HBCU Alumni Collaborate With Maker’s Mark For Limited Bourbon Honoring Morehouse and Spelman

Following their successful collaboration with Howard University alumnus Josh Mercer in 2022, distillery Maker’s Mark has announced two offerings from its new Private Selection bottling program. As Essence reported, they have tapped two alums from two of the most prestigious HBCUs in America, D’Angela Proctor from Spelman College and Harold H. Montgomery, Jr. from Morehouse College. 

In a continuation of the seed planted through their initial collaboration with Mercer, the bourbon distillery will use these distinct drinks created by the pair to honor the history and heritage of their respective collegiate experiences. Proctor named her drink “Undaunted 1881” in a nod to the founding of Spelman as well as her consulting firm and content creation company, Undaunted Content, which she formed in 2019. Proctor chose notes of vanilla, caramel, cinnamon, and nutmeg in an attempt to express the grace, tenacity, and complex nature of the ladies who called Spelman home over the institution’s near century and a half of service.

Montgomery, who is a Morehouse graduate and business owner, called his creation “1867 The House Standard,” which pulled inspiration for its taste profile from his favorite cigar brand. Montgomery also sought to respect the culture of leadership exemplified by Morehouse and its vaunted past alumni through his bourbon composition. The Private Selection program allows for restaurant or retail partners as well as everyday customers to create their unique blends of bourbon similar to Proctor and Montgomery Jr.

According to the Maker’s Mark website, the program “is a first-of-its-kind barrel program. It allows our retail or restaurant partners to purchase a barrel and explore their own taste visions of Maker’s Mark – much in the way our past-and-present Maker’s distillers defined theirs.”

The two Makers Mark Private Selection bottles will retail for around $75 and like their previous limited-time HBCU bottle created to honor Howard University, will be made available just in time for the two college’s homecoming celebrations. At the present time, they will only be available for purchase in a select quantity at Atlanta’s My Friend’s Bottle Shop starting on Oct. 27. 

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