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.
Caramel, parchment paper, light cocoa. Nutty toffee, cherry and confectioners sugar.
Medium mouth feel. Very little heat. Honey, almonds, light amaretto. Musty tobacco, clove and a nice cherry note.
Medium in length, the heat is subdued, but faintly present. Clove, pepper, tobacco and caramel dominate here with some light fruitiness.
Really nice. Much more complex than I was expecting. Very nice blend of sweet and musty older bourbon notes with some younger fruitier components as well.