Photos from the Lexington Herald-Leader archives updated daily

Maker’s Mark dipped in Wildcat-blue wax, 1993

Posted on March 6, 2018 | in Uncategorized | by

Shirley Ruley dipped bottles of Maker’s Mark in Wildcat-blue wax March 4, 1993 at the company’s distillery in Marion County. The company bottled 2,200 one-time, blue-wax-sealed liter bottles of bourbon to mark the University of Kentucky Wildcats’ appearance in the Southeastern Conference basketball tournament, which started a week later in Lexington. The tops of Maker’s bottles are usually sealed in red wax. But company president Bill Samuels Jr. recently turned up a forgotten batch of blue wax at the distillery and decided to issue the special bottles. “He’d planned to do a few hundred, but then he decided to keep going ’til the wax ran out,” said Ken Hoskins, a spokesman for the company. It was not the first time Maker’s has deviated from the red wax. Its ready-to-drink mint julep, available about the time of the Kentucky Derby, is sealed in green wax; its VIP bottles, with personalized labels, are sealed in gold wax. A day before the SEC Tournament, the bottles hit the shelves and within hours, there was not a bottle to be had in Lexington, the only place it was available. When Roger Leasor, vice president of Liquor Barn, arrived at the Richmond Road store to open at 9 a.m., 150 people were waiting. Four men at the front had been there since 12:30 a.m. Later in the week at Triangle Liquors on North Broadway, a bottle was priced at $200, $20 more than the store paid for a 12-bottle case. A month later, Maker’s sent 423 certificates signed by Samuels and a set of shot glasses to those who were upset they stood in line for a bottle but came up empty. Samuels knew the offer wouldn’t please everyone. He personally wrote Lexington man, “If you’re still mad, you can always use this certificate as a dartboard.” Photo by Frank Anderson | staff

An advertisement that ran in the March 9, 1993 Lexington Herald-Leader announcing the sale of the blue dipped Maker’s Mark bottles.


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