Maker's Mark Experimental "bourbon"

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Maker's Mark Experimental "bourbon"

Unread postby bourbonv » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:21 pm

Saturday night I had the chance to try the new experimental "bourbon" from Maker's Mark. Bill Samuels sent Susan Reigler a sample bottle because he wanted us (Susan and myself) to try it and make comments before they consider making it available to the public. I met Susan at the Bourbon's Bistro and we tried the whiskey in Glencairn glasses with a glass of normal Maker's Mark as a control sample.

The new experimental product is a higher proof (94 or 96, I forget which) and is described as being finished with will charred barrel staves added to the barrel. It was described to Susan as the Maker's is fully aged and dumped. Blister charred barrel staves are added to the inside of the barrel and the Maker's is returned to the barrel. They are basically adding wood chipps to the product. They are looking for an more economical way to add age to their bourbon.

My notes on the product are as follows:
Color: not much difference. The new product might be slightly darker, but it is still the light honey amber color of Makers.

Nose: The new expression has more nose than the normal makers. It has more oak and after sitting for a few minutes it even brought out some nice creme brule' burnt sugar aromas.

Taste: Makers with bitter oak tannins. This product is not as bad as most wood chipped products, but that is probably because the bourbon was "fully matured" Maker's to start with and not new make whiskey. The wood chips added oak tannins that made it taste slightly bitter. I added 5 drops of water to about a 1/2 ounce and it became even more bitter.

Finish: The finish was very dry oak that became very bitter and unpleasant after adding water. The only way to get rid of the bitter oak was to drink the control sample of Maker's.

Notes: I hope Maker's does not release this. At onbe time Maker's deserved every bit of the fine reputation they have for making bourbon. If they want that reputation to grow, this is not the way to do it. They should go back to aging some older bourbon and bottling at 101 proof with a gold wax bottle. That product would show the world what Maker's is suppose to be about.
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Re: Maker's Mark Experimental "bourbon"

Unread postby Funknik » Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:24 pm

I tried this yesterday at Julio's and although I had, admittedly, sampled a bunch of other whiskies first, I found this palateable. Not being a fan of the standard MM made me fairly objective, I think and while I didn't get the "bitter" tannic presence Mr. Veach describes, I did think it had an overwhelming amount of cinnamon that almost (or actually) derails the whole thing. I liked it better than the regular Maker's and will probably buy a bottle for fun, but I wholeheartedly agree with Mike that MM should try making a better bourbon through the traditional methods -- this, even if it is commercially successful, is still a gimmick.
Andy

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Re: Maker's Mark Experimental "bourbon"

Unread postby bourbonv » Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:46 pm

That is interesting. I did not get any spice out of the sample, but I do have to think that the samples may be from different barrels. Do you know if the sample you had was from a single barrel or a mingling of mutiple barrels? That could make a difference in the product. I think the sample Susan had was from a single barrel, but I am not sure.
Mike Veach
"Our people live almost exclusively on whiskey" - E H Taylor, Jr. 25 April 1873
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Re: Maker's Mark Experimental "bourbon"

Unread postby delaware_phoenix » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:03 pm

They are looking for an more economical way to add age to their bourbon.


Letting folks in the finance department decide how to make spirits is a good way avoid making quality spirits.

Oak chips (even fancy scientifically designed ones) have ruined the wine industry. Now all the wineries can make the same wine as hobbyists! Once everyone does that the only differential will be price, and it'll be a race to the bottom.

Pardon the ranting of an old hippie chick. :2cents:
Cheryl Lins - Proprietor and distiller, Delaware Phoenix Distillery, Walton, NY
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Re: Maker's Mark Experimental "bourbon"

Unread postby Funknik » Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:27 am

bourbonv wrote:That is interesting. I did not get any spice out of the sample, but I do have to think that the samples may be from different barrels. Do you know if the sample you had was from a single barrel or a mingling of mutiple barrels? That could make a difference in the product. I think the sample Susan had was from a single barrel, but I am not sure.

As I said, I had sampled many whiskeys earlier that day so my palate may have been influenced, but there was no mistaking the cinnamon essence in there. I'm not sure if it was a single barrel sample or a batch sample. The rep only had a 375ml bottle with a home-printed label on it and I didn't really do any inspection -- I should have, but sampling it was an afterthought as I was heading out the door.
Andy

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Re: Maker's Mark Experimental "bourbon"

Unread postby cowdery » Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:22 pm

As the banjo plays, Bill Samuels and Kevin Smith talk about Maker's Mark 46 here.
- Chuck Cowdery

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Re: Maker's Mark Experimental "bourbon"

Unread postby bourbonv » Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:38 pm

I tried this again at the Maker's Mark Lounge on Sunday. I can see where some might call it "spicier" but I still get wood tannins. I am not a fan. I would rather see some bourbon made the way they did the gold wax 101 bourbon from the late 70s.
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Re: Maker's Mark Experimental "bourbon"

Unread postby Bourbon Joe » Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:01 pm

bourbonv wrote:I would rather see some bourbon made the way they did the gold wax 101 bourbon from the late 70s.


AMEN :thumbup:
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