Maker's Mark Cask Strength
Bourbon — Kentucky, USA
Reviewed August 13, 2022
Batch 21-08, bottled at 56.25%. Bought this after reading the extensive malt-review.com vertical tasting. Only $35 and this was considered one of the better batches. I can’t attest to the extreme variation alleged in the article, as this is the only one I’ve tried, but this one is pretty good. It’s about on the level of Weller Antique 107. The 107 may be a hair better, but it’s near impossible to find, and if you do find it not marked up significantly, the SRP is still $15 more than this, and I don’t think it’s $15 better than this, let alone the gross markups or secondary prices that it fetches. If the alleged variation is to be believed, maybe it’s only the good batches that are on the W107 level. The nose is heavy caramel corn, a smidge of fruit, apple, cherry, banana, and a little oak. The palate follows closely with much the same. It doesn’t need water for me, and I’d recommend not adding any as it thins it out quickly and the flavors get washed out. So, maybe only for those who like me prefer whiskey neat and at cask strength. In a whiskey world that’s gone mad, this seems to be a great value, but maybe check the batch reviews before buying if you can. 3.5-3.75 range.
@angstrom my last bottle of 107 cost ~$24. At the time, I questioned if it was worth it because the Special Reserve was $16 or $18. Canyon Road liquor in Rapid City, SD in the spring of 2014. I think the Makers 46 was around $30 and the Cask Strength was still those little 375ml bottles at $35. At least the MM has stayed available and affordable.
@Adaminak Change is an understatement! Good to know.
I’ve had a lot of these over the years, and aside from the first few which showed a lot of variation (and way too much heat), I feel like they’re remarkably consistent for a single barrel. There have been several that were markedly better (they all seemed to be in the lower end of the proof spectrum) but I don’t feel like any were bad. Compared to Weller 107, I find the MM offerings are holding their own. When all I had was memory from 107 bottles a decade ago the Weller was subjectivity better. I’ve since had another glass, and have concluded it’s really not all that. A lot of my early reviews compared MM with Wellers, and the conclusion at the time was that the MM was slightly better, but it didn’t justify the extra $6-$10 in cost. Oh, how the times have changed
That Malt review was excellent journalism. They really took one for the team there.
Nailed it. At $36 this is such an enjoyable gamble.
I had one circa 2015 that was pure fire, nice flavors but inexplicably hot as hell - my tolerance is up since then so maybe time to dig it out and try again