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Making Their Mark

Maker’s Mark bourbon is one of the many highlights of the Resort’s Whiskey Barrel Weekend

At any given time, there are 8 million barrels of bourbon patiently awaiting their debut as a Maker’s Mark product. And you could lay claim to one of them as an “ambassador” of this distinguished brand of Kentucky whiskey. 

How? Find out at the Coeur d’Alene Resort’s annual WHISKEY BARREL WEEKEND, Oct. 2-3, which features all manner of events for whiskey lovers, from cocktail mixing classes to golf to a grand whiskey dinner.

An ambassador is an enthusiastic fan of bourbon, says Maker’s Mark’s “diplomat” Dave Kearns, who works in the marketing arm of the 67-year-old distillery. His job includes helping to share the company’s history and all the details that go into making Maker’s Mark bourbon. 

And the details matter. If it’s spelled “whisky,” it’s typically from Scotland (and called Scotch) or it’s a product like Maker’s Mark, which uses the Gaelic spelling as a nod to the origins of the golden elixir. Whiskey is distilled grain, whereas bourbon must include at least 51 percent corn and be aged in new oak barrels.

“We can’t add anything and still call it bourbon,” explains Kearns. “The color and the flavor comes from the wood and the grains and the yeast.” 

Maker’s Mark uses French oak, which adds spice and astringency, and American oak for its vanilla and caramel notes. And for their Private Select bourbon, Maker’s Mark custom-creates a barrel that lends a completely unique taste to the final spirit, something they did again this year with the resort.

Find out more during the weekend, which kicks off with a TASTING EVENT on Friday ($79). Check out the wax glass dipping — Maker’s Mark bottles are distinct with their red wax-dipped neck — and find out how to become an ambassador while tasting a variety of whiskey labels from across the country.

Saturday is full of possibilities. PLAY GOLF on the award-winning resort course, tasting whiskeys and nibbling from a Southern-inspired menu. Reservations required: $125 green fees.

Sign up for an EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE, like the Inside the Barrel class with Maker’s Mark ambassador and founder of, Ari Shapiro. 

See what’s COOKING with Chad White, a local chef whose TT’s Old Iron Brewery, High Tide Lobster Bar and Zona Blanca are all hits. White, who also competed on Bravo TV’s Top Chef, will share his tips for cooking with whiskey in what’s sure to be an entertaining and tasty afternoon. Tickets: $35. 

Saturday concludes with the GRAND WHISKEY DINNER at the Hagadone Event Center, and includes magnificent food, music, an outdoor cigar lounge and plenty of whiskey tasting. Tickets: $160. 

Of course, you could make a weekend out of it and stay at the Resort. Visit their website for information about overnight packages. But don’t delay. At press time, some events are selling out or are close to sold out. 

Cruising for Murder

All aboard for an adventure filled with peculiar passengers and conspiring crew members. This three-hour murder-mystery cruise is full of intrigue and includes dinner as you sharpen your sleuthing skills to call out the killer. $149-$249; 6-9 pm;

yArt Sale

This is definitely not your typical yard sale — it’s a yart sale featuring fine art to fun art at reasonable prices. You’ll find originals and prints of pre-owned art at great prices and many are already framed and ready to hang. Sip some wine or beer and also enjoy live music from the CDA Symphony while you shop. Free; noon-6 pm; Coeur d’Alene Chamber Visitor Center

Community Appreciation Weekends

Save money and help our local food banks! For each general admission ticket sold, $4 will be donated to help local food banks and for each youth/senior ticket sold, $1 will be donated. Admission is only $40 (ages 8-64) and $23 (ages 3-7 and 65+) at the front gate. Save more when you purchase your tickets at
(208) 664-3194
105 N. First Street
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

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