Whiskey Review: Maker’s Mark Cask Strength Bourbon

Category: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Origin: Maker’s Mark Distillery

Bottling: Maker’s Mark

ABV: 55.7%

Cost: ~£90

Makers-Mark-Cask-Strength-55.7

What they say:

Maker’s Mark Cask Strength Bourbon

From the barrel to the bottle at 108 to 114 proof, Maker’s Mark® Cask Strength retains the signature front-of-the-palate flavors of Maker’s Mark® – while amping up the oak, caramel, vanilla and spice to create a remarkable new bourbon.

Though it’s bottled at a higher proof than either Maker’s Mark® or Maker’s 46® bourbons, Maker’s Mark® Cask Strength has a lower proof than most cask strength whiskies. To us, a higher proof can overwhelm a bourbon with a heavy alcohol taste. And at Maker’s Mark, we’ve always been about creating whiskies that taste “yummy.”

Although Maker’s Mark® goes into barrels at a consistent entry proof of 110, the proof of Maker’s Mark® Cask Strength will vary.

As water evaporates from the barrels as our whisky slumbers, the proof increases. But if you’ve ever lived in Kentucky, you know our summer temperatures can fluctuate wildly – so the rate at which our bourbon becomes the “angel’s share” also differs. As a result, we’re never 100% sure what the proof will be till we open the barrels.

What I say:

Our very first Maker’s Mark whiskey sampled and we go straight for the Cask Strength variant! Allegedly this is like the regular Bourbon cranked up to 11! It may be aesthetic but I have always admired Maker’s Mark individual wax sealing of  their bottles, harking back to a real hand-crafted ethos.

Appearance:

Bright bronzed amber (12/20) medium-large tears leave long medium legs

Nose:

Sharp and spiced, sweet caramel, treacle and maple syrup and some floral sweetness too, spiced with vanilla, cinnamon, clove, pine sap, resinous oak wood and peanut butter

Taste:

Sweet molasses, nutty peanut butter & maple syrup, fudge, butterscotch, toasted nuts, some fruity baked apples and a little citrus lemon and grapefruit pith, with a little water the nutty and woody oak elements open out a little more and are balanced better against the sweeter and fruity elements with cinnamon, clove, star anise and fresh oak wood/sawn lumber

Finish:

Medium-long treacle, woody spices, baking spices and oak wood

Overall:

A powerful Bourbon at Cask Strength with a hugely woody element, quite resinous and sappy in places and breaks down with water to reveal a wonderful mix of spices. The perfect foil to all the sweet grain sugars.

Score: 86/100

Don’t take my word for it:

TOModera’s Whisky Reviews Maker’s Mark Cask Strength

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