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, pepper, tobacco, honey, ethanol and caramel. Really strong nose, very rich, but the ethanol certainly comes with it.
Caramel, toffee, cherry syrup and some currant. The ethanol is present here, along with some nougat and faint oak presence. Incredibly rich mouth feel, though, and while the heat is present, it is not punishing.
Short to medium, fruity and laced with toffee. Theres a bit of heat here as well but the richness is still impressive. Theres a lot of complexity despite the shorter than average length. Lots of toffee, coffee, pipe tobacco and creamy vanilla.
This was an interesting, and unique selection. The nose started one way - sweet and fruity, while it ended another - complex and rich dessert and tobacco.