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View Full Version : Maker's Turns 50



bobbyc
02-23-2004, 22:04
This was on our local news tonite. Maker's turns 50 (http://www.wdrb.com/business/spotlight_detail.asp?id=13199&section=40)

tlsmothers
02-24-2004, 21:54
I think it's kinda funny how they still get press as if they are a "mom and pop" business with no big bucks advertising strength. Granted the MM story is a good one, but I just don't believe that marketing isn't a bit ticket item when you have billboards all over NYC.

boone
02-28-2004, 13:50
I checked all the local and state papers for this one. The only one (I could find) to cover it, was the Lexington Herald.

I wonder why they celebrated the birthday party so early? I have a picture taken the day the first barrel #1 was filled. The date on that barrel is very clear, February 28, 1954. The name of the disitllery on the frist day, was not Maker's Mark. It was Old Samules Distillery.

My Great Uncle Elmo was there distilling at Old Samuels (Maker's Mark) from the very start. That's a fact http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

They did not invite anyone from "My Family of Beams" to this birthday party.

Uncle Elmo, distilled there for two season's. He died very young. April 1, 1955 at the age of 55. He lived in the "Big House" on the hill at Maker's Mark.

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Bettye Jo http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

brendaj
02-29-2004, 11:33
Bettye Jo,
Isn't this a crock too?


He experimented with different formulas by baking hundreds of loaves of bread until he found the right balance and the smooth taste he was looking for.


I would swear I remember reading that Pappy Van Winkle gave Bill Samuels, Sr. yeast when he opened the Makers distillery in Loretto... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/skep.gif
Did I dream that?
Bj

boone
02-29-2004, 12:36
No Brenda, you did not dream that. I have "heard" the same story. I can't remember who told it or if it's true?

I am looking into my records to find something related to it. I have lots of interviews with Bill Samuels Sr. He states nearly the same story over and over in different interviews. None about Pappy VanWinkle. He does mention the Beams many times and my Uncle Elmo many times. After Bill Sr. passed I cannot find any mention of the Beams. Shoot, the Jim Beam family and the Samuels were very "close" friends. There is a picture of both families together (1916) on a family outing at Mammoth Cave.

In a interview with the UofL Alumni Magazine...This is what it said...Meanwhile he was becoming obsessed with the idea of making the perfect bourbon, he says. The theory fermenting in his head was that---wheat which makes a much milder bread than rye---would do the same for whiskey. During these traveling years, Samuels elicited opinions about the good and bad qualities a pleasant aroma, a pleasant initial taste when it first hits the taste buds, a lack of firey harshness that burn you and a good after-taste, he says.

In another interview, with Bill Samuels Sr. (The Kentucky Standard) "Samuels had little time to study the distillery business under his father, who handled the production and part of the marketing, with thier Cincinnati office handling sales.


http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Bettye Jo http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

brendaj
02-29-2004, 13:01
Bettye Jo,
Yep, it's a crock alright... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/skep.gif


The theory fermenting in his head was that---wheat which makes a much milder bread thatn rye---would do the same for whiskey


like Samuels was the wheat pioneer . http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif
Look on page 134/135 of Sally VanWinkle's book. There's a quote from Norman Hayden, who was actually present during conversations between Pappy and Samuels. And a quote from Rip saying:
"Bill always said that they could never have gone back in business if Pappy hadn't given them the yeast."
By the way, there's a pretty cool photo of Will McGill in 1948, that was given to them by the same Norman Hayden.
I just hate when a marketing department takes license with history... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/banghead.gif
Bj

boone
02-29-2004, 13:33
There it is http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif...in Sally's book...But Always fine Bourbon.

Good Job, Brenda http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Pop (Joseph L. Beam) Beam worked for "Pappy" http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Shoot, all of Joseph L and his 7 son disiller's worked for Pappy http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

I have a letter from Pappy addressed to my Uncle Wilmer (Yellowstone) along with it I have a picture of Pop, and Uncle Elmo in front of the Stizel Weller place. The letter from Pappy is a letter of condolence, on the death of my greatgrandfather, (Nov. 1956) Joseph L. Beam. In this short message he menitons that they made very good whiskey with exception of the first day--->I would love to know what happened---but I don't<---- Pappy states that my my greatgrandfather was the "Dean Distiller" of his age http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/bowdown.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/bowdown.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/bowdown.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/bowdown.gif...

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Bettye Jo http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

cowdery
02-29-2004, 14:55
Sally documents the story very well about how Maker's got its wheat formula. I had heard that story from others who worked at Stitzel-Weller at the time. It has always been what they call an 'open secret.'

I'll make this apologia for Maker's Mark. If you read between the lines with Bill Jr., he makes it clear that the 'story' of Maker's Mark has elements of a tall tale, or a mythology, in which the literal truth of things is less important that the underlying message of the story. If that means you have to take everything Bill Jr. says with a grain of salt, so be it. Every marketing department is guilty of this to some extent. Heaven Hill still claims Evan Williams was Kentucky's first distiller and Elijah Craig was the 'father of bourbon.' They talk about John E. Fitzgerald as he if were a real distiller. (Sally debunks that one too in her book.) Perhaps more seriously, they claim Heaven Hill was "founded by the Shapira family," and make no mention of Joe Beam. This is a stretch of the truth, but it makes for a clean story without a lot of boring complications that don't interest the average consumer.

Good, bad or indifferent, it's the way it is.

boone
02-29-2004, 15:16
Yeah, Chuck, You hit the nail on the head http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif As always, all you say is true http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

We shot (this one) it like it really should be. The rest of the general public may not know this stuff, but at least the members of this forum will.



Good, bad or indifferent, it's the way it is.



They don't have a right to re-write history. It's wrong.

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Shootin' it Straight http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Bettye Jo http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

bobbyc
02-29-2004, 18:09
No one realized it at the time, but Mr. Samuels had single-handedly created the 'fine bourbon' category that eventually would enable other distillers to follow Maker's Mark's lead in transforming bourbon's image from crass to class.





I have to wonder if Pappy VanWinkle or James B Beam would have anything to say about that.



It was also Samuels' mother who came up with the start of the long tradition of clever advertising. "We never take out marketing seriously, we take what we do at the distillery very seriously," says Samuels.





Somewhere in all of this they are saying Mrs. Samuels came up with their advertisements now. On the tour they say everything is Red and Black because she insisted the place look good and picked the colors.

brendaj
03-01-2004, 10:09
Chuck,


he makes it clear that the 'story' of Maker's Mark has elements of a tall tale, or a mythology, in which the literal truth of things is less important that the underlying message of the story


So basically...he thinks it's ok to twist history, as long as he does it with a smile? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/skep.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/bs.gif
The one thing I will give Maker's Mark, is they did do quite a bit for Bourbon's image as a premium spirit. Great Bourbon existed long before Maker's Mark, but their advertising has done Bourbon in general a world of good.
For that, he has my gratitude.
Bj

cowdery
03-01-2004, 12:46
he thinks it's ok to twist history, as long as he does it with a smile?



Or a wink and a nudge, maybe.