Maker’s Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky has been of my perennial favorites for years. I actually bought the bottle in the photo a while ago to write a proper review and, now that I found the time, I only have about a half of a shot left.
Here’s the history: Maker’s Mark was introduced to the market in 1959. Bill Samuels Sr. is credited with the recipe (apparently with a little help from Pappy Van Winkle). Bill’s wife, Margie, provided the name, created the label, and thought up the idea of the wax seal.
Maker’s Mark, bottled at 90 proof, is aged for around six years. The barrels are charred for 40 seconds which opens the pores in the wood and caramelizes the natural wood sugars. Maker’s is unusual because it doesn’t contain any rye – their recipe uses red winter wheat, corn, and malted barley for the mash which creates a sweeter product.
The wax drip alone makes the bottle distinctive on the shelf. It has a good amber color and a syrupy scent. Maker’s is on the mellower side – it has a slight burn early which quickly dissipates to reveal deep caramel-almond flavors, then finishes with a delightful maple aftertaste. It’s very easy to drink and works well with or without ice. It also makes a nice base for a more complex cocktail if that’s your thing.
I think that Maker’s is a staple in any collection and, price-wise, it well worth the money. I like having a bottle on hand, but personally have trouble keeping it in stock.