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chasking
05-02-2006, 08:30
From the article about Maker's Mark posted recently in the Industry News forum:


Jim Beam's international sales have been focused primarily in Australia and New Zealand, Flocco said, but there are plans to develop other markets for Jim Beam and Knob Creek. Maker's Mark can join them once its distillery expansion is far enough along that it can keep up a steady flow of inventory.

(Emphasis added.)

Can Maker's Mark expand its operations to support wide international marketing and still remain Maker's Mark? Anyone know anything about this distillery expansion?

bobbyc
05-02-2006, 19:42
Yes, what was going on there was raising the Dam on their lake to the max that it can. They will use municipal water for cooling and the lake water to make product from.Along with that a 3rd still will be put in place to increase output an additional 50%.That is probably all that is being referenced there.

Jim Beam has so much on their plate right at the moment that any changes to Makers will be slow in coming. Probably not in our lifetime.

The first and immediate thing will be opening up Makers to the vast distribution arm of Beam.

I see all this as a good thing, Jim Beam didn't get where they are( Numero Uno) by dumb luck or screwing things up.

There was already in place a plan for a very big expansion of Makers by H Walker to coincide with Bill Samuels Jr retirement. A search of the Courier Journal might turn up the article.

Hedmans Brorsa
05-03-2006, 06:46
Can Maker's Mark expand its operations to support wide international marketing and still remain Maker's Mark?

I certainly canīt lay claims to any insider info on this, but spontaneously it smells like the end of Makerīs Mark as we know it.

Maybe this, in the long run, could end up on the positive side for the general consumer?

Over the years, thereīs been, on this forum, more than one complaint concerning both the omnipresence of the red label and the dearth of premium bottlings. Who knows, maybe a transformation of MM into a "normal" distillery, slaughtering the sacred cow that is MM red in the process, would mean more availability of exclusive bottlings for the general consumer.

Wild speculations on my part, of course. :)

pepcycle
05-03-2006, 09:08
Makers, as we know it, is several different iterations.
Many here have opinions on the evolution and change in flavor profile of Makers over the last 50 years.
We tasted some very fine 80's product that was smoother and had more caramel/vanilla than the current offering. Is the newer product better, marketed better or more appealing to a wider market. I vote for number three and I'm sure that will drive the product in the future.
Can we expect brands to stay exactly the same forever?

cowdery
05-03-2006, 11:14
The MM expansion plan was announced before the Allied sale. It has been postponed but probably not for long. Essentially it will be a duplicate of the expansion a few years ago that doubled the plant's capacity. What they did was leave the original plant alone and built an exact duplicate of it. The intention is to do the same thing a third time. With this expansion they will have reached what they at least believe to be the maximum capacity of their water supply. Obviously, it will take years for the new plant to be built and for whiskey made there to enter the pipeline but, God willing, it will be within the lifetimes of most of us.

chasking
05-03-2006, 12:12
What they did was leave the original plant alone and built an exact duplicate of it. The intention is to do the same thing a third time. With this expansion they will have reached what they at least believe to be the maximum capacity of their water supply.

Well, that's reassuring. I had visions of a big industrial spirits factory on the other side of the hill...

bobbyc
05-03-2006, 12:14
Samuels said the company has been "squirreling away a little barrel inventory assuming that emerging interest, especially in Europe."

Any idea how much work the squirrels have done?

bobbyc
05-03-2006, 12:39
I had visions of a big industrial spirits factory on the other side of the hill...

It is changes of that magnitude that I referred to when I said "Probably not in our lifetime".

cowdery
05-03-2006, 16:16
Any idea how much work the squirrels have done?

Probably no one has built or acquired more warehouse space in recent years than Maker's. They haven't built any new ones at the distillery site itself, but up on the hill in "downtown" Loretto they now have a large warehouse complex, greatly enlarged in recent years. They also have houses at the old T.W. Samuels place and are using the warehouses at Stitzel-Weller.

Although he has never said this to me directly, I think Dave Pickerell would love to see the next stage of Maker's Mark expansion be the acquisition, restoration and return to production of Stitzel-Weller. The still at Maker's was modeled on the one at SW.

Gillman
05-03-2006, 16:39
That's interesting. I wonder if the change noted by some in Maker's over the years may have something to do with barrels having different characters depending on the warehouse and location they are aged in. Even with the batching from the various locales that no doubt occurs, one would think a palate might emerge that was somewhat different from the one which issued solely from the houses on the original site.

Gary

bobbyc
05-03-2006, 18:04
I think Dave Pickerell would love to see the next stage of Maker's Mark expansion be the acquisition, restoration and return to production of Stitzel-Weller.

We all would like to see Stitzel Weller back in operation regardless of whose name is on the gate. If it takes this to do it so much the better. Beam has the pockets.

cowdery
05-04-2006, 10:19
That's interesting. I wonder if the change noted by some in Maker's over the years may have something to do with barrels having different characters depending on the warehouse and location they are aged in. Even with the batching from the various locales that no doubt occurs, one would think a palate might emerge that was somewhat different from the one which issued solely from the houses on the original site.

Gary

Good point, Gary. For example, although I don't know this for a fact, I believe the barrels aged at Stitzel-Weller are being dumped and bottled there as well, which means they are not being mingled with barrels aged in other locations. Also, Maker's has one of the smallest bottling batches in the industry, so they simply can't blend away deviations too easily. Still, I'm sure they are trying for consistency as much as they can manage it, since that is an important part of the MM brand promise.

Gillman
05-04-2006, 10:48
If there was some way to identify which house a bottle came from one could do a comparative tasting!

Gary