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“Let’s Go Shot for Shot”: Stacking Up Pitino and Calipari’s Maker’s Mark Bottles


After winning the national championship this year with Louisville, Maker’s Mark has honored Rick Pitino with a custom bottle commemorating this season’s success. Sure, Kentucky fans could be bitter about it, but a) Calipari already received a commemorative bottle in 2010 and b) he will surely receive one next year after winning the 2014 national title.


A photo of the bottle, which will be on sale this Friday and whose sales’ benefit the Academic Center of Excellence on Louisville’s campus (Gordon Gee is pleased with this decision), was released this week, and I thought it would be fun to see how it compares to Calipari’s of 2010.




Let’s start from the top: Pitino’s bottle features a sharply contrasting black and red seal with the Angry Bird logo snarling at whoever may dare to break the seal. Calipari’s, on the other hand, keeps the seal a solid Kentucky blue with a white ribbon baring the UK logo and, if you look closely, “Wildcats” imprinted above the logo. The simplicity and elegance of Cal’s seal wins here. Shot: Calipari Maker’s.


Wax seal with date: Pitino’s soon-to-be-released bottle notes the year with a layered seal: black and a coopery brown over it. To me, it kind of looks old-fashioned, which would nicely blend with Louisville’s preferred use of Ye Olde English font on all their apparel. Cal’s is all blue, everything- pretty, but hard on the eyes. Shot: Pitino Maker’s.


Portrait of the coach: Man, did Maker’s capture Pitino mid-glare or what? I can clearly see the hollows of his cheeks, the vein near-to-bursting in his neck, the glint of silver beginning to creep into his hair. Realistic? Yes. Kind of scary? Also yes. Calipari’s silhouette is more minimalist, showing the coach with a generically stern expression. We love Calipari for his outrageous expressions and meme-ability (is that a word? It is now); Maker’s could have done much more to capture his personality. Shot: Tie. Double fist. 


Overall design of bottle front: Pitino’s is BUSY. There is a lot happening on that bottle, and when I’m drinking bourbon, reading those words is the last thing I want to be doing (for the record, I would much rather be securing shots for my best friend Aaron Flener and me, or perhaps collaborating with Nick Roush on a karaoke duet. Maybe snap-chatting. But definitely not reading). Also, can we talk about the hideous red-to-black ombre fade? Pitino’s bottle is just trying way too hard. Calipari’s, meanwhile, is more in line with the classically tailored suits our man loves to wear on the sidelines. All blue, with “Calipari” in a wide-spaced, easy to read font. If you’re buying this bottle for purely aesthetic purposes, Calipari’s would be a much better complement to anything else on your liquor shelf, while Pitino’s aggressively garish bottle would look more at home at a dive bar under some bad lighting. Shot: Calipari’s Maker’s.


Contents: Both contain Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whisky, at 45% alcohol content. Everyone wins. Chug. 



Article written by Kristen Geil

25 Comments for “Let’s Go Shot for Shot”: Stacking Up Pitino and Calipari’s Maker’s Mark Bottles

  1. Ridge Runner
    5:02 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    I would like to break the red bottle over a Loserville trolls head. Is that acceptable to everyone or a bit harsh and animalistic? Thank you.

  2. Ridge Runner
    5:04 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Also, the white suit on Ricky is kinda like the feelin’ ya get seeing a white wedding gown on a woman married 6 times. Ya know? Anyway, just a thought…

  3. Kristen Geil's Abs
    5:13 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    One has the colors of evil and blood. The other has the colors of royalty and purity.

  4. Mrs. Tyler Thompson
    5:19 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    You can get both of these and more in most liquor stores in Nashville

  5. Chief_cat
    5:33 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    I hate to say it but I think MM did a better job with the Pitino bottle. I’m not sure why MM decided to use a likeness of Cal but an actual photo of Pitino, but the photo representation looks sharper. Also MM did a better job contrasting the two tones on the Pitino bottle. Cal’s bottle would have looked better with a tad more white to contrast the Big Blue!

    Just another reason I prefer Woodford Reserve to MM!!!

  6. pfife dawg
    5:40 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Makers need to come out with another blue Pitino KY bottle. For all of us under 30, he’s by far the greatest KY basketball coach we’ve ever seen. Cal will catch up, but for now…………

  7. Yoda
    6:10 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    For Pete’s sake, everyone knows you don’t take SHOTS of bourbon!!! Or at least, you don’t if you live outside of the Louisville city limits. It which case, you probably mistakenly thought it was Crown Royal.

  8. Bleaker
    6:12 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Who chugs bourbon?

  9. Austin
    6:42 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Good post. I think a change in the year label would have made Cal’s a ton better. I’d like to see what it would look like in white, with the year 2010 in Blue. Since it looks like they only wanted blue and white on there, that would be the best way to go.

    I like the picture they used for Pitino, and agree that if the bottle was a lot less busy it would be a lot better. It is kind of trashy, which fits them. They should have not held back and just gone with these pics.,

  10. Bob
    6:45 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Are you sure the bourbon in Pitino’s bottle isn’t watered down?

  11. SipandSavor_withBranchWater
    7:20 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    #3 – Agree. Reminds me of Dracula as rendered in the movie “Van Helsing”, only wearing white instead of black. Untrustworthy bloodsucker who can’t bear the light of day.

  12. Dane Brammage
    7:38 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Cal’s rendering has an Abrhamatic Lincolnesque quality to it.

    Whereas, Pitino’s has a Scarface vibe.

  13. Brother Michigan
    10:22 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    With the exception of the Louisville Cardinal on the seal, I think I like the UL bottle more. The red-black gradient is pretty cool.

  14. Curious
    12:07 am June 7, 2013 Permalink

    Can you buy the bottle anywhere in Lexington ????

  15. True
    7:19 am June 7, 2013 Permalink

    8 – A phoney ditz who can’t write for sheet, seriously why is Geil posting thru the week now? Save the crap for the weekend when no one is on here.

  16. J
    4:57 pm June 7, 2013 Permalink

    Cals bottle is to simple, like UKs fan base.

  17. Meme Generator
    7:07 pm June 7, 2013 Permalink

    Just wish to say your article is as astounding. The clarity in your submit is simply cool and that i can suppose you’re an expert in this subject. Well together with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to stay updated with imminent post. Thank you one million and please carry on the rewarding work.

  18. Blue To The Bone..
    12:25 am June 8, 2013 Permalink

    Maybe they will spruce Cal’s bottle up a little next yr. after #9…

  19. Fan
    7:38 am June 8, 2013 Permalink

    Caliparis bottle is too blue, it looks like it was dropped in a bucket of blue paint. There should be a while tax seal on it, with white wax to break up the blue. I have to give Pitinos bottle the overall nod here. This article has to have been written by a UaK fan. BTW UaK fans usually drink their home made spirits out of a mason jar to save money and tax charges in order to buy anti all other school shirts don’t they?

  20. Lives in Paducah
    7:43 am June 8, 2013 Permalink

    I think the reason that the Calipari bottle doesn’t have writing on it is because Makers didn’t want to frustrate the Kenturkey fans trying to read it and not knowing what the words mean. Maybe there will be a bottle for the banner removal celebration that is up coming for Kenturkey once the NCAA investigation is completed and ALL of the violations are known??

  21. Honesty
    11:30 am June 8, 2013 Permalink

    I like both of them. The Cal bottle says no writing needed it speaks for itself. You can tell each coach personality. Coach Pitino is more selfish and needs to prop it up. Cal knows how good he is and is ultra smooth. I live blue so I have to go with the blue but I do love Pitino and like it as well.

  22. cal mahoney
    6:51 pm June 8, 2013 Permalink

    I live in So. Cal , am a cat fan and a Card fan , how do I get a bottle, don’t think the sell them here

  23. yeah yeah
    8:15 pm June 8, 2013 Permalink

    No doubt the uofl bottle is superior in every way. Black and red color scheme is awesome. And is cal giving the duck lips like a 14 year old girl on that bottl?

  24. Samuels Boy!
    9:08 am June 9, 2013 Permalink

    It’s obvious Samuels tried to go over the top on Pitino’s bottle! Unfortunately it speaks to UofL’s need to beg for attention in an attempt to outshine the BBN. Look at me, look at me! We know who we are and know our goal each and every year! The blue bottle is cool and focused, no distractions!

    Oh, BTW #20 – Too funny, cause I heard they’re combining high schools in CRACKen’ County just to get an aggregate ACT score of 20! Probably cause knuckle heads like you moved in to town! Honestly, Kenturkey? How old and red are you?

    3:14 pm June 9, 2013 Permalink

    Only an idiot from Paducah would make stupid comments like these. He probably had someone write his comments for him. What is going to be your reply when UK has # 9 hanging? You better enjoy your banner for last year, because it will probably be another 20 before the cards win another.