What do you do if you increase up in a household legendary for its hospitality, where tales of family members ties to the Jesse James gang stream like bourbon? If you’re eighth-technology whiskey maker Rob Samuels of Maker’s Mark Distillery, nicely, you purchase the 200-12 months-outdated family home and fling open the doors to bourbon vacationers.
Past 7 days I experienced the prospect to move inside the 1820s manor close to Bardstown for a sneak preview of The Samuels Property, and it was a stage into Kentucky’s illustrious bourbon history — which is particularly what Rob Samuels and his father, Invoice Samuels, Jr., want.
This is “Night at the Museum,” bourbon version, with the home as steeped in the Samuels Maker’s Mark legacy as a barrel stave is in whiskey. The Samuels House is a showcase of the family’s whiskey-producing roots. And all those roots operate as deep as the majestic experienced trees out front.
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“My namesake Robert Samuels had initially made whiskey for George Washington’s military,” Rob claimed in the course of a sneak peek tour final week. “He brought a 60 gallon nevertheless as he moved south and settled in what would at some point turn into Kentucky on the land grant, so he settled in that area exactly where the residence was ultimately built in 1784. His grandson John Samuels built the residence in 1820.”
Now The Samuels Property, found in Cox’s Creek, just 40 minutes absent from the Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto, is providing an immersive, only-in-Kentucky practical experience with overnight lodging at the Federal-fashion manor property. Presiding more than two acres of bluegrass perfection, finish with mature oak trees and horse pastures, the dwelling melds its two-century heritage with luxurious and 21st-century essentials in all the proper places.
But how this historic home, which slipped out of Samuels spouse and children in the 1950s, was transformed to a decadent destination steeped in bourbon lore and American historical past is a winding journey, just like the historical past of Maker’s Mark itself.
Get-togethers, gangsters and very good bourbon
The Samuels Home was near two distilleries that the Samuels family members had in the space, and played host to untold household gatherings, events … and some gangster-laced Kentucky and U.S. record.
Bill Samuels enjoys to recount that historical past, so his son, Rob, grew up on the tales.
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“If you were at the distillery with my father for 50 % a working day, he would shell out an hour on this topic,” Rob reported.
But what is the news bite version?
“TW Samuels, who is my fourth excellent grandfather,” Rob said, “his 1st cousin Reuben Samuels married Frank and Jesse James’ mom. So Reuben Samuels was Frank and Jesse James’s stepdad.”
“And then Wilson Samuels, who experienced lived in the house, in the 1800s two of his daughters in fact married James gang members and they stayed for a variety of months,” he went on. “In the third ground … they lower out an escape hatch the place if the law was ever transferring in on them, they could get out immediately via that third-floor escape hatch and then there is a tree on both of those sides of the home, so they could slide down.”
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Are you acquiring family heritage envy still? Pour a consume, there is much more.
“Jesse James experienced never ever surrendered,” Rob reported, “but Frank James, in September of 1865, they experienced orchestrated a surrender. It was structured by TW Samuels, who was the distillery operator but he was also the a few-time sheriff of Nelson County.
“The surrender took area in the front garden of the Samuels property,” Rob said. “He handed over the pistol and he was afterwards pardoned.”
That pistol, Monthly bill informed me as he showed me close to the residence, may possibly have been the remaining firearm surrendered in the Civil War.
And what do you consider you are going to see when you walk into the lobby of the dwelling? That very pistol, and the pardon.
The residence is positively brimming with household heirlooms and memorabilia like that. Several historic images line the walls, weaving the story of the Samuels loved ones legacy. You’ll also see the deep fryer the place Rob’s grandmother, Margie Samuels, experimented with dipping bottles into the now-legendary purple wax a photo of Invoice Samuels belting out a tune at a bash with Tiny Richard dozens of bottles of whiskey symbolizing factors together their 150 yrs of distilling — including the incredibly 1st bottle of Maker’s Mark off the creation line.
From household dwelling to bourbon tourism spot
Eventually, like other relatives farms, it changed palms when the subsequent generation was not interested in farming and the dwelling was sold in the 1950s.
But the tales of that home and its significance to the manufacturer that a person day turned Maker’s Mark by no means remaining.
It appears to be Rob took an inkling one particular day to discover additional about the household following hearing so a great deal about it for the duration of his childhood and driving previous it so several situations. He linked with the owners, who’d meticulously cared for the spot, and went for a go to. They had been genuinely gracious, Rob explained, and he was right away captivated by the residence.
“They swung open the doorway that led into that kitchen area, and it almost knocked me out with that hearth,” he mentioned.
He shared his eyesight: open up to the home to travelers — bourbon enthusiasts, historical past buffs, folks coming to Kentucky in look for of a deeper practical experience than a distillery tour.
They loved it, sold him the household, and he received to perform. In a issue of months, doing work with Jeffrey James Structure and rc3 architect + builder, and combing via household archives, they ready The Samuels Home for its future chapter.
A few suites and a quantity of wonderfully built indoor and outside areas will accommodate up to eight persons. As if sleeping surrounded by heritage isn’t plenty of, company will have the prospect to deliver in Monthly bill Samuels for stories and cocktails (based on availability, of course).
Buddies, I will tell you. People today invest in up unicorn bottles in a frenzy, shell out outrageous charges on the secondary current market, and camp out for a probability to nab a minimal launch. But the genuine priceless Kentucky bourbon knowledge in my e book? Listening to tales from the legacy whiskey makers like the Samuels family members, the Noes of Jim Beam, and the Russells of Wild Turkey.
For a bourbon lover with the hard cash to invest, it’d be well worth the cost of admission (and yep, it’s steep, starting up at $1250 a night — but that is for the overall team) to remain at the property just to have the possibility to hang with Invoice. Donations for the practical experience will go to the Margie Samuels endowed scholarship for the Women of Shade Entrepreneur Management Software at Bellarmine College.
Guests can also ebook chef Newman Miller, who was the chef-in-residence at Maker’s Mark, for a paired cocktail evening meal. And, buckle in, major bourbon lovers: Rob dropped this small tidbit when we chatted past 7 days.
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For the very first time, Maker’s is also giving the chance for a personal night encounter at the distillery.
Samuels Household friends “can basically have the Maker’s Mark distillery to by themselves,” Rob said. “Your team of six or eight would be the only group on the home, all 100 acres … [have a] tasting overlooking the lake, and then a private food in the cafe.”
So mainly a bourbon dream excursion — sleep at The Samuels Residence, hang out and sip bourbon with Invoice Samuels Jr., consume with chef Miller, and contact the distillery your very own for the night time.
When persons check with me as a Kentuckian if we contemplate ourselves portion of the South, my remedy is generally that we declare those features of the South that fit us. And specifically, which is hospitality. It can make me happy as a Kentuckian and a bourbon lover to see one of the major names in the business stepping up the choices available to bourbon’s biggest supporters.
I have extended listened to that we want to be “the future Napa,” and I have extensive wished we’d end declaring that. What we have is uniquely Kentucky, and we should be very pleased to celebrate that. Cheers to the Samuels spouse and children for sharing their legacy, and for demonstrating just what Kentucky hospitality is about.
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The Samuels House
WHAT: Premium lodging steeped in bourbon custom and American record – Welcome to The Samuels Home. Owned and operated by the founding family members of Maker’s Mark Distillery, you’ll love a just one-of-a-form option to encounter an intimate piece of Kentucky bourbon historical past like an insider. Set amid two acres equipped with experienced oak trees and surrounded by horse pastures, the conventional capabilities of a 200-calendar year-aged Federal-design manor household mix with modern-day luxurious. Encompass yourself in the Samuels family members heritage — and make a tiny of your possess whilst you are at it.
Exactly where: The Samuels Dwelling, 160 South Saint Gregory Church Street, Cox’s Creek, Kentucky
Extra Facts: Learn more at thesamuelshouse.com