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Two Kentucky Bourbons Celebrate Bellarmine University's 2011 National Basketball Championship

Nov 17, 2011


Maker's Mark, Woodford Reserve available in same limited-edition package

Update: There will be an additional sale on Tuesday, December 20, 2011, from 4 to 7 p.m. in the George G. Brown Center's Frazier Hall. [campus map]

Two great Kentucky bourbons have come together for the first time to celebrate a Kentucky champion.


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Maker's Mark and Woodford Reserve bottles sit side-by-side in a distinctive wooden case that pays tribute to the Bellarmine University Knights, who won the NCAA Division II national basketball championship earlier this year. The limited-edition bottles, available for $200 on December 10, bear the private Louisville university's distinctive silver and scarlet colors.

Woodford Reserve's bottle features a silver neck-tag with Bellarmine's logo and information about the championship, along with a scarlet band around the bottle that's labeled "2011 Division II Champions." The bottle is signed by master distiller Chris Morris, a 1980 Bellarmine graduate.

The Maker's Mark bottle is sealed with silver wax, and a scarlet label includes the university's own seal and text about the national championship. The bottle is signed by Bill Samuels Jr., the distiller's chairman emeritus. Samuels is a member of the university's Board of Trustees and is leading Bellarmine's $100 million capital campaign.

Bellarmine fans and bourbon collectors can obtain this limited-edition keepsake on Saturday, December 10, at 9 a.m., when Bellarmine will dispense with their remaining stock of the bottled sets, available for $200. The event takes place in Frazier Hall at the university's George G. Brown Center, and proceeds benefit Bellarmine's capital campaign, dubbed The 100 Million Dollar Question (www.100milliondollarquestion.org).

The brands have never before been available in the same package.

“The Samuels and Brown families go back a long way together in the whisky business," said Samuels. "We can be fierce competitors, but we’re also close friends. Both families share the belief that a strong private university is critical to the region’s development, so if we’re going to have a strange bedfellow in this fundraising effort, I can’t think of a better one.”

“As master distiller for Woodford Reserve, I never thought I’d see the day when Woodford would be co-packed with Maker’s Mark, one of our fiercest competitors," said Morris. "But as a graduate of Bellarmine University, I’m proud to join in helping my alma mater answer the 100 Million Dollar Question so that it can become the leading private university in our region.”

About Maker's Mark (www.makersmark.com)
In 1954, at a small Victorian distillery in Loretto, Ky., Bill Samuels, Sr., made the first 19 barrels of whisky, which six years later would herald the modern era of bourbon. Using limestone water from the distillery’s spring-fed lake and a mash consisting of corn, barley and soft, red, gentle winter wheat, Mr. Samuels created a bourbon that brought “good taste” and “taste-good” together for the first time. More than 50 years later, his son Bill Samuels, Jr. revolutionized bourbon once again with the introduction of Maker’s 46, a full-bodied bourbon without any bitterness. Today, the company continues to handcraft its bourbon exactly the same way as when it was founded, in small batches by passionate individuals who are committed to craft, heritage and tradition.

About Woodford Reserve (www.woodfordreserve.com)
Woodford Reserve, the Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby, is crafted at the historic Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles, Ky. -- the heart of thoroughbred country. Woodford Reserve is one of the fine spirits produced and marketed by the Brown-Forman Corporation. For 140 years, Brown-Forman has enriched the experience of life by responsibly building fine quality beverage alcohol brands. The company’s brands are supported by nearly 4,000 employees and sold in approximately 135 countries worldwide.

About Bellarmine University (www.bellarmine.edu)
Bellarmine University is an independent Catholic university in Louisville, Ky., offering more than 50 undergraduate majors, as well as graduate and doctoral degree programs. The university has undertaken an ambitious $100 million capital campaign in support of its vision to become the premier independent Catholic university in the South, and thereby the leading private university in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the region. U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review consistently rank Bellarmine among America’s best institutions for higher education.