Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Maker's Mark

Name (full): Maker's Mark (S*IV) Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky Handmade

Proof: 90

Price: $19.90 per 750 mL @ Marion County State Store, Marion OH.

Bottle: Distinctive. About anyone who knows whiskey could pick out a Maker's Mark bottle across the room. With its hand dipped red wax seal and hand printed parchment-esque label it strikes one as old style in nature. Right below the neck is another rendition of the Samuels Maker's Mark seal. The label claims that it is "America's only handmade bourbon whiskey - never mass produced.". It goes on to discuss the effort they put into each 19 barrel batch. The Whisky was "Distilled, aged, and bottled by the Maker's Mark Distillery, Inc. Star Hill Farm, Loretto, KY, USA.".

Color: Amber

Nose: hot cinnamon, minty(??)/green, lemony/orange, molasses, vanilla, nutmeg

When Diluted: sweeter, raw sugar, more cinnamon.

Taste: butterscotch, green, citrusy (oranges from the nose), sweet spices, barrel.

When Diluted: mint, barrel, orange

Finish: VERY very short, warm. Sudden, Jarring, over too fast.

Mouth feel: tingly around the edges, thin, but still mouth filling (medium in the mouth).

Conclusions: First off I have to say that I still like this bourbon quite a bit, although I find the finish to be quite the letdown. That said a friend of mine was right, this is the "Bud-Light" of bourbons. HE LOVED it!! He said she forgot he was drinking bourbon on several occasions while tasting this. He kept remarking that it didn't much taste like bourbon, so I asked him what it did taste like. . . . . . . . .and he said. . . . . well not much, really. The label/website go on & on about how much effort they put into each small 19 barrel batch (rotation, barrel selection, barreling at a low proof, etc.) and I really have to wonder why they do it. Is it really worth all the effort (& more importantly, maybe ADDED COST), because it doesn't seem to produce much result. At least all the extra effort at WT (the other distillery who puts the effort in regards to Low Distillation proof & Barrel Rotation) produced a very flavorful whiskey. Effort wise maybe this is a true small batch bourbon, and I know they helped bring about the small batch plethora we have today, but taste wise this is a middle shelf bourbon masquerading as a top shelf job. If you sold it to me for $12 I might make it an "everyday pour" but its just not worth the money to have it around all the time @ $20. They really should bottle different expressions of this bourbon, because I am sure they could do better than this, I would be interested to try a more aged, higher proofed (8 year, 101 proof, maybe??) version because I have a hard time believing all that effort has to go to waste.


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