Maker’s 46 Review

Makers 46 Review

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

ABV: 47%
Price: $32
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.

SCORE: 91/100


Maker’s Mark 46: Empty Bottle Reflections (07-20-14 update)

Makers 46 EmptyI 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.

Josh Peters

Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters

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38 Responses to Maker’s 46 Review

    • We’re actually saying the same thing. The “Wood Chef” had 125 different “recipes” for wood + toasting and charring to create that flavor profile and it was recipe / experiment 46 (which referenced a specific char & temperature profile for the french staves) that ended up being the winner.

  1. Picked a bottle up last night. Wheat, oak, roasted corn, caramel, good depth…lovely stuff, and the price is just right (especially for a guy used to single malt).

  2. Picked up a bottle after seeing a commercial (who says advertising doesn’t pay off). I liked it. It has a great vanilla nose to it. The taste is a little spicy upfront, but morphs into a oaky/vanilla profile. It leaves a great taste. I think I’ll will be buying this one again.

  3. One of my favorites! Great nose…Vanilla, Caramel and some light fruitiness. With a splash of water, it opens up even more. Love the oak and vanilla flavor with mild spiciness on the finish. Overall very enjoyable.

  4. Finally picked this up, really enjoyed it. Thanks for the review it was the main reason I picked it up. Can see this as a staple in my bar.

    On a sad note my friend went to New Hampshire and was supposed to bring me a Russells Reserve Single Barrel and returned without it. Broke my heart as it is not available in Canada.

  5. As a rye fan, I miss the spicy complexity of having rye prominently featured in the mashbill. I paid $40 for this, on sale, and I can’t say it beats others at that price point, like Russell’s Reserve. But this is a fine whiskey. It’s that astringent wheat aspect that doesn’t float my boat so much. It feels thin on the upper palette, if that makes sense.

    • I can understand what you’re saying and like most things it’s not for everyone. About 1/2 the folks I drink with like it and the other 1/2 hate it. I’m on the 1/2 that like it 🙂


  6. This is my new daily sipper (if you can say “new” to six months of this – previously it was the basic Makers Mark). But why on earth don’t they use a real cork stopper? Otherwise it’s the most reliable way to end a day and say Life is Beautiful.

  7. This whisky has become my “Daily” drinker. It starts a bit spicy but as you drink it something magical happens. It morphs into this big red gum mixed with vanilla and mild sweet candy flavor monster that you CAN NOT STOP sipping. Drink it neat. Ponder the good things in life. Be happy! When I finish one of my two bottles I immediately buy another. 31$ at Sams club. For a whisky this delicious….what a steal!

  8. MM46 is my new favorite daily sipper. Love the wood coming through in the flavors. Great deal for what you get at this price point!

  9. Can I also add that after several drive now of this, I have fallen in love with the long finish that includes dates and a light tobacco flavor. It lingers amazingly. My everyday sipper.

  10. I do not like Maker’s Mark, but I’ll drink Maker’s 46 anytime. The oak staves do remarkable work to this whisky and really mature the whisky. Remarkable cherry notes throughout with vanilla and oak. A nice value at $32 and a great sipper.

  11. Me and my wife tasted this together and loved it! I’ve been a long time reader on your site and love your reviews and really respect your opinion. I don’t know if it’s just me but I tasted cordial cherry! Overall a delicious whiskey.

    • Cheers Petour and thanks! Cordial Cherry definitley makes sense. A cherry-like flavor is something I find in a lot of wheated bourbons. Glad you enjoyed the whiskey… and the site. 🙂

  12. I love this bourbon thoroughly. I detected a real nose of maple and on the front it is a nirvana of sweet, complex flavors that I can only describe as a smokey, oaky, caramel corn, country spruce, epic adventure. The back is everything that I love about bourbon. Sinus kick and warm throat, without of a hint of harshness. As every red grape longs to be a Napa Valley Merlot, every kernel of corn longs to be a bourbon like this. Well done Maker’s.

  13. I definitely enjoyed this. Has a definite softer “creamier” mouthfeel and a nice buttercream icing note that is absent in the standard MM. However, it is mid 40’s in my neck of the woods which is over my per bottle budget and if I’m going to fib on that it’s going to be for 4Roses SB, Rare Breed, etc.

  14. A great whiskey for the price point. Was first introduced to it when my wife and I went to the Matrix Casino in San Jose, California for the grand opening of Michi Sushi.

    Watched Thursday Night Football, some calamari, a couple drinks and some nice conversation as we had our nightcap. Every single sip reminds me of how relaxed the two of us were that night.

    It reminds me of the fall, this stuff.

  15. Picked up a bottle based on your review and I was pleased at first sip. I tried it neat, then with a slight splash of water. I’m impressed with how smooth this is as well as flavorful. I tried it on the rocks too and it was better neat in my opinion. I have to say that I have yet to find anything I like better than Woodford Double Oak to date. But this would be pretty close to second for me. Dollar for dollar it’s better. Just starting to really understand and appreciate a better whiskey. Going to try Jameson Black Barrel next based on what you’ve reviewed. Thanks for all the wonderful info!

  16. I love this stuff. I haven’t tried standard Makers and I was planning on getting some but I’m having a hard time talking myself out of another bottle of this instead.

  17. Except for an unbelievable seasonal version I had at the distillery itself, it’s pretty hard to imagine a bourbon getting too much better than this one. At least, I would say that it’s pretty hard to imagine one getting much better than this for under $50. It’s hard to say exactly how, but there’s a greater sweetness, distinctiveness, and character to this one than to the original.

  18. Maker’s 46 makes up for my dissapointment with Larceny and then some. Unique and delicious from the first glass, it has earned a place in my under $50 rotation. Dessert in a glass.

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