The Schtick: Maker’s Mark, one of the larger producers of bourbon in Kentucky, produces wheated bourbon that is sold both domestically and abroad. Until recent years, Maker’s only produced a small handful of products. In the last couple of years, though, products like Maker’s Mark 46 and Maker’s Mark Cask Strength have seen domestic releases. A major criticism of the brand, though, was the absence of a barrel selection program in favor of wax dipped limited editions. That has now changed. A barrel selection at Maker’s Mark is unique, though, in that you choose a combination of staves to mature in a barrel, and that barrel is bottled. This is different from almost any other barrel selection process on the market. For better or for worse, this creates a very different product than their core line of expressions. I’ve set out to try approximately a dozen of these various private selections, completely blind, to gather my thoughts on how their releases are shaking out.
This is day 2 of the series. There are 13 days total. Here are the previous days in case you missed them.
Distiller: Maker’s Mark
Bottler: Maker’s Mark
ABV: 55.7% ABV
Stave Code: 0 | 3 | 1 | 6 | 0
Nose: Lots of clove, graham cracker. Almost nutty. Vanilla, cocoa, confectioners sugar, light plum. Generally sweet, and spicy with a hint of fruit.
Taste: Thin to medium mouth feel. Oaky cocoa, lots of pepper and clove. It’s pretty hot here, too. A nice tobacco presence, though.
Finish: Short to medium length, dry oaky and hot.
Overall: Generally, I thought this started in a great place, and slowly slid into a less great one. It’s a bit too hot, dry and over oaked for my palate.
Reveal: Total Wine and More Selection – this was a hair disappointing, especially given that I didn’t expect these to be super oaky at all. But thankfully we’re still early in the series. Plenty of other contenders to see!
Thanks for reading!