Monday, September 29, 2014
Maker's Mark Cask Strength
The last few years have been a bit tumultuous for Maker's Mark. In 2010, they released their first new product in many years, Maker's 46. Then, in 2013 they famously announced that they would lower the bourbon's proof from 45% to 42% abv, then reversed course after a public outcry. Earlier this year, Maker's parent company, Beam Global, was purchased by Suntory. Now, Maker's seems to be going in a different direction and has announced the release of a 113 proof cask strength expression, though for now, it's only available at their gift shop and only in 375 ml bottles.
Maker's Mark Cask Strength, Batch 14-01, 56.6% abv ($40 for 375 ml)
The nose is much less sweet than the regular Maker's, with more wood notes. The palate starts sweet but with plenty of wood balance. It grows in complexity as it goes down, showing some strong oak notes, wood spice, light medicinal notes and even some old red wine type tannins. The finish is sweet on the nose but oaky on the palate. This is a wonderfully balanced bourbon with a lot of complexity. It's hard to believe it's Maker's Mark.
This is something they should have done long ago. Hopefully, they will release it in larger quantity because it's far better than anything I've had from Maker's. UPDATE: Apparently this will be in general release soon.
Having tried the newest Maker's, I'll try some classic Maker's later this week.
Many thanks to Kevin A. for the photo and sample.