“Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.” ~ Mark Twain
Mark Twain, W.C. Fields, Frank Sinatra, William Faulkner and Harper Lee all had pithy quotes about bourbon and whiskey. This amber liquid, seeped in history and humor, research and perfection will be celebrated the weekend of October 4 and 5 at the Coeur d’Alene Resort.
But before you start reading this blog post, tune in some appropriate background music (Listen Here) Pick a song – country, blues, rock, soul — there are dozens to choose from.
Feeling whiskey inspired?
The Resort wanted to create its very own, special blend of whiskey, something that would celebrate the history and tradition of American whiskey and bourbon while reflecting the beauty of North Idaho.
Management assigned the ominous task to the Resort’s beverage team, Jake Hill, Whispers manager; Justin Shorzman, master mixologist; and Rick Powers, Food & Beverage Director. In order to learn the fine craft of whiskey distilling and create a perfect blend, the dedicated beverage team traveled to the heart of America’s whiskey and bourbon country.
The assignment would require hours of diligent research, much sipping and sniffing, mixing and matching, tasting and testing, all on the spacious grounds of a fine, old 1,000- acre Kentucky estate, Maker’s Mark®.
Tough work, right?
“It’s a huge operation, but very homey and personal,” Jake says. “The grounds and the historic buildings are beautiful – lots of antiques. Their testing room is set up like a big kitchen.”
That kitchen reflects the origin of the family-owned and operated distillery that began with Bill Samuels, Sr.’s plan to create a whiskey that he’d enjoy drinking and would be proud to serve to his friends. He started with the only copy of the family’s 170- year-old recipe, but before he could finesse the flavor to his liking, a fire burned part of his house, destroying the family recipe with it.
Innovation and drive led Bill forward and in the process of developing a mash the distillery would call its very own, he experimented with different flavorings of grains. Bill baked several loaves of bread with the grains instead of distilling them. The process saved time but also led him to swap out the traditional rye grain that is commonly used in bourbons for soft, red winter wheat, creating the delicate taste Makers Mark® is known for. Or as Bill said, “Give me a bourbon that won’t blow my ears off.”
Co-founder Margie Samuels knew the flavor of Makers Mark® was a standout and she wanted exceptional, unique product packaging as well. Margie was the genesis behind the distinctive red, wax-dipped bottle topper, the square shape of the bottle, even the name itself.
Whether you drink your whiskey from a tin cup sitting around a campfire, mix it with exotic flavors, or sip it gently from a heavy-bottomed glass, you will undoubtedly learn much about this classic spirit at the Coeur d’Alene Resort’s first Whiskey Barrel Weekend October 4 and 5.
Friday, October 4 Event
Whiskey Tasting Event, 6:00 pm – 9:00 PM, Coeur d’Alene Resort Convention Center
Meet whiskey sommeliers and take in a ‘Smoking Whiskey Demonstration’ at the Whiskey Tasting Event Friday evening. Over 50 unique whiskeys including Basil Hayden, Jim Beam and locally crafted Dry Fly will be available for your sipping pleasure along with wonderfully paired appetizers. Tickets are $75 per person and include a custom whiskey tasting glass, 20 dram tasting tickets and three mature whiskey dram tasting tickets. Make it an overnight getaway and book the Whiskey Single Barrel Tasting Event Package, which includes overnight accommodations on October 4 plus two tickets to this event. Starting at only $309*
Saturday, October 5 Events
Maker’s Mark® Open at The Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course,10:00 AM Shotgun Start
What would a Coeur d’Alene Resort event be without a golf tournament? The Maker’s Mark® Open Golf Event combines golfing and an on-course whiskey tasting with southern-inspired bites. Event-inclusive green fee is $125. Book online or contact the resort pro shop at 800-935-6283.
Local Craft Distilleries Tasting Workshop, 1:00 – 2:00 PM
This is where the serious learning takes place. You’ll enjoy an instructional seminar, whiskey tasting and small bites. Tickets are $35.
Coeur d’Cocktails, 2:30 – 3:30 PM
Master Mixologist Justin Shorzman has wowed Resort fans with his cocktail wizardry, and this afternoon, he’s devoting his skills to whiskey cocktails. The educational seminar is accompanied by cocktail tasting and light appetizers. Tickets are $35.
Maker’s Mark® Inside the Barrel Experience, 4:00 – 5:00 PM
Meet a Maker’s Mark® Ambassador who has traveled to the Resort to teach you how whiskey is crafted from inception to your glass. You’ll sip Maker’s Mark® and enjoy light hors d’oeuvres while learning about the centuries-old yeast formula that’s used in every barrel of this fine whiskey, what gives different blends their distinct taste, and find out why the water in the distilleries’ lime filtered lake makes all the difference. Tickets are $35.
Grand Whiskey Dinner 6:00 – 8:00 PM; After Party 8:00PM – 10:00 PM
The Coeur d’Alene Resort’s lakefront Hagadone Event Center will be transformed into a Southern-inspired destination complete with whiskey tasting and cuisine stations, an exclusive opportunity to purchase a bottle of the Coeur d’Alene Resort Custom Signature Label Maker’s Mark® Whiskey, plus you’ll be eligible to win a trip to Kentucky with the Resort team to help create our 2020 custom label blend. The After Party at the outdoor cigar lounge will feature a live jazz trio. Tickets: $150. The absolutely best way to enjoy this party is to book a package that includes overnight accommodations and two tickets to the grand party. Packages start at $409*
*Stay package prices are based on availability and do not include tax and surcharge. Certain restrictions may apply. Please call (855) 379-5478 for details.