husband, father, whisky lover, blogger, freelance whisky writer, and head of the New Jersey Whiskey Society & leading the USBG NJ efforts...currently the New Jersey Whisky Ambassador for Diageo & therefore leave the recent writing duties to guest bloggers, primarily that Bourbon loving fella named Gerard

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Maker's Mark 46

Almost out...surprised the tag lasted this long
Already being a fan of Maker’s Mark, when the distillery finally decided to release another expression, I had to jump all over it.

Being one of the most readily available Bourbons out there, it is often the drink of choice when I go to places with a limited selection.  After all, it is not everyday that you are at a fine dining restaurant.  Every now and then, you are at a place like a Red Lobster and your whisky selections become dramatically limited.  That’s a great time to reach for Maker’s…despite their recent ABV drama.
In this case, I had a gift certificate, and went bottle shopping…I had been waiting for a while to try it, so I decided to add it to the collection.  This one is described as being similar to their standard offering, but they take the original juice, re-barrel it, drop in some seared French Oak staves for a few months and wait for the magic to happen.

I must say, while I do thoroughly enjoy the original Maker’s, it always appealed to my sweet tooth.  I sometimes longed for a little bit of balance, or a surprise kick of spice that never comes.  But, I am here to state that this new Oak booster process takes this whisky to another place…a place I want to frequent!

Tasting Notes:

Appearance:  A bit darker than the original, but still a deep honeyed color
Nose:  Oak, Vanilla, Caramel…very much like the original

Palate:  Here is where the biggest change comes in my opinion.  Luscious and thick, buttery and sticky.  Caramel, vanilla, chewy spices like clove
Finish:  Woody and viscous, cinnamon and light spices…longer than the original Maker’s Mark

Bill Samuels (former President for Maker’s Mark) referred to MM46 as a “breakthrough of contemporary Bourbon”.  While I will not go that far, I will certainly applaud them for stepping out of their comfort zone and creating a genuinely unique and tasty product.  I think they stepped it up a bit from the original, and I would not turn down a drink of either.  Although, at about $35 a bottle I may consider some other Bourbon options at that price point.  That being said, I would not be surprised to see this one in my glass a few times as I barbecue this summer.

Score:  88

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