in a name? Well, sometimes it's a number that stands out and
not just the name. Take these iconic numbered brand names
for instance; Chanel No. 5, WD40, 3M, 7-Eleven, Levi Strauss
501, Formula 409, MGD 64, Jack Daniels Old No. 7 and of course
the point of all this, Makers Mark 46.
in a number? Numerology has been around for centuries and
still affecting people's lives every day, even today. Thirteen
and 666 are considered unlucky in predominantly Christian
countries; while 888 sounds like "good fortune"
in Chinese. Conversely, four is a bad number in China because
in Mandarin and Cantonese it sounds like "to die."
During school exam-time earlier this year, Shanghai's largest
taxi company bowed to public pressure by recalling all cars
with the number four in the license plate; apparently no one
wants to go to an exam in an unlucky cab. I think the following
numbers have been fairly lucky for these companies.
comes from the company's original name, Minnesota Mining and
Manufacturing Company. 7-Eleven named their convenience stores
to reflect their newly extended hours, 7:00 a.m. until 11:00
Strauss 501, around 1890 Levi Strauss assigned lot
number 501 to jeans featuring six copper rivets, a button
fly, and heavyweight denim. They featured a rear pocket design
showing a pair of arches made with orange thread. The pocket
stitch was trademarked in 1943 and remains one of the oldest
design trademarks in the U.S. Does the number 501 have special
meaning? No one knows for sure. Many of Levi's records were
lost in the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906.
took their scientists 40 attempts to get the water displacing
formula worked out. But they must have been really good, because
the original secret formula for WD-40, which stands for Water
Displacement, perfected on the 40th try, is still in use today.
No. 5 was chosen by Coco Chanel in 1920 when she
was presented with small glass vials of scents numbered 1-5
and 20-24, for her assessment, she chose the composition contained
in the fifth vial. Chanel told her master perfumer, Ernest
Beaux, whom she had commissioned to develop a fragrance with
modern innovations: "I present my dress collections on
the fifth of May, the fifth month of the year and so we will
let this sample number five keep the name it has already,
it will bring good luck."
409 Is explained on the official Formula 409 Web
site: "Formula 409 didn't get its name from the area
code where it was developed. It's not the birth date of the
creator's daughter. Formula 409 got its name from perseverance."
It's true. It took a lot of work. After 408 tries, two Detroit
scientists finally got the formula for their cleaner right."
64 is Miller Genuine Draft and the "64"
stands for 64 calories. By contrast, a regular bottle of Miller
Genuine Draft has 143 calories.
Daniel's Old No. 7. It's one of the most-often-asked
questions about the well-known Whiskey: Why did Jack Daniel
name his product "Old No. 7"? Unfortunately, no
one really knows, and the theories are many. But according
to Whiskey Business: The Many Myths of Jack Daniels",
the most reasonable explanation may be the one offered by
Jack Daniel biographer Peter Krass. He explains: Jack was
originally assigned a district tax assessment number of 7.
But when the IRS consolidated districts within Tennessee,
they arbitrarily assigned him the number 16. Jack didn't want
to confuse his loyal consumers and he certainly didn't want
to bend to the government, so he began labeling his bottles
"Old No. 7."
that finally brings us to Makers Mark 46.
A while back Master Distiller Kevin Smith began some
lengthy "trial and error" to create something new
and different. After 45 failures and bad ideas, in December
2009, he finally got it right. He took fully matured Maker's
Mark and removed it from the barrel and then affixed
ten wooden seared staves to the inside of that barrel. It
turns out that searing the staves caramelizes the sugars in
the wood and adds unique flavor. Then the fully matured Maker's
Mark was returned to the barrel and aged several
more months. And now, it's my turn to see if Kevin got it
from the bottle my nose is greeted with alcohol up front which
eventually dissipates and reveals rich, thick, mellow, oaky
caramel and a mixture of pepper and vanilla that seems to
have been inserted into a leather pouch made of the finest
supple calf skin. As it hits my mouth, I get a blast of the
best bourbon flavor there is. This is quickly followed by
a peppery tingle that sifts through complex layers of that
vanilla and leather and leaves my mouth and throat warm and
happy. Very much like sitting in front of a roaring fire in
a cabin high up in the Rockies during a snow storm. Yummmmmmm.
that was straight up, however I prefer my bourbon with branch
water. Branch water is what they called spring water back
in the South, back in the day. I would hazard to guess that
the best branch water for this purpose would undoubtedly be
the water used in making Maker's Mark in
the first place but since I don't live in Kentucky I got my
hands on the best spring water I could get. By the by, I also
make my ice cubes from that same spring water so as not to
foul up the taste in any way.
this is a whole 'nother critter. This drink is unbelievably
smooth and delicate, and dare I say, velvety. The taste is
much mellower and very, very enjoyable. This is true sipping
bourbon. That bit of branch brought this bourbon a whole new
lease on life and it may have just become my best friend.
Get yourself a jug. At about $40.00, it's really quite reasonable
and quite good and just might become your best friend.
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