Maker’s Mark Distillery opens Samuels House to tourists

COX’S What do you do if you grow up in a family legendary for its hospitality, where stories of family ties to the Jesse James gang flow like bourbon? If you’re eighth-generation whiskey maker Rob Samuels of Maker’s Mark Distillery, well, you buy the 200-year-old family home and fling open the doors to bourbon tourists.

Last week I had the chance to step inside the 1820s manor near Bardstown for a sneak preview of The Samuels House, and it was a step into Kentucky’s illustrious bourbon history – which is exactly what Rob Samuels and his father, Bill Samuels, Jr., want.

This is “Night at the Museum,” bourbon edition, with the home as steeped in the Samuels Maker’s Mark legacy as a barrel stave is in whiskey. The Samuels House is a showcase of the family’s whiskey-making roots. And those roots run as deep as the majestic mature trees out front. 

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