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There isn't much that can compare to a glass of neat whiskey on a cold evening.  Something American's in particular have surely been enjoying since... well, before we were Americans.  All of us who like to partake in the 'juice of the barley' (as Tommy Makem puts it) probably have our favorite brand.  Being that Noble is so close to the Bourbon Trail, we do our fare share of taste tests.  Maker's Mark hasn't been on the top of my list, but it certainly is up there.  That is why I was excited to learn about their sustainable business sense and care they show to the environment. For starters, all of their corn and wheat are locally sourced within 30 miles of their distillery (they don't use any bio-engineered grains-- all heirloom).  Their distillery sits on a 620 acre plot where only 200 of those are used by the factory... the rest is a wildlife preserve and Arboretum for KY's native species.  The really cool part comes from what the company does for their energy production (or at least some).  They have a facility that recycles the byproducts from their distilling and turns it into renewable energy (thanks in large part to an organization called Ecovation).  This is a complex process and cost them a mean 8 million bucks to set up.  It is now the only facility in the country that can boast this type of green energy production.  Furthermore, they use what is left from the energy process (spent grain) as wholesome feed for local cattle.  Maker's is also able to recycle a whopping 95% of all waist that they produce (from paper, glass, cardboard, metal and barrels).  The master distiller, Kevin Smith, says he can see a day in the near future when they will be producing zero waist.  Bottoms up.

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