Maker's Mark Distillery in Loretto is applying for tourism-related state incentives for a new $4 million visitor's experience, focused on Maker's 46, according to the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority.
The project will be considered for preliminary approval at Friday's authority meeting in Louisville.
Unlike its parent company, Jim Beam, Maker's Mark doesn't have an extensive line of bourbons. Besides the original, now available in cask strength at the distillery, there is only Maker's 46, which is the same but finished with 10 seared French oak staves added to the barrel for extra smoothness.
The Maker's 46 experience will be on top of a new visitors center already under construction.
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In June 2014, Maker's Mark, which is owned by Beam Suntory, received approval for a new $2.03 million welcome center at the distillery, which also features food services and expanded parking. Maker's Mark is eligible for up to $506,000 in incentives for that project.
Maker's Mark is in the midst of a $120 million expansion that will increase capacity by 50 percent to produce the premium bourbon, known for its iconic red wax.
Sales of Maker's Mark have grown by double digits, straining the supply and forcing the distillery to implement a barrel rinsing process to eke a little more out of each barrel after a plan to reduce the proof slightly met with disfavor from fans of the wheated whiskey.
Last year Maker's Mark announced a $67 million plan to add a third gleaming copper pot still, on top of $50 million in investments already made. The project received preliminary approval for up to $5 million in various state tax incentives.
Eligible tourism attractions can receive a rebate of sales tax up to 25 percent of project capital costs. To be eligible for tourism incentives, the project must meet a minimum expenditure requirement, be open for more than 100 days a year, attract at least 25 percent of visitors from outside the state by its fourth year of operation and have a positive net economic impact on the Kentucky economy, according to the finance authority.