Updated: Jun 19, 2020
Score: 7.6 / 10
Distillery: Maker's Mark
Type: Wheated Kentucky
Maker's Mark was one of my favorite cheap bourbons to mix with Coca Cola back before I was a little more serious about whiskey. Honestly, it still is! However, I have been walking past this in the aisle for years. Always thinking that I'll eventually get around to trying it. Something about the amount of stock that I saw in stores just made me feel that this is clearly nothing special and not worth checking out before other bourbons. Almost gave me the opposite feeling of an allocated whiskey.
However, that all changed when I snagged and cracked open the Limited Edition RC6. It completely blew my socks off for what I was expecting, and I immediately started wondering other expressions in Maker's Mark's Wood Stave Series. At it's core, 46 and other expressions in this series are aged as normal, then finished in different barrels with carefully implanted staves. Each inserted stave has a heightened characteristic to it and adds something different to the whiskey. I believe that this process is already creating very good products. However, I also think that it is going to lead to some truly great expressions in the future and maybe even some top shelf whiskeys. Well, I finally picked it up.... so here you go!!
Nose: Cinnamon, vanilla, oak, caramel, wheat bread crusts
Palate: Strong cinnamon and oak hits me right away, burnt sugars, vanilla
Finish: Cinnamon fades into leather, deeply charred oak, and tobacco. Sort of has a rum / whiskey mix aftertaste.
S+ Sensational - The Pinnacle (9.5+)
A - AXEceptional (astounding) (9-9.5)
B - bravo (step aBove average) (8-8.9)
C - competent (7-7.9)
D - disappointing (6-6.9)
F - flush it down the toilet (fail) (5.9 below)
Notes: Availability? Common. As described above, this is very easy to walk past. Trust me, you will find this with very little effort.
Overall, I think this is a fantastic mixer, but you can find better cheap sippers like Buffalo Trace or Four Roses Small Batch to replace it. Don't let me pick your bourbons though, try them all!