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Every Maker’s Mark Bourbon Reviewed [Complete Guide]

Last updated Nov 19, 2020 | Published on Nov 19, 2020

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by Matty Sims

Maker’s Mark bourbon has a long history within the bourbon industry. Before Bill Samuels created this iconic brand his father was distilling his own whiskey (although reported not very good).

The Maker’s Mark’s legend began when T. William Samuels Sr., bought the Burks’ Distillery in Loretto, KY (see a picture of original distillery below). This property would soon become known as Star Hill Farms. At the time, the property was purchased for $35,000 on October 1, 1953. The Samuels started production in 1954, and the first bottles were packaged in 1958 with Maker’s dipped crimson wax seal (U.S. trademark serial quantity 73526578).
Burk Distillery (now Maker's Mark)

Pappy Van Winkle helped Bill Samuels Sr develop Maker’s signature wheated mashbill. At that time the mashbill was being developed, Bill Samuels Sr. didn’t have time to distill and age each mashbill so he baked bread with each mashbill and choose the mashbill that tasted the best baked. Now that’s one of a kind.

Margie Samuels, bourbon hall of fame inductee) designed the bottle, label, and wax. She wanted Maker’s to stand out among bottom shelf bourbons, and the iconic bottle with red wax has stood the test of time. In fact, Maker’s Mark has won several lawsuits prohibiting other brands from dipping their bottles in red wax.

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Maker’s Mark Bourbon Small Batch Review

Maker's Mark Bourbon

Maker's Mark Bourbon
Maker's Mark BourbonDetails
Mashbill70% corn, 16% red winter wheat, and 14% barley
In the Bottle90 Proof
ABV45%
AgeNAS (up to 6 years)
Size750 mL and Up
Suggested MSRP$27.99 to $53.99
Parent CompanyBeam Suntory
DistilleryMaker's Distillery at Star Hill Farm
Loretto, KY
ProsSmooth and Drinkable
ConsShort Finish
RatingSilver 85 Points
InventoryDaily Drinker

Maker’s Mark bourbon is aged in a char level 3 barrel and aged for 6 to 7 years old.

Maker’s Mark Bourbon in the Glass

Maker’s Mark has good legs. The color is a light copper.

Nose – 87 Points

It’s a delicate and sweet nose with vanilla and caramel dancing ballet. Fresh baked olive oil cake with vanilla drizzle.

Taste – 86 Points

It’s sweet and creamy on the front with crisp vanilla notes. Charred marshmallow. Subtle hints of oak, cinnamon, and white pepper.

Finish – 83 Points

The finish is unassuming but pleasant. All the flavors from the palate follow through the finish with just a bit more oak and white pepper.

I’ve heard Fred Minnick say whiskeys win competitions with a long finish. That’s not Makers. It was never Makers, and I appreciate the authenticity of a smooth drinking bourbon from start to finish.

Verdict – Silver 85 Points

I’d be happy drinking this daily through the hot South Carolina summer on my back porch watching my kids play.

It’s a classic bourbon. A right of passage. In the conservations, I’ve had Maker’s often is the gateway bourbon for people enjoying the flavor of bourbon neat.

Back to Minnick, he’s reported some well-aged Maker’s barrels. The rumor is some 12-year-old Maker’s Mark has been tasted and has not disappointed. Sometimes I dream of a Maker’s Limited Edition that’s 15 years or higher. We can dream. Can’t we?

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Maker’s Mark Cask Strength Bourbon Review

Maker's Mark Cask Strength
Maker's Mark Cask Strength BatchMaker's Mark Cask Strength Proof
2014-01113.2
2015-01111.3
2015-02111.6
2015-03111.4
2015-04110.4
2015-05110.3
2016-01112.2
2016-02111.5
2016-03111.6
2017-01110.9
2017-02110.7
2018-01111.5
2018-02Coming Soon
2019-01Coming Soon
2019-02Coming Soon
2020-01Coming Soon
2020-02Coming Soon

Coming soon

 

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Maker’s Mark Private Select

For many years, Maker’s only offered one product — Maker’s Mark bottled at 90 proof. That’s changed in recent years although they still use their historic mash bill for their new products which include cask strength, 46, and what I’ll be reviewing, the Maker’s Mark Private Select.

What makes the Maker’s Mark Private Select program stand out is liquor stores and others with liquor licenses can visit the distillery and create their own unique Maker’s flavor profile with charred staves.

Each Private Select must have 10 staves with a mix of the options below and ages for nine weeks with the staves making full contact with the whisky:

  • Baked American Pure – A bold, oaky sweetness
  • Seared French Cuvee – Butterscotch, caramel, nuttiness, sweet vanilla with a full, fatty mouthfeel
  • Maker’s 46 – Spicy vanilla, dry but balanced and rounded
  • Roasted French Mocha – Dark chocolate, roasted coffee, char, long, dry finish with a hint of sweetness
  • Toasted French Spice – Spicy fruitiness, cinnamon, smoky spices, astringent

Also, because Maker’s Mark has one of the lowest barrel entry proofs (110) their barrel proof whisky is smooth and drinkable without killing your palate after one glass.

Start shopping for bourbon clothing and accessories for your journey. The Bard’s Shop has custom tees and hoodies, books, barrels, and more.

Maker’s Mark 46 Bourbon Review

Maker's Mark 46

Maker's 46 Bourbon
Maker's 46 BourbonDetails
Mashbill70% corn, 16% red winter wheat, and 14% barley
Finishing Staves10 Heavily Toasted French Oak
Extra Aging9 Weeks
In the Bottle94 Proof
ABV47%
AgeNAS (up to 6 years)
Size375 mL and 750 mL
Suggested MSRP$21.99 to $36.99
Parent CompanyBeam Suntory
DistilleryMaker's Distillery at Star Hill Farm
Loretto, KY
ProsSmooth and Spicy
ConsNo Glaring Weaknesses
RatingComing Soon
InventoryDaily Drinker

Coming soon

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Maker’s Mark 101 Bourbon Review

Maker's Mark 101 Bourbon
Maker's 46 BourbonDetails
Mashbill70% corn, 16% red winter wheat, and 14% barley
In the Bottle101 Proof
ABV50.5%
AgeNAS (up to 6 years)
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$49.99
Parent CompanyBeam Suntory
DistilleryMaker's Distillery at Star Hill Farm
Loretto, KY
RatingComing Soon
InventorySpecial Occasion for Maker's Fans

Coming Soon

Start shopping for bourbon clothing and accessories for your journey. The Bard’s Shop has custom tees and hoodies, books, barrels, and more.

Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series

Makers Mark Wood Finishing Series

Maker’s Mark RC6 Bourbon (2019) Review

Maker's Mark RC6 (2019)
Maker's Mark RC6 (2019)Details
Mashbill70% corn, 16% red winter wheat, and 14% barley
Finishing StavesAmerican Oak seasoned outside for 18 months then toasted in a convection oven
In the Bottle108.2 Proof
ABV54.1%
AgeNAS (up to 6 years)
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$60.00
Parent CompanyBeam Suntory
DistilleryMaker's Distillery at Star Hill Farm
Loretto, KY
RatingComing Soon
InventorySpecial Occasion for Maker's Fans

Coming soon

Start shopping for bourbon clothing and accessories for your journey. The Bard’s Shop has custom tees and hoodies, books, barrels, and more.

Maker’s Mark SE4 x PR5 Bourbon (2020) Review

Maker’s Mark SE4 x PR5 (2020)
Maker’s Mark SE4 x PR5 (2020)Details
Mashbill70% corn, 16% red winter wheat, and 14% barley
Finishing StavesVirgin toasted American oak (PR5) and virgin French oak (SE4) staves seasoned outside for one year
Stave Bourbon BlendSE4 stave aged for six weeks (13%), SE4 stave aged for five weeks (32%), and PR5 stave aged for four weeks (55%)
In the Bottle110.8 Proof
ABV55.4%
AgeNAS (up to 6 years)
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$60.00
Parent CompanyBeam Suntory
DistilleryMaker's Distillery at Star Hill Farm
Loretto, KY
RatingComing Soon
InventorySpecial Occasion for Maker's Fans

Coming soon

Start shopping for bourbon clothing and accessories for your journey. The Bard’s Shop has custom tees and hoodies, books, barrels, and more.

Start shopping for bourbon swag for your journey. The Bard’s Shop has custom tees and hoodies, books, barrels, and more.

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Written by Matty Sims

Matty Sims is the Editor-in-Chief at a digital media company. LeAnn (his wife) and his daughters Claire, Maddy, and Adele along with a brand new pup Booker live in Taylors, SC, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. He enjoys cracking a well-aged bottle of bourbon with friends and sharing stories, or cracking one of his favorite daily sippers on the back porch while the pup and his kids play in the backyard. He is a storyteller at heart, and Bourbon has deep roots in storytelling.

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