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.
Honey, toffee, cocoa and clove. Light oak presence, mild pepper.
Thin to medium mouth feel. Oaky, peppery. Lots of heat here. Dry, bitter and spicy. Lots of cocoa.
Long, but hot and spicy. Almost punishing. Clove, pepper and oak dominate.
This is probably the first of these so far that I found to be one dimensional. Overall, it was too oaky, bitter and hot. A shame, but fortunately so far, these have been rare.