2 Jul
Maker's Mark gets a caramel and vanilla make-over

Maker’s Mark has exploded in popularity over the past decade, and for good reason. As a carefully crafted small-batch whisky, it makes a much better alternative to the Jim Beams and Jack Daniels of the world. Now, for the first time since setting up shop in 1958, Maker’s Mark are putting out a new varietal of their beloved bourbon: Maker’s 46. Deciding that all Maker’s Mark varietals should take seed from traditional Maker’s Mark, Master Distiller Kevin Smith (with help from barrel maker Brad Boswell) decided to alter the taste after the bourbon has reached full maturity. It is then removed from its barrel, and ten wooden seared staves are affixed to the inside of the barrel (searing the staves caramelizes the sugars in the wood, adding a unique flavor). The Maker’s Mark is then put back in the barrel and aged several more months until it achieves a rich, creamy seared French oak flavor, rich in caramel and vanilla notes. The new bourbon is 94 proof (as opposed to regular Maker’s Mark which is 90 proof), and only 25,000 cases will be shipped this year. At around $40 a bottle, it’s well worth rooting out at more refined liquor stores.

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