|CEO Rob Samuels|
Rob Samuels is a living encyclopedia of bourbon. In conversation, he'll mix tidbits of history, being sure to note dates and names.
He should. Samuels is a scion of the bourbon industry. His family has been distilling whiskey for at least 500 years; the last three generations of Samuels have served up Maker's Mark, which, with its iconic red wax seal, has been ingrained in Kentucky's sense of identity since the 1950s.
Yes, the man knows bourbon.
"Growing up around my grandparents, I live it," said the 36-year-old Samuels. "It's 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It was just fun for me to spend my summers here. … I worked every job — from working at the still to hosting visitors."
There was only one job left, and in April, Samuels landed it: CEO of Maker's Mark, to replace his father, Bill Samuels Jr., an outsized figure in the whiskey industry and a Louisville business leader.
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