For the second year running, Maker’s Mark has partnered with the LEE Initiative to release its second CommUNITY Batch Bourbon. Born of Maker’s Private Selection custom barrel program, this bottle features a mingling of 40 specific Private Selection recipes created by 40 whiskey groups from across the U.S. and the United Kingdom.
This isn’t a small batch of 40 barrels of the same bourbon, each barrel featured unique combinations of five Maker’s finishing staves which yielded 40 unique expressions of Maker’s cask strength bourbon. It’s Maker’s Mark like you’ve never had it—and may never will unless you get buy some soon.
One hundred percent of the proceeds to support the hospitality industry, which continues to struggle amid the ongoing pandemic. This helps the people who operate the restaurants and bars we all frequent, the hotels where we rest our heads and so many other high-touch segments of the hospitality business. Last year’s CommUNITY Batch raised $2.2 million! This is a great way to give back and get a great bottle of bourbon—and some excellent food with your first bottle—if you act now.
Read further for the full story, but if you’re ready to buy, click here to reserve your bottle(s). Move quickly, because these won’t last!
If you’re interested, here are my tasting notes on this gem.
Sipped neat: This is a powerful pour that punches well above it’s already stout 108.2 proof. Spice explodes dead center on the palate before peeling off in every direction. I’m not a cigar smoker, but I’m betting this liquid is exactly what such sorts would choose to square off with a stogie. The finish is lean and appealingly crisp.
On the rocks: Poured over a large ice sphere, the spice holds up well against the slow dilution. By the time it’s nicely chilled, though, it’s lost much of its character.
In an old-fashioned: As a decadent old fashioned, it’s a rock star, plain and simple. I use ginger simple, three dashes of Angostura bitters and three dashes of Angostura orange bitters; stir to chill; expressed orange peel for garnish and you’re done.
Here’s the full news release …
The LEE Initiative Partners with Maker’s Mark® to Release Second Annual “CommUNITY Batch” Bourbon with 100% of Proceeds Supporting the Hospitality Industry
Launching on Giving Tuesday, Latest CommUNITY Batch Bourbon Combines Private Selection Recipes of 40+ Whisky Clubs from Across the Country
LOUISVILLE, Ky (November 18, 2020) – The LEE Initiative, in partnership with Maker’s Mark® Bourbon, today announced the launch of the second-annual limited-edition “CommUNITY Batch,” a special release bourbon created exclusively to support spirits industry trade and hospitality partners across the country. The distinguished bourbon expression was created by blending Maker’s Mark Private Selection barrels from over 40 whisky clubs from across the United States and one in the United Kingdom. Similar to the 2020 bottling, which was originally created to support COVID-19 relief for the hospitality industry, this limited time offering will be made exclusively available at select events and opportunities across the country, with 100% of bottle proceeds benefiting The LEE Initiative in its mission to support trade and hospitality partners around the country and create a more diverse and equitable restaurant industry. Information for specific events, which commence on #GivingTuesday (November 30, 2021), and details on the bourbon can be found at www.LEEInitiative.org.
The Spirit of CommUNITY
Off the heels of the 2020 CommUNITY Batch offering that generated over $2 million for restaurant relief and more, the 2021 offering will continue supporting the bar and restaurant community in a time of sustained unprecedented need. As the country’s interest in whisky has continued to grow, Whisky Clubs have become integral to the ever- growing spirits community as platforms to share thoughts, opinions, experiences, and support for likeminded individuals in the space. The 2021 bottling was created by some of these passionate people with exceptional palates. By combining the stave profiles of their Private Selection barrels, this limited release reflects the remarkable strength – and distinct taste profile – of each community. The result is an exquisite expression that is truly made by the community, for the community.
“Our second bottling of CommUNITY Batch Bourbon with Maker’s Mark is monumental because like any community, it takes time to build trust, loyalty and kinship,” said Edward Lee, James Beard Award Winning author, restaurateur, chef and founder of the LEE Initiative. “We have that with Maker’s Mark, and we are building that relationship with our many supporters who love to follow our evolving programs at The LEE Initiative while drinking amazing bourbon along the journey.”
Giving Back on #GivingTuesday and Beyond
Beginning on #GivingTuesday (November 30, 2021), the Maker’s Mark CommUNITY Batch Bourbon will be available via The LEE Initiative events in select cities where Maker’s Mark Private Selection partners are located. For interested individuals 21 years or older, suggested donations begin at $70.00 and vary by event, with additional details available at LEEInitiative.org.
“It’s been an honor and privilege to work alongside Chef Lee, Lindsey Ofcacek and their team on various philanthropic efforts, including opening 19 relief kitchen across the country amidst the pandemic,” said Rob Samuels, Chief Distillery Officer of Maker’s Mark. “At Maker’s Mark, we treasure the bonds we’ve made with trade and hospitality partners who love to share our bourbon as much as we do, which is especially true of the Whisky Clubs who participated in creating the 2021 CommUNITY Batch. Together with this whisky-loving community, we are proud to support The LEE Initiative and look forward to continuing our partnership to benefit and champion the industry.”
How We Made It: A One-of-a-kind Limited Release
To create the CommUNITY Batch, Maker’s Mark tapped 40 whisky clubs across the country who are equally passionate about whisky and the hospitality industry. Lending their expert palates, these aficionados specially crafted and shared their Maker’s Mark Private Selection bourbon recipes to create this truly one-of-a-kind limited release.
- First, Maker’s Mark created individual barrels of Private Selection Bourbon by taking fully-matured cask strength Maker’s Mark and finishing it with each partner’s unique combination of ten barrel staves for an additional nine weeks in the Maker’s Mark Cellar.
- Once finished, the whisky from the barrels was blended and filled back into the barrels to rest for an additional five weeks to allow the subtle nuances of the custom bourbon to properly integrate.
- The resulting characteristics of the 2021 CommUNITY Batch include:
Tasting notes: Notes of cherry and subtle wood spice. Rich and balanced. Not too sweet, not too spicy. Even in tone. Pleasant and long finish where the subtle spice notes linger.