Maker's Mark

     

Maker's Mark distillery

Region: USA

Location: Star Hill Farm, Loretto, Kentucky

General whisky characteristics: Complex, rich, floral, caramel

Official website

 

 

   

A day at The Munich Whisky & Bar festival, February 2010

There was I perusing the Laphroaig stand and relieving them of some samples when a very pleasant chap nex door on the Maker's Mark stand asked if I also wrote notes for and sampled bourbon.

Well, although this isn't the main focus of Whisky Emporium, I do enjoy a good bourbon and am happy to include them in my reviews.

 
 

He proceeded to educate me in the intricacies of the palate and how Maker's Mark aim to address the palate with their bourbon. A review of this discussion can be found in February's Dram-atics as below I have detailed the actual tasting notes of the 'official' Maker's Mark, along with three other samples not generally available.

 

 
   

Maker's Mark, New Spirit, aged less than 1 day, 45% ABV

(known to the staff as 'White Dog')

Typical cost of this bottle; Not available for sale.

 
 

Glass: Bugatti Kelch

Colour: Totally clear, like water.

Nose: Spirit, slightly floral.

Palate: Aromatic grain with hints of fresh, spirity grappa.

Overall Impression: A very aromatic new spirit without being too raw.

 

   
   

Maker's Mark, New Spirit, aged 1 year, 45% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; Not available for sale.

 
 

Glass: Bugatti Kelch

Colour: Rich gold

Nose: Perfumed, slight wood, no spirit

Palate: Smooth, gentle, warm, slightly perfumed.

Overall Impression: From the colour, nose and palate it's hard to believe this is just one year old. It's already well on its way to maturity.

 

   
   

Maker's Mark, NAS, 45% ABV

The 'offical' bottling

Typical cost of this bottle;

 
 

Glass: Bugatti Kelch

Colour: Amber

Nose: Very aromatic, perfumed grain.

Palate: Smooth and very aromatic.

Overall Impression: A fine bourbon.

 

   
   

Maker's Mark, 'Over Matured', aged 9 years, 45% ABV

3 years at each of the three warehouse levels.

Typical cost of this bottle; Not available for sale.

 
 

Glass: Bugatti Kelch

Colour: Bronze

Nose: Wonderful perfume, oak and leather.

Palate: Smooth, perfumed freshly sawn older wood and some leather.

Finish: an amazing effect on the palate as it alternates between front and back of the tongue.

Overall Impression: Please bottle this, I love it!

 

   

 

 

In Summer 2010 Maker's Mark, a company famed for selling just one product, introduced a whole new one to double their range. Maker's 46 was born. Today I have the pleasure of trying this new product alongside the original Maker's Mark in a direct head-to-head.

 
   

Maker's Mark, NAS, 45% ABV

The 'offical' bottling

Typical cost of this bottle;

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Amber

Nose: Very aromatic, perfumed grain. Some hints of violets and herbs too. Do I even detect a little cocktail of aromatic wood and toffee?

Palate: Smooth and very aromatic with everything focused right at the fore of the palate.

Finish: Long and aromatic, but again right at the fore of the palate.

Overall Impression: A fine bourbon. I still like this one.

 

   
   

Maker's 46, NAS, 47% ABV

The 'new' bottlng

Typical cost of this bottle;

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Dark rich amber with a touch of bronze

Nose: The nose of this '46' is in my opinion one of a little more maturity. It's not quite so light and aromatic as it exhibits a little more wood and solidity over those aromatic roots, but make no mistake, it's of the same stable and alomost like a slightly bigger Brother.

Palate: Also very smooth and almost a little thicker in texture, perhaps even slightly syrupy in com
parison to the 'original' one.  It's also aromatic but carries a little orange, maybe even blood orange through the palate into the finish. The whole experience is concentrated mid-palate rather than just the front.

Finish: Long and gentle on mid-palate with definite hints of wood and orange.

Overall Impression: Really quite different to the 'original' but still unmistakably "Maker's" and also very good.

 

   
 

Conclusions and summary; These are both very good whiskeys, obviously from the same stable as they share a good few Brotherly traits, but also really quite different at the same time. The 'original' is delightfully light and aromatic, whereas the '46' is slightly richer and slightly less aromatic as it introduces some orange and wood characteristics. If anything I would say the original is more of a traditional bourbon, whereas the 46 is slightly more unusual, mainly thanks to those orange characteristics. In fact I would go as far as to say this would make an excellent accompaniment to English Christmas cake, perhaps with a little cheese as a Christmas Day (afternoon) treat!

Now pour me another!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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