Maker’s 46

Maker’s 46 Kentucky Bourbon Whisky
47% ABV/94 Proof
$35 – $40
Available in most U.S. markets

What the Distillery Says:
How It’s Made: Fully matured Maker’s Mark is removed from its barrel. Top hoops are removed from the barrel, and the barrel head is pulled. Ten wooden seared staves are then affixed to the inside of that barrel. Searing the staves caramelizes the sugars in the wood, adding a unique flavor that finishes on the front of the tongue. The fully matured Maker’s Mark is then put back in the barrel and aged several more months. When it tastes exactly right, Maker’s 46 is removed from the barrel, bottled, corked and dipped.
Aroma – Pleasant, sweet, toasty oak nose with caramel overtones. More intense aroma without an alcohol nose.
Taste – Rich, creamy seared-oak flavors; caramel and vanilla notes linger on the front of the palate, but it is still soft enough to hold on the tongue even at 94 proof.
Finish – A big mouth-watering oaky finish. Long with a little spice, staying forward on the palate without the bitter bite found in older whiskies.

What Richard Says:
Nose: The slight increase in proof gives a surprising increase to the alcohol component on the nose. Most likely because standard Maker’s tends to be a delicate bourbon. I apparently disagree with Maker’s on this one (see distillery notes above). There is some oaky sweetness but I’m losing it behind the alcohol.
Palate: Much more oak on the palate than standard Maker’s (as to be expected). Mostly what comes through is caramel, vanilla, and leather.
Finish: This is the part I care for the least. I get an unpleasant woody taste that I can’t quite nail down. The finish on this “finished” bourbon needs work.
Comments: Talk about hoopla. I can’t think of any whiskey in recent memory that was talked about as much or waited for with as much anticipation as Maker’s 46. It’s supposed to be their first new bourbon in 50 years although John Hansell already debunked that myth. Don’t get me wrong, I like this bourbon, I do. I just don’t understand why everyone is falling all over themselves with praise for it. It’s better than standard Maker’s Mark but it’s not the Bourbon of the Gods or anything. It’s really just finished standard Maker’s…and there’s nothing wrong with that. Scotch has been doing that for some time with varied results. If you like Maker’s then you’ll like this. If you’re on the fence about Maker’s then you might like this. If you don’t like bourbon at all, this isn’t going to convert you.
Rating: Average, although better than standard Maker’s Mark

What Matt Says:

Matt has not had a chance to review this whiskey yet.

2 thoughts on “Maker’s 46”

  1. The bold wood notes were even much more pronounced in some of the “pre-release” samples Kevin Smith (then distillery manager at Maker’s) let me taste. And while I liked the final version, maybe those woody notes on the finish didn’t “cross the line” to me, they surely were walking the line.

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