When people drink bourbon (and they’re not drinking Jack Daniel’s), they turn to Maker’s Mark in droves. Millions of bottles of Maker’s are sold each year, each with the familiar red wax seal.
Now Maker’s is finally realizing that there might be something to the idea of additional expressions of its whiskey, and soon it looks like we’ll have another Maker’s Mark on liquor store shelves everywhere.
I got a sample of this new whiskey — or at least #46 in its line of experimental bourbons — to get a sense of what’s to come. The idea? Take standard Maker’s Mark and finish the aging barrels with additional charred oak staves placed inside the barrel to imbue even more smoke and wood flavor into the spirit after the standard aging is complete.
The result? A bourbon that shares Maker’s DNA but has distinctly more woodiness, which gives it a bracing cinnamon character. Not as sweet as Maker’s, which is legendarily heavy on sugary and vanilla character, it runs a tiny bit hotter, too: 94 proof vs. the standard version’s 90 proof.
When will it actually ship and what will it cost? I’m not sure, nor do I really have a clue as to what it will be called when it does. But I like it a lot –more of a sipping whiskey than red wax MM, with a bit more to talk about after the glass is empty. I give it an A- alongside its big brother.
Check out John Hansell’s blog for more information on this new whiskey.