Maker’s Mark Cask Strength Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky
$50 to $60
What the Distillery Says:
From the barrel to bottle at 108 to 114 proof, Maker’s Mark Cask Strength retains the signature front-of-the-palate flavors of Maker’s Mark – while amping up the oak, caramel, vanilla and spice to create a remarkable new bourbon.
Though it’s bottled at a higher proof than either Maker’s Mark or Maker’s 46 bourbons, Maker’s Mark Cask Strength has a lower proof than most cask strength whiskies. To us, a higher proof can overwhelm a bourbon with a heavy alcohol taste. And at Maker’s Mark, we’ve always been about creating whiskies that taste “yummy.”
Although Maker’s Mark goes into barrels at a consistent entry proof of 110, the proof of Maker’s Mark Cask Strength will vary. As water evaporates from the barrels as our whisky slumbers, the proof increases. But if you’ve ever lived in Kentucky, you know our summer temperatures can fluctuate wildly so the rate at which our bourbon becomes the “angel’s share” also differs. As a result, we’re never 100% sure what the proof will be till we open the barrels.
What Gary Says:
Nose: Light, sweet oak, vanilla wafers w/ a hint of licorice.
Palate: Warm, soft sweet vanilla with honey, caramel crèmes with undertones of cinnamon creeping in.
Finish: Moderate, with more bite than the start.
Comments: The first time I tried this, I was underwhelmed – especially for the price (it was $50 for a 375 mL bottle initially). Thankfully the price has come down quite a bit, although still on the high side for me. This is what I expected Maker’s Mark to be at cask strength. Still sweet/smooth, but a bit more of a bite that kicks in near the end and carries through the finish.
Rating: Stands Out
What Richard Says:
Nose: Much heavier on the wood than regular Maker’s with big doses of vanilla.
Palate: The barrel strength pushes this one out of the gate like it’s on fire. The oily rich mouthfeel bursts with caramel sweets, dark cocoa powder, vanilla cream, and one single Red Hot candy dissolved in the mix.
Finish: Woody but much spicier.
Comments: This reminds me of the first time I tried Maker’s Mark. Back then it was an impressive step up from Jack and Jim. It seemed to be bursting with flavor compared to bourbon’s I had up to that point. I get the same thing from the Cask Strength version. It’s sort of what I’ve hoped Maker’s would be for a long time. As pricing has come down to near $50 for a full 750 ml bottle it’s something you really should try.
Rating: Must Try