Maker’s Mark Distillery

Photo of Maker's Mark Distillery in Loretto, Kentucky. Project was led by Morris Workshop Architects.

Maker’s Mark Distillery

Maker’s Mark Distillery, nestled in the picturesque town of Loretto, Kentucky, is renowned for its commitment to crafting exceptional bourbon while honoring long-established traditions. The distillery was the brainchild of Bill Samuels Sr. who sought to create a handcrafted bourbon whiskey that would stand out from the competition. With a dedication to quality and a focus on small-batch production, Maker’s Mark quickly garnered a reputation for its distinctive taste and signature red wax seal.

They have always prioritized the principles of authenticity, craftsmanship, and family heritage. The company values the careful selection of ingredients, including locally sourced grains and pure limestone-filtered water from a nearby spring. Every step of the production process is carried out with meticulous attention to detail, ensuring the delivery of a consistently superior product.

Project Details

Product: 6″ V-Groove

Finishes: Dark Brown, Classic Bronze, Slate Grey, and Black

Use: Cladding

Architect: Morris Workshop Architects

Market: Industrial

Year: 2021

Shared Values of Longboard and Maker's Mark Distillery

Maker’s Mark follows a meticulous production process to create its premium bourbon. Their commitment to craftsmanship, quality, and attention to detail stood out to us at Longboard, as those values are ones that we share. At Longboard, we strive for innovation in all things; this includes the quality of work being done and the quality of work that results. Our products are made by highly skilled and experienced people, modern equipment, and exceptional process control systems. Other ways where Longboard and Maker’s Mark come together is in their sustainability practices and community engagement.
Photo of Maker's Mark Distillery in Loretto, Kentucky. Project was led by Morris Workshop Architects.

Expanding to Meet Growing Demand

In recent years, the distillery embarked on a significant expansion project to meet the growing demand they were generating. When designing the new addition, they had to consider the visitor experience, company history, production capacity, and sustainability. While the new distillery introduced modern features, great care was taken to ensure the preservation of the company’s traditional processes and iconic aesthetics. 

This presented the architect (Morris Workshop Architects, pllc) with a unique challenge: to create a modern aesthetic that both stood out from its surroundings, while still fitting in. This would require the use of unique colors and products that would ultimately create a unique and stunning design.

The inspiration for the exterior was to mimic the many tobacco barns that are seen in the region. These barns are typically built with vertical black cladding, and the effects of time create natural patterns of fading color, warping, and slotted openings. This weathering gives the barns an appealing vintage look that is the muse for many designers today. This look beautifully matches the aesthetic of the buildings that pre-exist on the distillery campus, some that have been around for 50 years.

Longboard's Role in the Project​

Longboard was selected as the design assist partner of choice for this exciting project, entrusted with supplying the aluminum cladding in four dark-colored finishes: Dark Brown, Classic Bronze, Slate Grey, and Black. Collaborating closely with the architect, we meticulously crafted the configuration of the planks and expertly curated the color palette to manifest their vision. 

As a building products manufacturer with our own in-house engineering and product design team, we offer various custom solutions ranging from custom aluminum extrusions, unique powder coating finishes, prefabrication, and more.  custom detail for them using a riveted starter strip to achieve this look. For this project, we provided a custom detail – using a riveted starter strip to achieve this look.

Photo of Maker's Mark Distillery in Loretto, Kentucky. Project was led by Morris Workshop Architects.

Our 6” V-Groove planks are made of 100% aluminum and are thus 100% recyclable, they are also VOC and LBC Red List free, made using chrome-free pre-treatment, and are manufactured using hydroelectric power. The sustainability of our products aligned with the distillery’s environmental initiatives and helped bolster a great working relationship.

Exceptional Visitor Experience

Maker’s Mark Distillery’s commitment to providing an exceptional visitor experience extended to the new facility. The effort put in to ensure that the facility blended in with the surrounding buildings and history of the region doesn’t go unnoticed by guests. Our disciplined approach to powder coating, quality, and process control distinguishes us as an industry leading product manufacturer and we ensure that our premium products stay looking beautiful for many, many years. Visitors will continue to appreciate the modern yet traditional aesthetics of Maker’s Mark Distillery’s architecture for years to come.

The end result of our partnership with Maker’s Mark was a beautiful and modern facility that resembled the history of the area and the company. Longboard was able to help Maker’s Mark Distillery evolve their brand while still staying true to their heritage. The design and construction of their new facility successfully blended tradition and modernity, allowing for increased production capacity, improved efficiency, and an enhanced visitor experience. Maker’s Mark continues to thrive by upholding its core values and adapting to evolving consumer preferences, ensuring a bright and prosperous future for the company.

Project Photos

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Maker's Mark Distillery ensure the quality of its bourbon throughout the distillation process, and what unique techniques do they employ?

Maker's Mark Distillery ensures the quality of its bourbon through a meticulous process, which includes using a unique mash bill featuring soft red winter wheat, employing pure limestone water rich in calcium and magnesium, and utilizing a heritage yeast strain over 60 years old.

The distillation process involves gleaming copper stills for a double-distillation that refines the whiskey. Moreover, the aging process is distinctive as it's based on taste rather than time, with barrels rotated by hand to ensure consistency and exposure to varying temperatures.

Can visitors participate in any hands-on experiences or workshops at the Maker's Mark Distillery to learn more about bourbon production?

Visitors to the Maker's Mark Distillery can engage in an educational and interactive tour, which is designed to cater to both bourbon enthusiasts and newcomers. The tour provides a comprehensive exploration of the bourbon crafting process, showcasing the legacy and craftsmanship of the distillery.

While specific hands-on experiences or workshops were not detailed, the nature of the tour suggests a rich, immersive experience for visitors.

What specific environmental initiatives and sustainability practices does Maker's Mark Distillery have in place to minimize its ecological footprint?

Regarding environmental initiatives, the distillery prides itself on self-sufficiency, with about 86% of the ingredients used in its bourbon sourced locally, within 60 miles of the distillery. This includes essential ingredients like corn and winter wheat. Additionally, the on-site restaurant aims to locally source its ingredients, further emphasizing the distillery's commitment to sustainability and local agriculture.

For those interested in learning more about the distillery's processes or planning a visit, more information can be found on Maker's Mark's official website.
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