I signed up to be a Maker’s Mark ambassador back in September. This is similar to being a “Friend of Laphroaig” or an Ardbeg Committee member. In other words, it’s a marketing gimmick. Is it geeky? Sure. Is it lame? I suppose some would say that (I like it so far, though). Is it worth doing? Yeah, why not? It’s not like it costs anything. Anyway, on to the purpose of today’s post: my wife sent me an email yesterday with a picture attached showing a package that had arrived, stamped with “Historic Birth Announcement Enclosed” on the front.
One of the benefits of being a Maker’s Mark Ambassador is that you can submit your name (or some arbitrary text) to be included along with 29 others on a barrel of new spirit (names inscribed on a plaque). In 6 or 7 years, when the barrel is mature, you’re then invited to come to the distillery in Kentucky and purchase a couple of 1 liter bottles from your batch. You’re given your own special label to go on the back of the bottle, and you get to do the wax dipping and stamp a special seal on the wax. [Note: My wife actually said to me “You should go do that when your barrel is done”. Cool! Note that she said you, though…not “we”.] I submitted “Arizona Hershauers” (as opposed to the Indiana or Michigan Hershauers from my extended family) in September, and received the following letter in this package:
Also included was a “Barrel Dedication Certificate” and a bunch of Ambassador business cards. I attempted to earn some awe and respect from my wife by presenting one to her (like it says in the letter). Fail.
Finally, here is a picture of the actual plaque that’s mounted on the barrel with the 30 Ambassador names. Note that you can also order a replica plaque for $40 to mount proudly in your man cave. You’re also allowed to customize the replica, opting whether or not to show the other names, and you can also change your own text (just in case you put something lame on the original like “ARIZONA HERSHAUERS”.
So, there you have it. If you’re feeling alone and insignificant in the world, go become a Maker’s Mark Ambassador and be a part of whisky-making history. Say what you will about marketing schemes like this, the crew at Maker’s Mark really goes all out to make you feel like a special part of their team. The materials used for promotional kits like this are high quality, they maintain regular communication via email throughout the year, and from comments on their Facebook page, it sounds like they make you feel very welcome and special when you visit the distillery to collect your batch bottles.
- Maker’s Mark Embassy: The Maker’s Mark Ambassador web site link. You can sign up to become a new ambassador from here.
- Facebook: The official Maker’s Mark facebook page. 5,925 members and counting.
- Other goodies: Maker’s Mark sends out other goodies to Ambassadors at times. I got a well packaged tube of wrapping paper, along with Maker’s Mark bottle-shaped gift tags before Christmas 2008 (note the MM Bottle snowflakes on the paper):