UK basketball great Dan Issel graces Maker's Mark commemorative bottle

jpatton1@herald-leader.comApril 1, 2013 

The 17 commemorative Maker's Mark bottles made over the years are on display in the clubhouse at Keeneland.

Keeneland and Maker's Mark announced Monday that the latest signature charity bottle will honor University of Kentucky basketball great and Hall of Famer Dan Issel.

Proceeds, estimated to be about $175,000, from the bottle will benefit the Gill Heart Institute at UK HealthCare.

"I am extremely honored to be chosen by Maker's Mark and Keeneland to be on this year's bottle," Issel said. "Both companies are at the very top of their respected industries. The fact that the proceeds go to UK Med Center make this honor even more special. I look forward to the April 12 signing, when I can visit with some of those great UK fans."

An all-American his senior year, Issel played for UK from 1967 to 1970 and remains the all-time leading scorer in men's basketball. Issel later played for and then coached the Denver Nuggets NBA team. He also has owned Thoroughbred racehorses.

Maker's Mark will produce 20,000 numbered bottles, that will go on sale Friday, opening day of the Keeneland spring meet; the retail price is about $52.

The bottle, made of frosted glass, features blue wax and a brightly colored label with an artist's rendering of Issel in his UK uniform going up for a shot.

Issel is scheduled to sign bottles April 12, the day of the $300,000 Maker's 46 Mile, with Maker's COO Rob Samuels and Keeneland CEO Bill Thomason, beginning at 6:30 a.m.

No bottles will be sold at Keeneland. For more information on the signing, go to

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