I've always envisioned this site as a place where people can come to learn. Learn a little history. Learn a little about what they like. Learn what they should check out (whether it is bourbon or not). And ultimately learn enough to make informed decisions about where they put their money.
I've been including tasting notes as a method of trying to give people my feelings on a particular whiskey for a while now. But while a tasting note can give you an impression of how I felt about something on a particular day and it can certainly tell you a lot about the types of things that I'm reminded of, they aren't always a great way to compare whiskeys one to another.
To that end, I'm starting a new series on the blog. Every once in a while if I find I have a bunch of whiskeys that follow a theme, I'll do a basic comparison. The set up is like this: "If you've had Whiskey A then Whiskey B is..." hotter, spicier, sweeter, more floral, etc. Each section is written as compared to one of the whiskeys. So if you've had that one, but not the others. That section will be of the most use to you. Remember there are no value judgements here. You get to decide based on what you know of Whiskey A if Whiskey B sounds like something you'd want to try.
First up is the Maker's Mark family. I happened to have the entire line on the shelf and a lot of people have had Maker's Mark so it was an easy place to start.
If you've had Maker's Mark then...
Maker's 46 is: sweeter, spicier and more flavorful with baking spices and a nice nuttiness.
Maker's Mark Cask Strength is: more bitter, hotter and spicier with more concentrated flavors including more traditional wheated bourbon flavors.
Maker's 46 Cask Strength is: sweeter with more pronounced baking spices and a hotter finish.
If you've had Maker's 46 then...
Maker's Mark is: lighter, more bitter and fruitier.
Maker's Mark Cask Strength is: hotter and not as sweet with more pronounced baking spices, an oilier mouthfeel and a much longer and warmer finish.
Maker's 46 Cask Strength is: similar with more concentrated flavors including more maple and stronger baking spices, an oilier mouthfeel and a longer finish.
If you've had Maker's Mark Cask Strength then...
Maker's Mark is: as you'd expect, a softer and more muted version of the same flavors. The lower proof makes it easier to find the cinnamon and nutmeg flavors.
Maker's 46 is: softer, sweeter and oakier with more pronounced caramel and vanilla flavors.
Maker's 46 Cask Strength is: sweeter and spicier with a nicer finish.
If you've had Maker's 46 Cask Strength then...
Maker's Mark is: softer with an almost watery mouthfeel. It has a more pronounced fruitiness and tastes almost chalky in comparison.
Maker's 46 is: less sweet and not as hot with more distinctive fruity flavors allowed to show through the lower proof.
Maker's Mark Cask Strength is: hotter and drier allowing more oak to present itself on the palate.
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