Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Maker’s Mark Whisky, Not just for looking at

Maker’s Mark Whisky.  The name conjures up the iconic bottle, with it’s signature red sealing wax dripping down the sides.  But I wonder how many of you have actually tried the bourbon itself instead of just wistfully looking at it on the other side of the bar.

SAM_0487Beginning in 1954, Maker’s Mark founder T. William “Bill” Samuels Sr purchased the distillery know as “Burks’ Distillery for $35,000, and produced his first bottle of bourbon 1958 – even then with its distinctive wax seal.

The wax seal is not the only thing that makes Maker’s unique, here are a few other interesting tidbits-

  • Maker’s Mark is one of the few American made whiskies to use the spelling variation “whisky” that is often associated with scotch, possibly due to the Samuels’ families Scottish Heritage.
  • Wheat, instead of Rye, is one of the primary grains, and this has an impact on the flavor.  This is even noted in Michael Jackson’s “The World Guide to Whiskey” where he states -
    • "The defining smoothness is achieved, arguably, at the expense of some flavor because Maker's Mark eschews rye in favor for wheat with which to season the palate. This is an accepted alternative way of producing bourbon but few distillers pursue it; Old Fitzgerald is a notable example."
  • The Seal is trademarked (serial number 73526578) and has won injunctions against companies that try to copy it.

The Review

  • Color – A honey gold with hints of red.
  • Nose- A mild nose that contains sweet caramel, some toffee and honey. 
  • Taste-A buttery mouth feel is complimented by a complex set of flavors - a nice sweetness, citrus undertones and vanilla with a hint of spice and oak.
  • Finish- A slight alcohol burn that is masked (but not overpowered) by an extension of the sweetness and caramelized vanilla from the initial taste. 

Overall- Due to it's great availability and market presence, Makers Mark can be found at almost every bar across the country.  This allows drinkers to have their favorite cocktail readily available wherever they go (vs some of the small batch bourbons).  Makers has a definitely  milder taste and is worth having around for people who might not like bourbons with a bite.  A good basic whisky, with a reasonable price, that I try to keep on hand and will go to fairly often…..especially if pairing with cigars or desserts.

A solid bourbon, I would give it 3.5 Stars.

Now, find a cigar lounge, break out a Maker’s Mark Cigar from Ted’s Cigars and order a Maker’s neat.  You won’t regret is.


  1. We're big MM fans over here. It's always available. My wife introduced me and it's been the benchmark for bourbon in our household ever since. It's particularly good in a Manhattan on the rocks. The MM cigar, however, is pretty atrocious, IMO.

  2. Sorry to hear that you had a bad experience with the Cigar. I would love to know what you thought was bad about it? I introduced a MM cigar to a friend this past weekend and he said - well, I'll hold off because he said he would write a review.

  3. Official MM ambassador here :)

  4. I love MM and looking fwd to trying the new Makers 46


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