique look and feel.