LEXINGTON, Ky. – April 5, 2023 – The popular Maker’s Mark Bourbon Keeneland commemorative bottles return to shelves across the Bluegrass State this Friday, April 7, opening day of the Keeneland Spring Meet. Less than 10,000 of the limited-edition bottles of bourbon will be available and generally sell out in one day.
Through a strategic partnership with LexArts, greater Lexington’s premier cultural development, advocacy and fundraising organization, the proceeds from this year’s commemorative bottle release will benefit the creation of a permanent public art legacy project. Miniature bronze horses will be creatively placed through downtown Lexington to create an interactive tour that heralds past and present stories of Kentucky culture.
“Keeneland and Maker’s Mark continue to be excellent partners of the arts and their significant corporate support is to be commended,” said LexArts President & CEO, Ame Sweetall. “In this community-building legacy project, cleverly hidden miniature horse sculptures will continue to celebrate Lexington as the Horse Capital of the World and will include additional educational engagement opportunities for Lexington’s residents and visitors.”
For the third year, the commemorative bottles will showcase three distinct label designs featuring the work of artists Sandra Oppegard, Andre Pater and Tyler Robertson. The label art depicts winning jockeys from the 2022 Breeders’ Cup World Championships held at Keeneland.
Each label is signed by the artist who created the design, plus Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin and Eighth Generation Whisky Maker & Maker’s Mark® Managing Director Rob Samuels. The labels will also be signed by one of three winning jockeys from the Breeders’ Cup World Championships: Flavien Prat (Classic), Tyler Gaffalione (Juvenile Fillies and Turf Sprint) and Hall of Famer John Velazquez (Distaff).
“Keeneland is proud to team up with Maker’s Mark and LexArts on this unique initiative to celebrate public art and Central Kentucky’s signature horse industry,” Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin said. “We all share a mission to enhance life in the local community, and supporting the arts is fundamental toward that goal.”
Maker’s Mark and Keeneland have collaborated on a commemorative bottle release for 26 years, every year since 1997, raising millions of dollars for a variety of worthy causes throughout Central Kentucky.
“Maker’s Mark shares LexArts’ enthusiasm for celebrating and sharing Kentucky culture. It’s why we invite thousands of visitors to come to our home in Loretto each year, and why lasting partnerships with organizations like Keeneland are so important to us,” said Eighth Generation Whisky Maker & Managing Director Rob Samuels. “We are honored to use the funds raised through this year’s commemorative bottles to support LexArts and public art projects throughout the state.”
For over half a century, LexArts has worked for the development of a strong and vibrant arts community as a means of enhancing the quality of life in central Kentucky. LexArts is Lexington’s official local arts agency and United Arts Fund, creating opportunities for quality arts experiences in central Kentucky through leadership, funding, advocacy, programming, and communication. Through its annual Fund for the Arts campaign and other initiatives, LexArts raises millions of dollars in support of local arts. In turn, LexArts underwrites the operating expenses for a variety of Partner Organizations and awards program and project grants through its Community Arts Development program. Major support for LexArts programs and services is provided by the City of Lexington. The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, provides operating support to LexArts with state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information, visit LexArts.org
About Keeneland Race Track
Since its first race meet more than 85 years ago, the Keeneland Association has devoted itself to the health and vibrancy of the Thoroughbred industry. The world’s largest Thoroughbred auction house, Keeneland conducts five sales a year, in January, April, September and November. Graduates of Keeneland sales dominate racing across the globe at every level. In April and October, Keeneland offers some of the highest caliber and richest Thoroughbred racing in the world. Keeneland hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in 2015, 2020 and 2022. Uniquely structured, Keeneland is a privately held company with a not-for-profit mission that returns its earnings to the industry and the community in the form of higher purses and millions of dollars donated in support of horse industry initiatives and charitable contributions for education, research, and health and human services throughout Central Kentucky. Keeneland also maintains the Keeneland Library, a world-renowned public research institution with the mission of preserving information about the Thoroughbred industry. To learn more, visit Keeneland.com.
About Maker’s Mark® Bourbon
In 1953, in Loretto, Ky., Bill Samuels, Sr., fulfilled his dream to create a handmade and delicious bourbon. He decided to make his whisky in small batches, using soft red winter wheat to enhance the softness and sweetness. He then rotated each barrel by hand for consistency and, finally, aged each barrel to taste. Bill Samuels, Sr., transformed bourbon from a “commodity” into a premium handmade spirit, and today Maker’s Mark continues to make its bourbon the same way. That time-tested approach seems to still be working just fine 60+ years later, as Maker’s Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon was awarded a Double Gold medal at the esteemed San Francisco Spirits Competition in 2021. In recent years, Maker’s Mark has introduced thoughtful, super-premium innovations to its portfolio, including Maker’s Mark 46, Maker’s Mark Cask Strength and Maker’s Mark Private Selection, the brand’s first-ever custom barrel program. For more information, visit www.makersmark.com.
LexArts – Maury Sparrow – 859-351-3502 – [email protected]
Keeneland – Amy Gregory – 859- 361-3490 – [email protected]
Maker’s Mark® – Blair Carpenter – 502-500-8385 – [email protected]
WE MAKE OUR BOURBON CAREFULLY. PLEASE ENJOY IT THAT WAY.
Maker’s Mark® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky, 45% Alc./Vol. ©2022 Maker’s Mark Distillery, Inc., Loretto, KY.