This bourbon has a full, creamy, classic wheated bourbon profile, and is accessible and relatively affordable.
None of the flavors in this bourbon really pop or blow you away.
While it’s one of the most popular bourbons in the United States by sales volume, Maker’s Mark tends to get overlooked in enthusiast circles. It’s ironic how a community that usually appears starved for wheated bourbon can ignore the most readily available one on the shelf. This is of course speaking of the ordinary release Maker’s Mark bourbon, which as you can read in Andrew’s review is quite…ordinary.
Today we take a look at that same Maker’s Mark bourbon, but bottled straight from the barrel without any dilution or chill filtering. The Loretto, Kentucky distillery has steadfastly produced only one product – a wheated bourbon – for pretty much it’s entire existence. No messing around with mash bills, and no producing different types of spirits or whiskeys. Just wheated bourbon. Maker’s Mark started releasing it’s bourbon at cask strength back in 2014, and since then Maker’s Mark Cask Strength has been the most readily available high proof wheater on the market.
Notes on Maker’s Mark Cask Strength:
- Distilled, matured, and bottled at the Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto, KY
- Mash bill: 70% corn, 16% red winter wheat, 14% malted barley
- Cask type: charred new American oak barrels
- Age: no age statement
- ABV: 55.35%
- Batch #17-02
- Non-chill filtered
Nose: Brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and an assortment of baking spices with spice cake-like sweetness form the bulk of the aroma. Deeper in are more subtle notes of honey, leather and very soft tobacco, with hints of maple and tree bark.
Palate: The arrival is sweet and the mouth feel is thick, with oak and honey setting the stage for a chewy vanilla and pops of soft cinnamon. A bit of maple syrup and a very faint note of caramel develop before a more full tasting toffee presence takes over.
Finish: Sugary sweet with toasted wood and a pinch of vanilla marshmallows. A more tannic leather note is noticeable but the finish stays sweet and chewy, carrying the flavor nicely. Some cinnamon lingers briefly before going to a maple like toffee with caramel and a touch of creamed corn.
Buying Recommendation: Buy it now! Priced at a reasonable $50-60, Maker’s Mark Cask Strength is a true wheated delight. The flavors for me definitely fit the price range and if you watch your local market closely, many times the price goes even lower than this. The body of the whiskey is tasty and the depth is enough to amuse most bourbon fans. If you tend to like wheated bourbon, then this is one you need to try. If you don’t think you like wheated bourbon but wonder about Maker’s Mark I think this is big enough and bold enough for almost any high proof whiskey drinker to appreciate.
Maker’s Mark Cask Strength is one of the most consistent and readily accessible high proof wheated bourbons on the market. The sweet notes combined with the soft cinnamon and baking spices highlight a full and generally friendly profile. I do think it lacks a bit of pop compared to other barrel proof offering, but this whiskey deserves credit for delivering a fun wheated profile that is actually accessible and affordable.
At WBSE we use a true 100 point scale for scoring to allow whiskeys to further differentiate themselves (as opposed to a letter grade scale where 90% of whiskeys fall between 78-92). This allows you to more easily compare scores between different whiskeys. Here is how the scale breaks down:
1-49: Varying degrees of bad
60-69: Better than average
90+: Truly Exceptional
All thoughts and opinions expressed are original to the author of the review or article. We are in no way paid to express any specific opinion about any specific company or product.