Rob Samuels

Continuing his family’s legacy as an eighth-generation whisky maker, Rob Samuels sees his primary job as upholding the traditions of craft and quality established by his grandparents, who founded Maker’s Mark Distillery on Star Hill Farm in the 1950s. Since taking leadership of the distillery in 2010, Rob has remained true to the purposefully inefficient process that has defined his family’s brand, while also leading thoughtful expansion to share the unique taste of Maker’s Mark with a growing number of fans the world over. And he hasn’t stopped there. Rob is responsible for introducing innovative new whiskies such as Maker’s Mark® Private Selection, the industry’s first custom-barrel program, and for championing the distillery’s relentless exploration into the science of where flavor comes from with its Wood Finishing Series. Rob also introduced Maker’s Mark® Cask Strength, a double gold award-winner at the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. 

Beyond the bourbon itself, Rob has always had a passion for creating a distillery homeplace like no other. Under his guidance, the visitor experience at the distillery has been enhanced to include more interactive tour options, the Star Hill Provisions restaurant which was featured on Bravo’s Top Chef, and the work of dozens of visual artists who share the distillery’s commitment to handcrafted excellence, including permanent installations by world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly. 

With a keen sensitivity to environmental stewardship, Rob has led efforts for the entire distillery property that include a protected watershed, the industry’s only LEED-certified whisky cellar, and innovative research underway into forestry, grains and best practices in land management. 

Rob holds an undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina, and he is also an alumnus of the University of Chicago (CEI) and the Harvard Business School (GMP).   

We Make Our Bourbon Carefully.  Please Enjoy It That Way.

Maker's Mark®, Maker’s Mark® Cask Strength and Maker's Mark 46™ Bourbon Whisky, 45-57% Alc./Vol.

©2020 Maker's Mark Distillery, Inc., Loretto, KY.

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Bellarmine University is a vibrant community of educational excellence and ethical awareness that consistently ranks among the nation’s best colleges and universities. Our students pursue an education based in the liberal arts – and in the distinguished, inclusive Catholic tradition of educational excellence, the oldest and most rewarding in the western world. It is a lifelong education, worthy of the university’s namesake, Saint Robert Bellarmine, and of his invitation to each of us to learn and live In Veritatis Amore – in the love of all that is beautiful, true and good in life.