Makers Mark, one of the larger producers of bourbon in Kentucky, produces wheated bourbon that is sold both domestically and abroad. Until recent years, Makers only produced a small handful of products. In the last couple of years, though, products like Makers Mark 46 and Makers 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 Makers 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.
Thick, musty caramel. Rich toffee, oak, cocoa and fruits like lemon, orange and lime.
Lots of cocoa, toffee, oak. Cherry, clove, deeply earthy.
Long, rich and sweet. Cocoa forward, lots of orange peel, almost a butter scotch note.
This was also really great, but very sweet and fruit. There was some oak in the palate, and I think just a bit more in the finish could have made this pretty great. Still, though, this is very enjoyable.