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.
Clove, nougat, toffee. Fruity orange zest and freshly baked cake batter.
Medium mouth feel. Honey, clove, caramel. Not a lot of oak, lightly citrus forward - like orange. Light vanilla. Not light in the ethanol department though. Very hot, especially compared to its peers.
Long but hot and spicy. Pepper, clove, cardamom. Orange peel is there with some cocoa but its very hot compared to a lot of other selections.
This was nice, but entirely too hot for its own good.