Makers is easy-going and enjoyable for me without ever feeling the need for much analysis. To date, I have not found much enjoyment in MM cask strength - it seems to turn the flaws to 11 without a similar boost to the enjoyable parts. I do, however, give it a solid A for cost - there are very few cask strength options available in that price range. Enter MM101… oozing potential that it could be an improved and elegant version of the flagship offering, but risking stepping over the line toward the imbalance of the cask strength. So, naturally, let’s amp the proof do some analysis! A vegetal simple syrup on the nose. Cooked bell peppers and a hint of anise. Corn. Toasted bread. Not too dynamic, it just keeps coming back with the same notes. Very easy to nose - no ethanol spice. Altogether not bad, but not captivating either. Time and oxygen mellow all this - deeper into the bottle the nose trends closer to caramel corn, but doesn’t lose its vegetal edge. The palate offers a strikingly minty pour - this might be a bottled julep. It keeps that vegetal/grassy note I find in all Makers but is amplified with proof - overwhelming in the cask strength, subtle undertone at 45%. But then maple syrup enters the chat. Caramel. Vanilla. Lactose. Hot honey. Mint creme (think Andes without chocolate). The proof is right on with this one, achieving a very nice balance of spice and sweet, but it does not obscure that vegetal DNA in any way. If it works for you, dive in - this is pretty vibrant for $30. If that gives you pause, steer clear of MM with an elevated proof. I usually find myself in the latter category but this isn’t offensive by any measure and mellows quite nicely with time and air, regressing toward more traditional bourbon flavors.
31.0 USD per Bottle