Up in Freeport Maine a friend and I had the occasion to sample Maker’s Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (45% abv). This bourbon is noted for it’s distinctive bottles sealed with red wax.
This photograph is from the Maker’s Mark official website.
This whiskey is typically aged for 6 years, in new American white oak barrels.
To be a bourbon a whiskey needs a mash bill of at least 51% corn, while the remaining could be any other cereal grain. Most bourbons have some rye, which provides a bit of spice, or bite. But Maker’s Mark is a “wheater”, made with red winter wheat instead of rye. The third ingredient in their mash bill is barley. That perhaps roughly puts it in the category of some rather famous and sought-after bourbons, the Pappy Van Winkle family, Weller family, etc.
My thoughts? Great color and body, a classic bourbon – but no, it doesn’t taste like Old Weller Antique, Pappy Van Winkle, or Larceny. While the grains certainly matter, the yeast strains and barrel-aging contribute more to the final product.
Still, for it’s price, it is one of the best around. It won’t excite the reviewers who feel the need to drink prized bourbons costing $70 or more per bottle, but Maker’s Mark beats out some higher prices bourbons and Irish whiskeys that I have tried.
Served here with Lindt Excellence blackberry dark chocolate. Quite excellent.