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New limited Maker's Mark honors Rich Brooks

The University of Kentucky, Keeneland and Maker's Mark unveiled a limited-edition bottle of the world-famous bourbon on Monday honoring football coach Rich Brooks, whose likeness appears on the label. Earlier this year, Brooks became the first UK coach to win three consecutive bowl games.

A bottle has been released annually since 1997, with proceeds benefiting various UK projects. This year's bottle will support efforts by the UK Symphony Orchestra and School of Music students to visit third- and fourth-graders across the state to spread the "joy of music and the performing arts," UK officials said.

The bottles will be available for sale statewide beginning Friday, the opening day of Keeneland's spring meet. They're expected to retail for $45 to $49.

Collectors can have their bottles signed by Brooks, Maker's Mark President Bill Samuels Jr. and Keeneland President Nick Nicholson beginning at 6:30 a.m. April 10.

The proceeds from the 18,000 bottles are expected to be about $200,000, Maker's Mark said. UK officials said they hope to secure matching grants that will increase funding to more than $1.2 million.

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