As I always do (now - I've formed this system only in the past couple of weeks), I evaluated the whisky in three different ways. I nosed and tasted it straight out of the bottle, then with a splash of water, and then after letting it set for 10 minutes. Maker's Mark is 90 proof. It comes from a mash bill of 70% corn, 16% wheat, and 14% malted barley. It's the wheat that moved me to try this brand; I wanted to give a wheated bourbon a whirl. At Total Wine a 200ml bottle ran me $9.29. In the glass the whisky is a butterscotch color. The legs form quickly, and are long and evenly spaced. BOTTLE Nose: For the first time I was certain I was getting corn in the nose; apparently the rye in other bourbons drowns it out for me. There were also notes of caramel, and it was a very mild and gentle nose. Even with my right nostril, which only detects the alcohol burn (and does so better than my left), I experienced no discomfort. Taste: The mouthfeel is slightly creamy, with notes of caramel popcorn, caramel (separate from the caramel popcorn), and honey. Finish: Mild, with oak coming in slow and gentle. Corn and honey are there very faintly. WATER Nose: The alcohol comes through more strongly, along with corn, a slight honey note, and a faintness of oak. Taste: The mouthfeel is still creamy, and there's a strong taste of butterscotch. Rainwater comes in as well, but with water the taste is less complex. Finish: It begins as oak, with corn growing as the finish goes on. SET Nose: Corn, faint oak - it reminds me somehow of an old, comfortable wood house. And then there's a note of caramel Taste: Again it's less complex than right out of the bottle - all I got was sweet corn. Finish: Sweet corn, oak, and caramel. OVERALL Various adjectives come to mind - luxurious, sensuous, voluptuous, gorgeous, glorious. Whisky reviewing is, as I've learned, a highly subjective process, and this whisky is extremely so. I find myself reacting to it emotionally, as the adjectives indicate. This is a comfortable whisky, something like sitting with my wife in a warm room while it snows outside.
9.29 USD per Bottle