Maker's Mark is a brand of Kentucky straight bourbon distilled by the Maker's Mark company in Happy Hollow, Kentucky. While the Samuels family has distilling roots going back to the 1780's, the story of Maker's Mark dates to the 1930's, when Bill Samuels Sr. and his father decided to reopen their family's distillery. Bill Sr. wanted to reformulate their family's bourbon recipe, but was overruled by his father. In 1943, after ten years of distilling, the company went under and was sold.
In 1953, Bill Sr. bought the abandoned 19th century Burk's Spring Distillery in Happy Hollow and began making bourbon with his new formula, which removed the rye from the mash bill in favor of hard winter wheat, thus making a softer, sweeter bourbon.
Bill Jr. came on board with the company in 1975 as President, and his son Rob joined the company in 2006.
In 2002, Maker's Mark expanded production by replicating the entire 19th century distillery, so that there are two duplicates side by side. In 2010, they released Maker's Mark 46, which is not only higher proof (94 versus 90 for regular Maker's), but get a few extra months of aging in barrels with stave inserts which lend a stronger oak spice and vanilla flavor to the bourbon.
Maker's Mark bottles their bourbon in batches of 19 barrels, and does not blend the spirit before bottling -- each bottle comes from a particular barrel of bourbon.
Maker's Mark was the first distillery to be in the National Register of Historic Places.