Category Archives: Taste of the…

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.

Amrut Fusion

Amrut Fusion Single Malt Indian Whisky
50% ABV/100 Proof
$50 to $60
Worldwide Availability

What the Distillery Says:
Tasting Note :
Nose : Fresh oak,hint of vanilla,fruity and sublime peat.
Taste : Intially fruity and transcending to shear delicacy of fruity peaty notes.
Finish : Long and supremacy of peat-fruit combination balance out very well

What Richard Says:
Nose: The nose is very rich with ripe fruits and citrus notes overlaying something distinctively medicinal. Cloroseptic throat spray? Water tones all the other notes down to just a mild earthiness.
Palate: No sweetness out of the bottle. Very hot. Dark chocolate and vanilla. With water sweetness ang grassy notes come out. Despite the hotness, I prefer it without water.
Finish:Hot and spicy like a hot curry until you add water and then it tones down to a light oak.
Comments: Interesting. I like this better than the standard single malt but I’m still not enamored with the Fusion. It’s much more balanced but it just doesn’t stand out to me. If there was some of the cinnamon in the standard expression in the Fusion’s palate it would have a nice Mexican Hot Chocolate flavor. Maybe I’ll try mixing the two myself.
Rating: Average

What Matt Says:

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

Do we accept samples for review?

Yes. You can joke and say “Who would turn down whiskey?” but this is a valid question. Some people review only things that they buy and some people review only things that are sent to them. While we actually purchase most of the whisk(e)y that we review it is out of necessity more than anything else. Plus, we’re usually buying the stuff anyway. 😉

For those who read our blog, we don’t treat the whisk(e)y any different regardless of whether it was sent to us or purchased by us. The only difference is that we disclose in the review if the sample was sent to us. We usually do reviews periodically (and hopefully with some regularity) based on what’s in our liquor cabinets at any given moment. For samples sent to us we trying to have a pretty short turnaround time out of respect for the company that sends it to us. This is usually because the samples tend to coincide with a seasonal promotion, new release, etc that may be time sensitive.

In the past we’ve received generosity in the form of review samples from Pernod Ricard, Cooley, Charbay, and several others. If you have something you would like us to review then contact either Matt or myself through email.

Your Whisk(e)y Apostles,

Richard & Matt

Amrut Single Malt Whisky

Amrut Single Malt Indian Whisky
46% ABV/92 Proof
$55 to $65
Worldwide Availability

What the Distillery Says:
Nose : Distinctly confidant liquorice-bourborn notes with near perfect bitter-sweet balance; burnt honeycomb and toffee also abount.
Taste : Outstanding richness and sheen to the enormous barley-oak sweetness; again, but there is a big bourbony cut to the cloth with all the liquorice and molassed sugar normally but the barley adds that extra dimension.
Finish : Long, wonderfully layered oak offering variations of a sweet-dry theme; a touch silky wih some cream toffee at the death;

What Richard Says:
Nose: Dry grass with notes of fruit brandy. Mildly earthy. Water brings out more wood than anything else with a little grass left.
Palate: Mild sweetness with hints of cinnamon. Despite the hotness right out of the bottle this doesn’t hold up well to water. It kind of falls apart.
Finish: Very earthy, woody, and slightly hot. Water leave the finish very dry and clean.
Comments: There were some interesting parts to the nose and palate. The cinnamon was especially surprising. That’s something my palate never finds in whisky. Even still, it doesn’t all come together as well as I’d hope. I don’t think this would be something I would stock in my own bar but if offered I wouldn’t say no.
Rating: Average

What Matt Says:

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

Connemara Turf Mor

Connemara Turf Mor Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey
58.2% ABV/116.4 Proof
50+ Euros
Currently available in the UK, Germany, Benelux, and Ireland

What the Distillery Says:
Turf Mor is the latest and 2nd edition to the Small Batch Collection series of Connemara. The first was the highly successful Connemara Sherry Finish, of which sales are now deplete and the product is retired. By bottling it at cask strength with no chill filtration we get a truly phenolic taste experience while still managing to retain Connemara’s distinctive smooth taste. Turf Mor is the Peatiest expression of Connemara with over 50 ppm phenol level. It is a limited edition bottling with less than 20,000 bottle available.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Peat and smoked meat. It reminds me of my buddy Sam’s smoked beef brisket. (I’ll have to ask him what wood he uses) There is also a good bit of fresh apple and a hint of freshly grated ginger.
Palate: Very smokey on the palate but in a different way. It’s more actual wood smoke rather than peaty like an Islay. I’m thinking that is because it’s less briny. Surprisely dry with hints of sweetness.
Finish: Sip it slow and the heat mellows to a smooth warmth that sticks with you. It leave that wood smoke lingering behind.
Comments: I really liked this much more than prior experiences with Connemara. I think it’s a mildly complex dram that offers a different take on smokey whiskey. A very nice warm you up dram on a cold night.
Rating: Stands Out

What Matt Says:
Nose: First hit with a caramel sweetness, then overpowered by peat that swirls around more floral notes (rose petals) and notes of green grain and grasses.
Palate: Peat and tall grasses that coat the mouth.  It seems trite, but it’s very “Irishy” with a boat load of peat.
Finish: Peat and a little bitter with touches of oak around the edges.
Comments: I’ve never been as enthralled with Cooley as the rest of the whiskey writers.  I think everyone is just excited to have another player in the game.  I can sympathize.  I’m a huge supporter of independents and micros as a concept even if I’m not thrilled by the product.  Cooley brought us the first peated Irish whiskey in quite some time and now they are going after the super peat market with Turf Mor.  In some ways this is a success.  I tried it next to the standard Connemara Peated and I have to say that its miles ahead.  Even at cask strength, it is very drinkable.  The nose is intoxicating.  With water, there is a caramel roundness that helps to tame the peat and other vegetation.  However, I find a rawness to this whiskey that I often find from Cooley.  It says to me, “let me sleep a little longer.  A few more years in oak and I’ll be less cranky.”  I’m going to rate this a “Stands Out,” but with a caveat.  It’s not my style.  Turf Mor stands out because there is little to compare it to in it’s category.  How does it rate against the peat monsters from Scotland?  It depends on if you are talking about one of the complex and amazing ones or one of the one trick ponies.  Ultimately, it is distinctly Irish and cannot be directly compared to a Scottish whiskey.
Rating: Stands Out

Overall Rating: Stands Out

We’d also like to thank Rachel Quinn at Cooley and Megan Hurtuk with Gemini for providing us with samples for review.