Many people are familiar with the popular Maker’s Mark bourbon. It is a highly versatile, well balanced whiskey which swaps red winter wheat for the traditional rye component to reduce its bite and provide a gentler, sweeter finish. Maker’s 46 was the first addition to the company’s line in over fifty years. Designed as a companion to the original, rather than a replacement, there are two main differences between Maker’s 46 and Maker’s Mark.
The first is that the 46 is aged longer which mellows it out more while adding more depth of flavor.
The second is that seared French oak staves are steeped in the bourbon towards the end of its additional aging process, bringing out even more.
Maker’s 46 begins as fully matured Maker’s Mark, but it is only finished during winter when bourbon matures more slowly.
Maker’s discovered that by carefully searing French oak staves and inserting them into barrels of fully matured Maker’s Mark, they could lock in the tannins of the wood that cause bitterness. With these tannins eliminated, it allows the caramelized wood sugars to intensify, offering more complexity with a deeper, richer copper tone, and bolder flavors of vanilla, caramel, oak, and spice while retaining the smooth drinkability of Maker’s Mark.
Its progress is reviewed daily until the perfect balance is reached. Only then is it released for sale.
Maker’s 46 leads with a nose that carries a toasted aroma with hints of caramel sweetness and freshly cut wood. Its taste is creamy and soft, opening into an explosion of wood spice and melded flavors of nutmeg, allspice, and vanilla. It’s progression on the palate leads into a smooth, spicy sweet finish with little burn.
It’s like a liquid soundtrack for Fall.
Try Maker’s 46 and see how it compares to the original. You can find Maker’s Mark varieties, along with a myriad of other whiskey brands, at Wyatt’s Wet Goods in Longmont.