If you are a whiskey brand, what better way to support the state you are made from than by boasting a proud image of a local college football coach on the label?
While exciting for Cardinals fans, it's still an interesting choice for the whiskey makers. Strong is currently only 14-12 in his two seasons at Louisville. His two seasons have been back-to-back 7-6 showings. While this is still the university's first two winning seasons since 2006 (when they went 12-1), the choice is still a little too much too soon.
Strong does coach for a Kentucky team which makes sense for a Kentucky whiskey. However, after two mediocre seasons, Strong hasn't done enough to merit this honor. For a whiskey company that has placed the likes of the Kentucky Derby and major athletes on their specialty labels, Strong seems like an outlier.
It could be that Maker's Mark is just trying to reach out to Louisville fans here, and kudos to them if it works. After all, it is their job to make money.
The whiskey makers could have waited just a little bit longer to honor the man-in-charge at Louisville. Jumping the gun and honoring him too soon leaves many questions to be answered. What happens when Strong ends up leading the Cardinals to a top-tier bowl?
Heck, what happens when they win a national championship (anything is possible)? What does Maker's Mark do then? My only suggestion at that point is to just rename the brand after Strong.
In the mean time, fans can only hope someone somewhere (ahem, Adam Kramer) decides to make a drinking game using this limited edition whiskey.
For those interested, it will be available on July 20th.