Thursday, August 22, 2013

Maker's Mark (Red Seal)

Whisky Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky, American Whiskey

Bottle Size: 750ml

Alcohol by Volume: 45%

Notes: Maker's Mark distillery is less than a hour drive south of Louisville Kentucky. Of the distilleries on the "Kentucky Bourbon Trail", it is a little out of the way, but well worth a visit. The distillery is listed as a National Historic Landmark, and it's park like grounds and Victorian era buildings make quite a positive impression on first time visitors! Taking the tour, you will find the guides are friendly, knowledgeable and humorous, making for a fun and informative time. One of the highlights of the tour is towards the end, where you get to hand dip a bottle of whisky into that now famous red wax!

Maker's Mark is one of the few distilleries to rotate their barrels to maintain consistency, which is understandable for a distillery that only makes two products. This review is on the standard bottling, also known as "Maker's Mark Red Seal". Maker's Mark is a Bourbon that uses wheat in place of the usual rye in it's mash bill, using a recipe developed by Pappy Van Winkle (of Buffalo Trace fame), of 70% corn, 16% wheat and 14% malted barley!

Nose: Vanilla, citrus, and some light floral notes..

Taste: Caramel, vanilla, and hints of cracked pepper and smoke.

Finish: Medium length, where the smoke and citrus linger.

My Personal Ranking 1-100: 83/100

Special Note: It's been asked more than once, do Bourbon Whisk(e)y reviews belong in a Malt-centric blog like this? My answer is Yes! Why? A small part of the mash bills of these classic American whiskeys, includes malted barley! That being said, this blog will primarily focus on whiskies with a higher malt content. This review, and another planned review on Buffalo Trace, the result of a recent trip through Kentucky's Bourbon Country, are exceptions to the rule, not a trend away from Malt Whisky reviews. 

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