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8 of North America's oldest distilleries

By: Josh Lew on Sept. 4, 2014, 1:19 p.m.
Makers Mark

Photo: Joseph Novak/flickr

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Maker's Mark

The Maker's Mark distillery in Loretto, Kentucky, is the oldest operating bourbon distillery in the world. It is a National Historic Landmark and has even received a nod from the Guinness Book of World Records. Maker's Mark, a 90 proof bourbon housed in a distinctive square-bodied, long-neck bottle, was first sold in 1958, but the story of the distillery it now uses began well before that.    

Historically known as Burks Distillery, the site was used to produce liquor as early as 1805. The owners started the business in response to the Pinckney Treaty of 1795, which gave Americans free access to the Mississippi River all the way to New Orleans. This provided an easy way for bourbon makers to ship their product worldwide.