Maker’s Mark maintain that they distill their bourbon to the lowest proof of any US whiskey distillery. This proffers a bourbon that retains a rich flavour. Developed by Bill Samuels Sr, he replaced rye with red winter wheat to reduce the burning sensation.
A Standout Bourbon
Reviewed by John Fegan on
Maker’s Mark is a surprisingly good bourbon for the price, far more sophisticated than many of it’s peers at the same price. It’s extremely rich and very sweet as you would expect but well worth exploring on its own or using as a cocktail base, I can’t wait to get myself on the cask strength offering.
Aroma: Very fruity with hints of orange and toasted oak
Palette: Vanilla, honey and wallnut
Finish: Dry oak-y spice
Produced by Beam Suntory
Average Price £25
A rising stars in the bourbon market, Maker’s Mark ticks every quality checkbox, winning a handful of awards and attracting a growing following in the UK. The bottle is becoming particularly familiar being found across a growing number of bars and restaurants.
Maker's Mark® Bourbon Whisky
So what makes makes mark, makers mark? It sure isn’t some high tech manufacturing process. It’s the four basic elements water, wheat, wood and wax. Nothing can ruin the taste of bourbon faster than iron in the water. Our founder, Bill Samuels Sr chose the little distillery where we make our hand crafted bourbon in part because there was a spring fed late right on the grounds. A perfect source of limestone purified water, it’s still supplying the water for every drop of our whisky.
Most whiskies use rye as their main flavour grain which is why most whiskies have that hot blow your ears off taste, our founder wanted nothing to do with that he substituted gentle winter red wheat for rye to create a bourbon that finished at the front of the tongue where the sweet sensing taste buds reside. That’s why makers mark is full flavoured yet remarkably easy to drink.
We’re pretty fanatical about the wood we use in our barrels we insist that they be made exclusively from 100% new American oak, just as important we require the wood that goes into them be seasoned outdoors for a minimum of nine months including a full summer. That helps get rid of the bitter tannins inside the wood which means they wont be inside your whiskey. Charring the oak releases notes of caramel and vanilla and hand rotating each barrel through six Kentucky summers and winters ensures that more of those flavours make it into your makers.
Here’s where mum got into the act, Marjorie Samuels was a collector of old cognac bottles, those bottles were sealed the only way they could be back then dipped individually in to wax. Marjorie though that that hand crafted touch was only fitted for a handmade bourbon like Bill’s. More than 50 years later that clever idea is the visual icon of Makers Mark, in fact its trademarked, and every bottle is still dipped by hand. If you want to see for yourself come on down to our little distillery and we’ll show you around. So those are the four W’s that make Makers Mark what it is, and what it isn’t.
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