Maker’s 46 Cask Strength Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
$40 (per 375ml)
What the Distillery Says:
Right now they don’t. Not a peep. This bottling is a distillery gift shop exclusive at this time. This was a similar distribution pattern to Maker’s Mark Cask Strength. Let’s hope this one goes on to larger distribution too.
What Gary Says:
Nose: Sweet oak, vanilla, lovely baking spices (cloves, cinnamon) over butterscotch.
Palate: Nice rich mouthfeel, warm and sweet caramel with nutmeg and cinnamon, with a hint of fruitcake.
Finish: Moderately long and wet.
Comments: Wow – this is really tasty stuff. I’m not a huge fan of Maker’s 46, but this really shines at cask strength. At one sitting while nosing it reminded me of dusty bourbon (that butterscotch note). Much more robust on the nose and palate, and pleasantly spicy without being “sharp”. My only complaint is the price. I get that there aren’t many cask strength wheated bourbons out there (and one of my favorites – Old Weller Antique 107 – has gotten harder to come by these days), but if this was $50 for a 750 mL – I’d be all over it. At nearly that for half a bottle, I’ll absolutely enjoy it when someone else is offering, but not rushing out to pick one up.
Rating: Stands Out / Must Try
What Richard Says:
Nose: Wow this one wears the proof on its sleeve. Water brings out a more woody, vanilla forward nose.
Palate: This is great in the mouth. It’s warm and spicy with a dry back sweetness. Dusted with cinnamon and sweetened cocoa powder.
Finish: This finishes a little hot and peppery.
Comments: Yes this is a bit pricey for the half bottle. However, when Maker’s Mark Cask Strength first came out it was priced high for a half too. As distribution and demand grew the bottles became full size and the price normalized a bit. Regarding the actual bourbon in the bottle I will say that it is good. I’m always glad to see more wheated and cask strength bourbon on the market. This checks off both of those. However, I do like the regular Maker’s Mark Cask Strength more. In a lower proof I prefer the 46 but at cask strength this is more wood dominated. A nice extension of the line but I prefer the other cask strength option.
Rating: Stands Out
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.
Mac McGee’s Whisky Club is bringing another great event to Atlanta. This month they are focusing on Maker’s Mark and it looks to be something special. The focus of this event is to see how Maker’s progresses as it ages.
Where: Mac McGee Irish Pub, 111 Sycamore Street on Decatur Square, Decatur GA 30030
When: Tuesday, August 17th at 8 PM
Pour: Maker’s white dog (unaged new make spirit), Maker’s at 2 years old , Maker’s Mark, Maker’s at 10 years old, Maker’s 46.
Contact: 404-377-8050 to RSVP, space is limited
I’ll be there and hopefully some of you will too!
Drink wisely my friends,