There are 2 main differences between Maker’s 46 and Maker’s Mark. The first is that the 46 is aged longer which mellows it out more while adding more flavor. The second is that seared French oak staves are seeped in the bourbon towards the end of it’s additional aging process bringing out some even more flavors. Other than those 2 factors, which are admittedly important, it’s the same thing as the original Maker’s. Same mash, same barrels, same red winter wheat, same everything.
Maker’s 46 gets it’s name from the profile number of the seared French oak staves that are added during the extra aging. The profile number corresponds to the charring rate and temperature development in the staves which can bring out different flavors and characteristics in the wood. Those characteristics can in turn change the flavor of the whisky aged in it which becomes very noticeable when tasting Maker’s Mark and Maker’s 46 side by side. The extra aging and the double wood really transforms this whisky into something uniquely tasty.
Overall I thoroughly enjoy this whisky and it’s filled with complex sweet flavors that bring out a lot of characteristics that aren’t found in many other bourbons. It’s a well balanced bourbon that’s versatile and works well neat or on the rocks and cheap enough that it can be used to make high quality cocktails and you don’t feel bad about it. Unlike with Gentleman Jack some additional care and aging actually took place and makes this worth the extra cost over it’s traditional counterpart.
If you’ve had the Maker’s 46 add your own thoughts or notes in the comments below.
Maker’s 46 Review
Distiller: Maker’s Mark
Deep amber with red accents
Wow the wheat comes up here. Sitting side by side with the wheat are cherries, caramel, vanilla, oak and a complex nose of a pastry shop and s candy store. Very sweet nose.
Caramel and toasted wood moving along with vanilla ice cream, under ripe citrus, sweet grains, roasted corn, cinnamon and a host of sweet dessert notes. Much more depth of flavor than the traditional Maker’s Mark.
Oilier than traditional Maker’s Mark it has a very easy and mild texture that warms going down.
Not as dry as Maker’s and with lots of caramel and dessert notes mixed with wood that slowly fades with a long finish.
Maker’s Mark 46: Empty Bottle Reflections (07-20-14 update)
I recently held a whiskey tasting on a yacht for 500+ advertising professionals and it was featuring the two whisk(e)y giants Bourbon and Scotch. For the Scotch I wanted to showcase a peated and un-peated whisky so I featured Ardbeg 10 and Glenmorangie 10. For the bourbon I wanted a traditional bourbon and a wheated bourbon so I went with Evan Williams 2004 Vintage Single Barrel and this, Maker’s 46.
I don’t think I really need to say it, but the Maker’s 46 was a run-away success and a favorite of the night with folks giving up their tickets for the other whiskeys to get another sample of the 46.I personally wouldn’t have done that because I enjoy variety, but it’s such a delightful and tasty bourbon I can see why some might have wanted to.
Warm, smooth, complex and most importantly reliable. Other than a minor butterscotch note and a hint of astringency starting to roll in during the last 2 or 3 glasses it’s remained virtually the same as the first glass. Which also means that the score stays exactly the same, but with the way it tasted first out of the glass there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.