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Maker’s Mark has long been known for showing pride in area sports teams with specialized custom bottles; many of these have become collectible through the years.

And, now the bourbon kings have added another bottle to the shelf, this time commemorating the University of Louisville’s 2013 NCAA Championship as well as Cards’ coach Rick Pitino’s induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

The bottle, solidly backed with Cardinal red features a candid shot of the two time NCAA champion in action, the new limited bottles were unveiled June 7th and Makers Mark has mentioned that there will be 12,600 bottles total in the run.

Money made from sales will go to the University of Louisville’s new building, the Academic Center of Excellence, which is currently raising funds. Recently, Pitino stopped by the KFC Yum! Center for a signing.

Earlier customized sports related bottles from the company include a bottle celebrating former Kentucky football coach, Rich Brooks; who got the Cats back on track during his tenure.

In addition, the brewery devoted a bottle to former Kentucky quarterback and NFL athlete, Tim Couch in a limited batch.


Continuing that, Maker’s Mark raised funds for charity with a bottle in honor of current Kentucky men’s basketball coach, John Calipari.


However, Calipari wasn’t the only Kentucky hoops coach to be immortalized as current radio talk show co-host and former NCAA champion Joe B. Hall received a bottle of his own.

Legendary Kentucky player, Dan Issel was also featured in a famed bottle. Issel went on to play for the ABA’s Kentucky Colonels as well as the NBA.

In a 2012 limited edition, current Louisville football coach Charlie Strong got the “nod” as it were.

Furthermore, the bottler has been known to celebrate the winner of the “Governor’s Cup” annual football game, featuring the winner for that year; this meaning either Louisville football or Kentucky football is honored.

Bottles were also developed for one of the “Big Red Machine’s” world series victories

as well as one for hall of fame catcher and Reds hall of famer, Johnny Bench.

Maker’s Mark showed Bellarmine some love by issuing a bottle celebrating their 2011 Division II NCAA men’s basketball championship.

The sport of Kings and Maker’s Mark are both major historical markers for the state of Kentucky as such, it comes as little surprise that in the bottlers display cases they’ve made several nods to horseracing, for instance a bottle celebrating Lexington’s Keeneland’s 75th anniversary.


Images courtesy of Card Chronicle, KY Kernal, Bourbon Blog, Remember Roberts Stadium, WTVQ, Facebook,Bourbon Buzz, Makers Mark Bottles, and Flawless Crowns

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About Dave Rose

Recently, I completed a Masters degree in Education and have been writing for Louisville.com for over a year now, prior to that I published a humor book for young adults titled Wearing Socks with Sandals, a book about getting through high school, college, and all of the requisite problems that present themselves during that time. Currently, I spend much of my time in classroom settings as well as writing in various areas. Of course, I’m a big sports fan and love music and film, and love finding new stuff around Louisville.

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