…..With Preakness now in our rear view window, and The Belmont less than a month away, we’re in full swing of the season. Not Horse Racing season, well yes that too, but we’re talking Bourbon season. That’s right, Bourbon, Racing, and Kentucky go together as seamless as “A,B,C” and with that said we thought it time to introduce you to a wonderful addition to the Bourbon genre; Maker Mark 46.
…..Now to give you a bit of background on just how significant this entry is, understand this; Since 1958, Makers Mark Distillery has made only one thing, Makers Mark Bourbon. Bill Samuels Sr’s pioneering efforts led to a bourbon that forever changed the category and rather than dilute their product over the years with multiple variations like many of their competitors, the family behind Makers Mark has stayed loyal to their core product pledging allegiance to a superior recipe that has needed no tweaking. Jim Beam carries 7 variations of it’s product, Wild Turkey currently sells 6, and Jack Daniels is pushing around 5 or 6 products on your local convenience store shelves just to give you a comparison. Fans of Makers have had to settle for lack of variety over the years in exchange for a truly amazing tasting bourbon and in fact, with the exception of a few limited releases over the years (Makers Mark Black, Mint Julep Makers), this is the first new product in 52 years.
….. So how exactly do you go about releasing the first new product from your company in half a century without screwing things up? You start by using your award winning bourbon as a base for your new creation. Makers 46 is a hand crafted, full bodied bourbon that starts out as the original makers and is then continued into maturation using a technique involving French oak staves allowing for a release of natural flavors of caramel, spice, and vanilla notes into the final product. Fancy huh? Just remember that the next time you’re pouring yourself a glass and say “Thank you Bill Jr, Kevin Smith, and Brad Boswell”. (President, Master Distiller, and “Wood Chef”). And for those of you wondering, the 46 is not a notation of alcohol percentage, but in fact is in reference to the profile number of the winning recipe after several different trials and experimentations. Now as much as a bourbon snob as I am, I’d be foolish to think on first taste I’d be able to pick apart everything different about Makers 46 so for tasting purposes I decided to break out the original Makers for reference.
Aroma: Worth noting;46’s color is slightly darker, and more amber than Makers Mark. Upon peeling the wax you get strong notes of caramel, honey, and vanilla very much like what you are use to with Makers Mark. “46” actually comes off with slightly less punch in my opinion than MM.
Taste: This one comes at you right where Makers Mark left off with strong sweet notes of vanilla, cinnamon, and honey. 46 builds on this award winning tastes with a noticeable addition of spice in its flavor. In addition, 46 comes to you at a higher proof (94) and yet still maintains a smooth finish that is both rich and delicious (think chocolate). Though 46 was built on foundations from Makers Mark, it stands on its own perfectly and will definitely become a mainstay in my liquor cabinet.
Price: $45 (avg, check your local retailer for exact amount)
Makers 46 sample was provided for review courtesy of representatives of Makers Mark. For more information about Makers 46 and Makers Mark, go to MakersMark.com or visit Makers Mark on Twitter and Facebook. And while you’re there don’t forget to visit INTOXICOLOGY101 on Facebook to stay up to date on our latest news and reviews. Class Dismissed !