Maker’s Mark Review

Makers Mark Review

Maker’s Mark is probably the best known wheater around. If you’re not familiar with that term, a wheater is a bourbon that’s made with wheat instead of rye in the mash bill which gives it a sweeter taste than most traditional bourbons that use rye (along with corn and malt). Legend has it that when the original owner of Maker’s Mark, T. William “Bill” Samuels Sr., was trying to come up with the mash bill for his bourbon he had 7 options he was considering. Since bourbon takes a minimum of 2 years to age he opted for making a loaf of bread with each of his 7 different options and the best tasting one is what became his whisky (they drop the e at Maker’s Mark).

Samuel’s wife Margie created the name, drew the label and came up with the wax dipping for the bottle giving Maker’s its signature look. Once can’t help but wonder what Maker’s would have become if Samuel’s was left to his own devices. Also, during the creation of his bourbon, Samuels supposedly gained additional assistance from the one and only Pappy Van Winkle himself who has the second most well known wheaters, though definitely the most coveted, named after him. All in all, it’s quite a storied bourbon with a taste to match the tale.

Maker’s Mark Review

ABV: 45%
Price: $23
Distiller: Maker’s Mark

Deep amber

That unforgettable Maker’s Mark bourbon spice hits first with waves of caramel, cinnamon, malt and vanilla cream pie coming in one after another.

Again that Maker’s Mark bourbon spice, caramel, vanilla, cherries and a hint of citrus. There is a slight nuttiness that resides in this whisky.

Good balance with a medium body. Smooth and easy to drink neat or on the rocks with a nice warming sensation going down.

Long dry finish of oak, caramel and a hint of corn.

I like Maker’s Mark. It doesn’t have quite the depth and complex character that you can get with some bourbons, but it’s well balanced, delicious and easy to sip. Being the first bourbon I ever truly started sipping on a regular basis I’ve spent a lot of time with Maker’s over the years. During this time my palate has changed, I’ve had a much wider range of whiskies and so I don’t hold it nearly as high on the totem as I used to. However, I still think it’s a quality product that is well worth its price and works very well as a daily drinker.

SCORE: 87/100



Maker’s Mark: Empty Bottle Reflections (08-10-14 update)

Makers Mark EmptyWhelllp here we are. The last glass of this tasty little bottle. I know it seems a little weird to be doing this for such a small bottle, but I’ve killed more than my fair share of Maker’s bottles in my time so I feel like on some level it’s not the size of the bottle that matters, but the journey you (I) have been through in drinking it.

This being the first whiskey I truly sipped on it has a very special place in my personal pantheon of whiskeys. I’m a big fan of it and its older brother the Maker’s 46. Both are great whiskeys that I enjoy fully and, most importantly, are whiskeys that I enjoy sharing with my friends.

This standard offering is a stalwart in the whiskey world and it’s dependable in its quality from first sip to last. Sure there was that whole messy business about them considering dropping the proof for a bit, but that’s the past and what’s important is what’s happening right now. Which, at this moment is that I’m killing the last of this bottle and enjoying every sip.

There is no score change here, because like I said earlier. It’s a dependable whiskey and that means it stays much the same through the whole bottle. Unless it takes you 3 years to drink it and it’s been quietly oxidizing, then it might change… but that’s your fault not Maker’s.

So cheers to them, cheers to you and cheers to life. Another great whiskey down and it’s on to the next one!

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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37 Responses to Maker’s Mark Review

  1. Just had to give this bourbon one last chance (my previous 2 experiences involved having a ‘shot’ of this in a bar where it was the last few ounces in the bottle, and the other was a 50 ml bottle which I feel had an ‘off’ taste).

    Picked up a bottle last night, and I’m glad I did since it’s a nice sipping wheated bourbon…It may lack the depth that the 46 has, but overall it’s pretty good.

  2. Great review Josh. I have enjoyed many excellent bourbons over the past year thanks to your recommendations and Makers Mark is my benchmark for quality American whiskey. Something about the silky smooth mouthfeel and long easy finish I just can’t get enough of. Big fan of the Dickel 12 and Makers 46 for similar reasons. Any additional recommendations? Thanks!

  3. My experience with Maker’s Mark is the same as your’s. It was the first bourbon I enjoyed, but as I began to branch out I tend now to favor a spicier, more complex pour. That being said, I still enjoy this stuff, just not as often. When my wife wants to surprise me with a bottle of something (she’s a wine drinker, so no whiskey knowledge at all) she may have trouble finding the Elijah Craig 12yo, The Henry McKenna 10 year BiB, or the Old Weller Antique on the ever expanding bourbon aisle, but she can spot the trademark red wax of Maker’s a mile away and know she’s getting me something that I’ll enjoy.

    • I like the stuff also. Very easy sipping for a non-super palate. But none of you understand apostrophes as well as whisk(e)y.

  4. Just starting out with whiskies, so my tasting notes won’t be as involved as everyone else’s. But I can tell that I like this more than the standard entry whisky, JD; and love the caramel and vanilla that comes through. And whilst I’m working on just being able to casually sip away straight, it makes for a damn good Old Fashioned!

  5. I’ve been to the High West, smelled the 4 Roses, shot the Wild Turkeys, committed Larceny, and at the end of the day I come back to my Maker’s that first stole my heart a dozen years ago. It’s home for me.

  6. Just found an un-opened bottle stashed away in my closet (sometimes ya gotta hide the booze from the Mrs).

    Cracked it open, poured a hearty dram, and decided to let it rest while I finished off a pepperoni pizza with my little guys…Gotta say – this is tasting great!

  7. I tried Larceny for first time and polished of a L over the New Years weekend, very delicious. Just broke the seal off a 1.75 Makers and even though I love it, it seems less tasty than before.

  8. I’ve been enjoying your reviews for several years now. My first choices have slowly changed back and forth with my moods and tastes at the time, but I always enjoy quality and rarely disagree with your reviews. I’m always willing to try something again for the first time.

    Thanks for adding to my enjoyment to times with family and friends.

    KMK. Bristow VA

  9. This is a whisky I have tried a few times on my discovery of bourbon journey. I keep coming back for another bottle because the taste is so different from the high rye bourbons I love. I decided I need to keep a bottle on hand for an occasional change of pace. I keep a bottle of Bushmills Black around for the same purpose. A little variety never hurt anyone. This is also a great whisky for someone who is not a bourbon drinker, but is curious. Great introduction to our world. I like this whisky a lot, but I have to admit the packaging of the product is what initially hooked me. I’m a sucker for great packaging and Maker’s has the best.

  10. Revisited this bourbon after many years. Very smooth and flavorable but a little thin.
    Totally agree with your review though.
    For my money I would rather invest in WT 101 or one of Heaven Hill’s BIB cheapies.
    Still, a solid sipper.
    Plus the red wax makes it look eliquent and adds to the experience.

  11. This whisky (or bourbon, if technically you cannot call it that) is slightly better than the rest of the mainstream offerings, which are mediocre at best anyway. But that’s all about it. Tacky bottle. Easily forgettable (even offensive), especially if you come from the major league of single malts. Good for some baked goods that require liquor in the recipe.

    • I get where you’re coming from but 90% of Speyside Single Malts are easily forgettable, indistinguishable and have a very small margin of variability. It isn’t until you add peat, sherry or some other wine cask that you get any real variability out of your standard Speyside. The superiority of single malts over bourbon is a fallacy and only applies to a handful of distilleries under a handful of conditions vs the repeated quality of the handful of quality bourbon distilleries.

  12. Finally had this yesterday. Lovely stuff. It doesn’t feel very sophisticated but I think that adds to the appeal. If I wanted to introduce someone to Bourbon it would definitely be this one. I’m also not a fan of mixing bourbon, using them for cocktails but if I wanted to use one this is probably it. Very tasty indeed

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