Back in March, I had the pleasure of visiting Maker’s Mark and Wild Turkey back to back. It was a remarkable trip, with “Spirit of Collaboration,” a post detailing my adventures, following shortly afterwards.

While every distillery visit is undoubtedly special, these two stood out for their participants – most notably, Bruce Russell of Wild Turkey joining in for a Maker’s Mark private selection, and Denny Potter and Jane Bowie of Maker’s Mark hanging out for a Wild Turkey barrel pick. Regardless of ownership, Kentucky’s heritage distilleries share a bond, and I had the privilege of witnessing that bond first hand.

Today is an exciting day, as I’m happy to announce the first whiskey of this special collaboration, “Loretto & Lawrenceburg.” Crafted by Ryan Alves (Justins’ House of Bourbon), Aaron Goldfarb (author of Hacking Whiskey), the talented Bruce Russell, my friend Jacob Runge, and me, Loretto & Lawrenceburg is a reminder that great things come from a combination of quality bourbon and fellowship. I have fond memories of that March day, and sipping this whiskey takes me back to Loretto each and every time.

Loretto & Lawrenceburg

Maker’s Mark Private Selection – Kentucky straight bourbon whisky barrel finished with 10 selected oak staves – 110.7 proof – no age stated – distilled, finished, and bottled by the Maker’s Mark Distillery, Inc.

Tasted neat in a Glencairn after a few minutes rest …

Color: copper

Nose: Cherry Dr. Pepper, earthy butterscotch, boozy caramel apple, toasted honey, maple syrup, woody spice

Taste: pepper-coated vanilla bean, brown sugar, Coca-Cola, clove chewing gum, sweet tobacco, leather

Finish: long & spice-forward w/ singed (almost dusty-esque) butterscotch, English toffee, charred oak, heavy baking spice, cinnamon toothpicks

Overall: Loretto & Lawrenceburg showcases precisely what makes Maker’s Mark’s private selection program so unique – an uncanny and immersive flavor profile that simply can’t be replicated by a standard single maturation. There’s baking spice, there’s signature bourbon sweetness, and yes, there’s even more spice to punch you in the mouth and remind you that oak can do astonishing things beyond the char. It’s a fantastic whiskey – bold, complex, and memorable. Sure, one could say I’m biased. I can’t say I’m not. But truthfully, this is a bourbon fan’s whiskey. And I don’t think I could state it any better than that.

If you’re interested in purchasing Loretto & Lawrenceburg, please visit Keg N Bottle’s website. Shipping is available for most states, though being a one-time offering, supply is limited.

Special thanks to Keg N Bottle for sponsoring this private selection. I’d also like to thank Trevor Bowles and the entire crew at Maker’s Mark for their hospitality. It was a day I’ll never forget.