Created by Maker's Mark to express "rich, wonderfully oaky bourbon" (Maker's Mark), 2021 Limited Release FAE-02 is meant to really daw on expressive tannins and a rich mouthfeel, focusing on viscosity and woody notes. This is the second entry in the 2021 Limited Release series, and will be the last for the 2021 release calendar.
Certainly oaky, it's dry, spicy and packs in big notes of caramel, black tea, oak spice and pepper. The FAE-02 seems perfectly poised to be the Yin to FAE-01's Yang.
Rich on the palate, bold and spicy. It's all fudge, honey, cocoa, sweet oak, even some ginger. It's hard not to call it a spicy bourbon - the tannin and sweet are still very much the forefront, but there are spicy notes on the fringes. Pepper, ginger, clove, a tough of woody bitterness peek here and there. Proof is right on.
Long, woody, dry finish. Not too oaky - something that's always a concern of mine - but just enough to give this a bold profile.
If you liked the fruity, tobacco profile of the FAE-01, this pairs naturally by delivering a wood forward expression that's sweet up front, spicy on the back palate, and bold and oaky throughout.
Disclosure: The producer asked us to review this, and sent some along