Posted 20 hours ago

Maker's Mark 46 Kentucky Bourbon Whisky, 70cl

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Maker’s Mark was lagging behind when it came to new product releases after the start of the bourbon boom. Other distilleries were keen on giving consumers all the things like single barrels, increased age statements, more barrel strength options, finished whiskies and new mash bills. PALATE: Rich and creamy. There are notes of oak, vanilla cinnamon, all perfectly balanced. The Maker’s Mark 46 has a big mouthfeel. It is smooth like creamed honey. After the second sip butter toffee, toast and hints of pepper show up. While water can mellow the heat, sipped neat’s just as delightful. Maker’s Mark is unique because it doesn’t include rye in its mash bill. Instead, it relies on red winter wheat (16%), corn (70%), and malted barley (14%).

Maker’s took a while to arrive at the conclusion that they should release a cask-strength version of Maker’s 46. They finally did in 2015, but it was a distillery-only release. In a true demonstration at how much they hated change, they held off on true nationwide distribution for this product until at least 2020. In 2005, Allied Domecq was acquired by Pernod Ricard, who then sold the Maker’s Mark brand to Fortune Brands. Although they are from different pricing segments, there is a lot to be learned by pouring a couple fingers of bourbon and putting them side-by-side for a blind taste comparison: Original recipe vs. wheat bourbon being foremost.

In another blog post, I conducted a side-by-side comparison between Maker’s 46 and standard Maker’s Mark, revealing which one earned my preference. The nose is rich with standard Maker’s notes like vanilla, caramel, and oak, but with a faint hint of dark chocolate.

Color me impressed by how good the Cask Strength version of Maker’s 46 ended up being. I won’t say that I’m surprised though because secretly, I’ve always found Maker’s releases to be great. Both brands are produced by parent company Beam Suntory, but they are distilled and matured at entirely different facilities. As far as we can tell, production lines are completely independent for Maker’s Mark. But I don’t miss them as much since there are a few more curious flavors like chocolate and coffee beans.

Maker's Mark 46 Details

In 1930, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act was passed by congress, which worsened the Great Depression according to many economists. There are 2 main differences between Maker’s 46 and Maker’s Mark. The first is that the 46 is aged longer which mellows it out more while adding more flavor. The second is that seared French oak staves are seeped in the bourbon towards the end of it’s additional aging process bringing out some even more flavors. Other than those 2 factors, which are admittedly important, it’s the same thing as the original Maker’s. Same mash, same barrels, same red winter wheat, same everything.

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