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 Again
This is day 10 of the series. There are 15 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
- Day 4, Maker’s Mark Private Selection, Liquor Barn #7 Selection
- Day 5, Maker’s Mark Private Selection, Westport Whiskey and Wine 10th Anniversary
- Day 6, Maker’s Mark Private Selection, No Mocha No Cry Selection
- Day 7, Maker’s Mark Private Selection, Big Red Liquors Selection
- Day 8, Maker’s Mark Private Selection, Hi-Time Liquors Selection
- Day 9, Maker’s Mark Private Selection, Bill Samuel’s Jr Selection
Distiller: Maker’s Mark
Bottler: Maker’s Mark
ABV: 55.05% ABV
Stave Code: 4 | 4 | 2 | 0 | 0
Nose: Honey, toffee, cocoa and clove. Light oak presence, mild pepper.
Taste: Thin to medium mouth feel. Oaky, peppery. Lots of heat here. Dry, bitter and spicy. Lots of cocoa.
Finish: Long, but hot and spicy. Almost punishing. Clove, pepper and oak dominate.
Overall: This is probably the first of these so far that I found to be one dimensional. Overall, it was too oaky, bitter and hot. A shame, but fortunately so far, these have been rare.
Reveal:K&L Wines. I really expected a better pick from them, but I also know they do a million picks a year. I usually enjoy their Four Roses bourbon selections, but maybe they were looking for something specific in this pick. Oh well.
Thanks for reading!