Maker’s Mark Cask Strength Review

Makers Mark Cask Strength Review
It’s rather poetic that the release of Maker’s Mark Cask Strength has coincided with the induction of Margie Samuels into the Bourbon Hall Of Fame. Getting to taste the whiskey in it’s full powered un-cut version, like Margie and Bill would have when tasting it right out of the barrel is pretty awesome. The only thing better would be getting to taste it straight from the barrel in the warehouse itself.

In the marketing materials for it they say it’s like everything you love about Maker’s Mark but bolder and they’re completely correct, and completely wrong at the same time. Yes, it does taste like an amped up Maker’s Mark and all of those great flavors are there, but there’s more… much more. It’s deeper, it’s richer, rounder and more complex than the original. There are layers that don’t exist in the original and by slowly adding water you can peel back those layers and explore every inch of this whiskey and there’s definitely a lot to explore here.

Maker’s Mark Cask Strength Review

ABV: 56.6%
Age: 6ish yrs (aged till it’s ready)
Price: $40*
Distiller: Maker’s Mark
Mashbill: 70% corn, 16% soft red winter wheat & 14% malted barley

Rich caramel

Bourbon spice, wood, caramel, ripe dark fruit and hints of citrus build up and mix with notes of toasted grains and vanilla. It’s a powerful and full nose that erupts with a splash of water. Baking spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and clove mix with rolling notes of butterscotch, rock candy and a lurking bit of peanut butter fudge.

Caramel, toasted nuts, wood, citrus, dark fruit, toffee and molasses create a very appealing flavor that unfolds like reverse origami with a splash of water. Vanilla, corn, butter scotch, bruleed pastry, olde fashioned rock candy, cinnamon, nutmeg, white pepper, leather and toasted nuts nearly explode across the palate.

Long and winding with notes of caramel, wood, citrus peel, raw grains, vanilla and corn that doesn’t change a whole lot with a splash of water.

Excellent balance of sweet, savory and earthy that’s perfectly complimented by a thick full body and a rich oily texture. For being 113.2 proof it has surprisingly little burn and is dangerously easy to drink.

I Love it. It’s the Maker’s Mark I want to drink everyday. It’s absolutely delightful at full strength and a dash of water causes it to explode and expose all the complex layers buried within this whiskey. The nose is full of powerful sweet, spicy and woody notes that translate well to the palate with the addition of some nutty notes and a nice pop of citrus. Cask strength + complex flavor and aroma = everything I want in a daily drinker.

SCORE: 92/100


*Disclosure: This was sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The opinions, views, notes and words are my own.
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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35 Responses to Maker’s Mark Cask Strength Review

  1. Looking forward to trying this one. I’m not a huge Makers fan in general, but I’m looking forward to giving this one a go.

    • Its’ a VAST improvement over the regular Maker’s (which I do like). All my whiskey friends who don’t normally like Maker’s loved this. Once you try it let me know, would love to see your thoughts on it.

  2. I was fooled on the price. They only make it in 375ml, and it’s $35 a bottle. The same size bottle of regular Maker’s Mark is less than half that amount. Twice the price for a little less water, no thanks.

  3. I was finally able to get a bottle of this today and damn is this stuff great. I have been a fan of Makers for a long time and 46 is unequivocally my favorite bourbon. Cask Strength turns up the volume to 11 and in my fairest of opinions is the best bourbon I’ve ever had.

    I tried a little sip immediately upon opening the bottle, you immediately sense the intensity and richness of flavor. I poured a double with one big ice cube and let it sit for 5. Took another sip and it was still quite raw, another cube and another 5 minutes. I came to thoroughly enjoy the rest from here.

    Josh’s review was spot on, I can’t add much other than to reverberate the thought that this is truly a special whiskey and so worthwhile to have if your able to obtain a bottle.

  4. Still new (ish) to whiskey, I’ve taken another of your reviews into consideration and bought a bottle of this Maker’s Cask Strength.
    My bottle is noted as 111.4proof. And yes, it is dangerously easy to drink. *WT101 feels hotter than this.
    The nose reminds me of my beer-drinking days (must be the citrus). Inviting and complex.
    Nice balance of sweet and spicy/peppery. The finish is so clean, I really want another pour…
    This is a great whiskey, worth the price. Maker’s Cask strength just made the “keep on hand” list (along with Four Roses SB and Buffalo Trace).
    Thanks, Josh, another dead-on review.

  5. Yes. I have to echo the many sentiments of all other reviewers regarding the flavor profiles. Was never a ‘Makers Mark’ drinker, but I rolled the dice on this one and wow! I opened the bottle a few days ago and last night’s glass tasted better than the first. A great, even flavor, smooth taste and a wonderful finish that leaves that lingering warmth in your chest a moment. Full bodied. Excellent balance. I’ve tried a few different bourbons along the way and as of today MM Cask Strength, for the price and full flavor is on the top of my list.

      • I’m thinking that the wheat component is key here. This Cask Strength MM should be referenced against an up-scale, rye-based, cask-strength offering to showcase the difference the wheat makes. Once again, “Different strokes for different folks” (taste buds!)
        I’m a Weller fan (try to find it in Mich.!) , so I’m biased toward wheat, I admit. Hat’s off to the Roses fans
        and the Rye-guys, but this Maker’s Cask Strength is THE MOST FLAVORFUL, THOROUGHLY SIP-ABLE
        Thanks for this review opportunity.

  6. Just bought a 750ml bottle of this for $62 dollars (in central Iowa) based purely off of your recommendation. I’m not a huge fan of regular Makers -I find it perfectly mediocre- but none of your reviews over 90 have steered me wrong yet! I’ll post my thoughts whenever I get around to opening this.


    • To each their own, but I like room temp because when you chill something like a whiskey it closes it off. It makes it tight and it’s not nearly as aromatic and almost always kills the aroma.

  7. Found a 375ml bottle today of that EXACT barrel/series that you reviewed in Fort Colllin’s, CO. It was the last bottle, and only $23. Couldn’t not buy it. It’s a lovely sip, much like I’d expected, enticing me to KY to try the 46 cask strength–

    I feel like it’s kismet, what are the odds of finding a bottle of the 14-1 series?

    Thought I’d let you know, and happy to send you some for old memories and bygone times.

    Big love, and thanks for your work, it’s helped me choose through the years 🙂


  8. Damn, another one on the to-try list. Standard MM has long been a regular drinker alongside Evan Williams 12, Buffalo Trace, Blanton’s (yeah I know it’s the same distillery), I.W. Harper & Old Granddad BOB, but has never genuinely blown me away. This sounds like it might really impress. Can’t wait to report back to the TWJ team…!

    • So a question – if I enjoy my bourbon on ice, does it make any sense to grab the cask strength? As my ice melts, aren’t I watering it down and then ending up with a pricey glass of regular Maker’s? Love the website – you’ve never steered me wrong!

      • Cheers Wayne, thanks! In my opinion the CS + Ice combo is always the way to go. It slowly loses its proof as the ice melts so it will change more as it melts. If you start with the standard 45% Makers you’re under 40% really quickly with ice.

  9. I looked around and the best I could do was $61 for a 750ml. I opened it last night and had a couple of glasses on the rocks. While it was certainly well balanced and an easy drinker I felt that it was very subdued by the ice. I will have some tonight neat and see how it fares.

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