New tasting rooms at Maker’s Mark

While I was in Loretto, Ky., for Maker’s Mark’s Cocktail Party a couple of weeks ago, I had a chance to peek at the distillery’s three new tasting rooms, one of which is pictured above.

The distillery added the rooms, which were created in a working warehouse (you can see the barrels through the window) to accommodate the increasing number of visitors: Maker’s Mark expects to welcome 125,000 people this year alone. The number of guests was creating a squeeze at the one original tasting station in the gift shop and rushing what should be the highlight of the tour. With the new classroom-style rooms, the tasting portion of the tour has doubled in length from about five minutes to 10.

Each room features artwork by Kentucky artists: photographs by David Toczko of Elizabethtown, whose coffee table book about Maker’s is available in the gift shop, in one; paintings by Louisville artist David O. Schuster in the second; and a series of artists in the largest room.

Maker’s Mark is at 3350 Burk Spring Road in Loretto. Tours and tastings are $7 per adult and are offered 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday through December (closed on Sundays in Jan-Feb). Note that the distillery will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and the bottling line will be shut down all next week because of the holiday.

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The Bourbon Babe