Maker's Mark is a hand crafted small batch type of bourbon whisky distilled in Loretto, Kentucky. When the famous T.W. Samuels family of distilling sold their distillery and their trademarks in the 1950s, those members of the family who wished to continue in the business began to search for a small distillery to purchase and continue the trade on a smaller scale, emphasizing high-quality production over high-volume production. They soon found an older distillery in Loretto, Kentucky that had not been operational for several years but was just the right size for the proposed operation. The Samuels decided to come up with a new recipe for their bourbon in order to make it smoother, but since the aging process for bourbon takes years, could not take the time involved actually to distill and age many batches of bourbon of varying ingredients. A unique solution to this problem was decided upon. Loaves of bread containing the exact proportion of the grain contents of each proposed recipe were baked and the one judged to be the best-tasting was adopted. Interestingly, the one selected contained no rye whatsoever, which was replaced by more barley and wheat. Accordingly, on February 25, 1954 Bill Samuels Sr., a sixth generation Kentucky distiller, burned his family's 170-year-old bourbon recipe. The first bottle of Maker's Mark was sold in 1958 and featured the dipped red wax seal. Unlike most bourbons, Maker's Mark is not aged for any specific period of years; rather it is bottled and marketed when expert tasters agree that it is ready. Also, the barrels are moved from the lower to the upper floors of the warehouse and back down during the aging process to benefit from the differences in temperature at the various levels. This practice was once common in the distilling industry, but has been largely abandoned due to the high labor expense. Maker's Mark is sold in unusually-shaped squarish bottles which are sealed with a red plastic resembling the original wax seal. In the United States, only one variety is marketed, bottled at 90 U.S. proof (45% alcohol by volume).