Maker’s Mark Releases UK Basketball Commemorative Bottle Honoring the 1996 Championship Team

uk bottles liquor barn maker's mark

It’s officially springtime in the Bluegrass State. Not only was this past weekend the opening of Keeneland for the spring meet, but on Friday, April 7, Maker’s Mark released a commemorative bottle that featured the University of Kentucky’s 1996 championship team, affectionately known as the “Untouchables.” Of course, when I heard about it, I had to go stand in line!

“Our ’96 championship team was one of the best not only in the history of our program, but in the history of college basketball. This iconic bottle is a fitting tribute to them and all they accomplished during that historic season.” -UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart

The weather is pretty unpredictable in Kentucky. Just a few days prior, it was in the 70s, and on this particular morning, it was 37 degrees with a “feels like” temperature of 30 degrees (as I am writing this, it’s back in the mid 70s). I severely underestimated how cold it actually was, so I was ridiculously unprepared. I didn’t have any gloves, a scarf, a chair, or even a blanket with me. However, when I got there, the guy next to me went to his car and got me a blanket, so I could keep warm. When someone got in line behind me, he also went to his car to get a blanket for me to sit on. Waiting in line may sound crazy to some, but it isn’t just about getting a collector’s bottle or a rare bourbon, but it’s about the experience. You meet some of the nicest people! Of course they are nice, because they are Kentuckians (it’s that Southern hospitality) and they are bourbon people! I’m telling you some of the best people you’ll ever meet are bourbon people!

There were only 13,000 bottles released, and they sold out in less than an hour! I stood in line about 3.5 hours before the store that I went to opened. By the time I got there, there were approximately thirty people in front of me, maybe forty, if I had to guess. Some people had gotten there on Thursday to wait in line. Several of the local news stations were there, and I even saw myself on the news in the background.

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Flashback Friday: Modeling For Fashion at the Races

Keeneland Spring Meet 2011

Since this is the opening weekend of Keeneland, I figured that I would do a little Flashback Friday to the time I was a model in a fashion show back in April for Fashion at the Races. For those that don’t know, I live in Lexington, which is the “Horse Capital of the World.” Here, in Kentucky, we are obviously known for horses. I’m pretty sure everyone has heard of the Kentucky Derby. Before I tell you about the fashion show, I’ll tell you a little about Keeneland

Louisville has Churchill Downs and Lexington has Keeneland. If you have watched the movie, Seabiscuit, then you have seen Keeneland, because most of the racing scenes were filmed there.

Keeneland hosts two meets; a Spring Meet in April and a Fall Meet in October. During those months, the meets are three weeks long. Keeneland was founded in 1936 on 147 acres. There also has been live race meets in both April in October since 1936. The spring meet contains several preps for the Kentucky Derby and the most notable is the Bluegrass Stakes. The fall meet contains several preps for the Breeders’ Cup. In 2009, the Horseplayers Association introduced a rating system for 65 Thoroughbred racetracks in North America. Keeneland was ranked #1, and I believe in 2015, it was #2. Keeneland was also was named a National Historic Landmark in 1986, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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