Well, there I am, at the bottom of the middle row, on a 50 gallon barrel of Maker's Mark Bourbon that is now resting comfortably at the top of one of their aging warehouses. How I got to be on there is a long story.
I read deal sites on a routine basis. Mostly tech related, as I'm a nerd at heart and always looking for good deals to add to my geek collection or for any of my friends and family that might be looking as well. On one particular tech forum, they have a sub-forum entitled Free Stuff. It's usually links to promo items, new products, the occasional free magazine subscription and what have you. I would hazard to guess that probably 75% of the stuff you sign up for never comes, but several years ago, there was a post for a free Maker's Mark Bourbon sleeve of golf balls. Catch was, you had to sign up to be a Maker's Mark Ambassador. I have several "junk e-mail" addresses, so I figured I would sign up, and if nothing came of it and all I got was spam, it was no big deal. Turns out, this was probably hands down the coolest "free" promotion I've ever signed up for. Not only did I get the golf balls, but over the course of the last several years, I've gotten random care packages from them - sets of plastic insulated tumblers, wacky Christmas cards that I couldn't bring myself to mail out, but this one takes the cake. I got an official looking packet in the mail last fall, telling me that my name was scheduled to be placed on a plaque on one of their barrels of bourbon, and at some point in the future, I would be able to purchase a bottle of it - granted, it would be YEARS in the future, as they age their bourbon a LONG time. So, what started off as a ploy to get a free sleeve of golf balls has turned into something kind of cool. One of these days I hope to make it up to visit my barrel on it's journey and visit the distillery. Not bad for free...
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