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.
Stock image from Liquor Barn
This is day 4 of the series. There are 13 days total. Here are the previous days in case you missed them.
- Day 1, Maker’s Mark Private Selection, Mexi Cali Mocha Selection
- Day 2, Maker’s Mark Private Selection, Total Wine and More Selection
- Day 3, Maker’s Mark Private Selection, Crown 1.1 Selection
Distiller: Maker’s Mark
Bottler: Maker’s Mark
ABV: 55.2% ABV
Stave Code: 4 | 1 | 3 | 2 | 0
Nose: Thick, musty caramel. Rich toffee, oak, cocoa and fruits like lemon, orange and lime.
Taste: Lots of cocoa, toffee, oak. Cherry, clove, deeply earthy.
Finish: Long, rich and sweet. Cocoa forward, lots of orange peel, almost a butter scotch note.
Overall: This was also really great, but very sweet and fruit. There was some oak in the palate, and I think just a bit more in the finish could have made this pretty great. Still, though, this is very enjoyable.
Thanks for reading!