Esteemed whiskey curator, Maker’s Mark, ensures the highest quality of their latest concoction with the help of SPF
Raise your hand if you fancy a glass of your select spirit after a hard day of work, to celebrate a win of your favorite sports team, or to enjoy just because you damn well feel like it. Surely if your hand is raised right now, you can also recognize the amount of work that went into the production of the liquor you enjoy (responsibly, of course). If this resonates with you, especially if you are a whiskey drinker, read on. In recent years, bourbon curator, Maker’s Mark Distillery Inc., began making a specialty batch of bourbon called Maker’s 46. Yet only months ago, they began to break ground for “The Cellar”—Maker’s 46 personalized storing grounds. They discovered that they needed to find a way to house barrels in a certain way in order to maintain the quality of the robust caramel-spiced, toasted oak taste that defines this whiskey.
The cellar is located in Loretto, Kentucky on part of Maker’s Mark Distillery’s 1,000-acre property, where the moderate subtropical climate is not cold enough for the required storage temperatures. In order to create and maintain the environment of 50 degrees and below needed, as well as achieve the aesthetic look desired for the cellar, the owners decided a temperature-controlled building would be the best way to ensure a flawless batch all year long. And how were they going to achieve that goal? With spray polyurethane foam.
In order to accomplish the task at hand, the owners of Maker’s Mark brought in Spray-Tec Inc. Due to the cellar being 66 percent underground and carved from a natural limestone shelf in a hillside, there was a unique purpose for the choice of spray foam pertaining to the insulation and presentation.
Anthony Palmer, project estimator of Spray-Tec explains this choice, “The owners saw the value of spray foam because it is able to achieve the temperatures and physical characteristics desired. Being that spray foam provides a monolithic air-tight space, obtains a higher R-value per inch than other insulation material, and can conform to many different shapes, it is able to keep the cool temperatures in the cellar and appear as limestone rock in order to fit the look that they already had built into.”
The Spray-Tec crew began the project by cleaning off loose dirt and debris from the limestone wall, in addition to three concrete walls surrounding the hillside, as well as the ceiling. To ensure proper adhesion of the foam, the team also performed moisture testing on all of the concrete substrates using an EXTECH Moisture Meter. In order to protect the cellar from overspray damage potential, the crew masked off the floors, windows, doors, sprinkler system, light fixtures, and other jobsite equipment. Standard jobsite fans were used to regulate fumes instead of a ventilation system due to other construction trade teams being in different parts of the building. To further ensure worksite safety, project managers conducted a mandatory tool box talk with his crew at the beginning of each shift to discuss project procedures.
Using a GRACO proportioner and a 250-inch heated hose, the Spray-Tec team then applied two to four inches of 2 lb. closed-cell foam onto the limestone walls, ceiling, and duct work. In order to obtain access to the ceiling and elevated wall space, a man lift was utilized, in addition to harnesses, retractables, lanyards, lifelines, and anchors as safety precautions. The Spray-Tec crew wore standard PPE during the application process, including half mask respirators, gloves, and coverall suits. While obtaining the specified R-value for proper insulation, the crew applied the foam at different depths to achieve the desired limestone aesthetic of the walls, tapering it in certain areas to look like the inside of a cave. Once the lifts of foam cured, the crew painted the walls and ceiling gray to provide the rocky appearance that was anticipated. Working day and night shifts to fulfill the client’s timely wishes, the 20,000-square-foot project was completed in
10 days, which turned out to be a complete success
“We hang our hat on saying that we are one of the top commercial roofing and insulation contractors in the industry and we truly believe there is nothing better than spray foam insulation on the market. The most gratifying part of the job was hearing the feedback from the owners, the operators of the Maker’s 46 Cellar. They had a vision that only spray foam could achieve and to be able to provide them with a successful outcome; it just really paid off,” confirms Palmer.
And with a win like that, it looks like we’ll have a glass of Maker’s 46 in hand for years to come. Cheers!•