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.
Musty, earthy, honey, pipe tobacco, stewed fruits. Light ethanol. Really rich nose, though.
Thin to medium mouth feel. Really sweet. Honey, caramel, maple, brown sugar. Light vanilla bean. Some cinnamon. Lots of graham cracker and waffle cone. Heat grows with time, but not too bad. Lightly dry, lightly oaky.
Medium in length, but a bit hot. Caramel, orange zest, rye spice, clove and honey. Light oak presence.
This was interesting in that the palate was super sweet at first before some drying character showed up. Good body, and despite some mild heat, it performs well in my opinion.