Maker's Mark 101 Proof

I’d like to thank Maker's Mark for providing this sample to me with no strings attached.

When Maker’s Mark introduced a 101 proof version of their famed redheaded whiskey as a Travel Retail Exclusive last year, I was irrationally disappointed. For some reason I wanted it very badly (probably because I’ve been a fan of Maker’s Mark for as long as I’ve been a fan of bourbon). Eventually, I realized that this disappointment was a bit silly. I mean I can go down to any of the liquor stores in town and walk out with Maker’s Cask Strength any time I want. And if I want to, I can dilute that to 101 proof with just a little math and even less water.

But of course, rational is one thing that most bourbon lovers (myself included) are not. So when I saw that the 101 proof was going to be sold at the Maker’s Mark distillery starting this summer, I reached out to them to see if they might have a sample to spare. I mean, most of us might hesitate to take an international flight to get a $50 bottle of bourbon. But you should probably be taking a trip to the Maker’s Mark distillery if you are in the area anyway. And as long as you are there anyway, I figured it might be nice to see if this would make a nice souvenir.

Maker’s Mark 101 proof

Nose: Nutmeg, brown sugar, vanilla, toffee.

Mouth: Sweet, toffee, vanilla, baking spice.

Finish: Warm and medium length. Lingering nutmeg and caramel sweetness.


Thoughts: If you are a Maker's fan, like I am, this is a must-have addition to your collection. It is sweet and loaded with baking spice flavors.

But ok, even if you are in the area, do you really need to make a trip to Maker’s? Can’t you just do what you mentioned above and dilute your Maker’s Cask Strength? Well I made a special trip to the liquor store so we can find out together.

Maker’s Mark Cask Strength (diluted to 101 proof)

Nose: Not as sweet on the nose, still has nutmeg.

Mouth: Thinner mouthfeel, less sweet.

Finish: Warmer finish, not as baking spice forward.

Thoughts: Contrary to my initial suspicions, you can't just "water down" Maker's Cask Strength and get Maker's 101. There is a distinct difference when comparing head-to-head. Both in sweetness and mouthfeel. Both of these are very good bourbons and I will certainly be adding a stop at the Maker's Mark distillery to my next Kentucky trip to see about getting a couple more bottles. And even after that, I will still be drinking my Cask Strength with a small piece of ice (which honestly probably brings it down to lower than 101 proof). Honestly, they are both great and I hope to have both on hand as much as possible. accepts no advertising. It is solely supported by the sale of the hand-made products I sell at the BourbonGuy Gifts store. If you'd like to support, visit And if you are an iOS user, look for Bourbon Guy in Apple News. Thanks!

Maker's 46: Revisited

Hey folks, this is going to be the last post of 2018 as I take a little time to spend with my family over the holidays. will be back to its regularly scheduled twice per week posting as of January 3rd, 2019. Until that time, I hope you have a very fun, yet safe, holiday season and I will see you in the new year.

It has been one thousand, five hundred and seventy-seven days since I last did a tasting of Maker’s 46. About four hundred days later I featured the entire Maker’s Mark line (to that point) in the inaugural edition of the “If you’ve had…” series.

I’ve always had a fondness for Maker’s Mark. It is one of the few wheated bourbons (those that use wheat as the secondary grain instead of the typical rye) that I like to the point where I would buy it again. The last time I reviewed it, (right at review 50 or so) I said the following:

It’s like a spicy candy. And that makes me happy.

I’ve had this on the shelf quite a few times, and every time I do I think that I should buy it more often. Then of course, I forget about it in favor of the next new shiny thing. This is the first time that I’ve sat down to do a thoughtful tasting of it, though, since those first few posts. Let’s see if anything has changed other than the price, which in this case went down.

Maker’s 46: Revisited

Purchase Info: $25.99 for a 750 mL bottle at Total Wine, Burnsville, MN

Details: 47% ABV

Nose: Cherry, chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Mouth: Overflowing with baking spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. There is a nice toffee sweetness baking them up.

Finish: Medium length and warm. The baking spice parade continues here with the spicy notes from the mouth hanging around for a nice long while.


Thoughts: Like I said above, I tend to forget about this one. No more. At roughly $25 per bottle, I think this needs to join the rotation of “everyday” bourbons on the shelf. This, Wild Turkey 101, and a Very Old Barton. Not a bad rotation. accepts no advertising. It is solely supported by the sale of the hand-made products I sell at the BourbonGuy Gifts store. If you'd like to support, visit Thanks!

Maker's Mark: Seared Bu 1-3

I state in my Statement of Ethics that if I accept a review sample, I will disclose it at the beginning of the article. Please consider it disclosed. I’d like to thank Maker's Mark for providing this sample to me with no strings attached. As always, all thoughts are just my opinion and should be taken as just that.

I have spent the last two evenings re-mulching the flower beds in front of my house. If I did it all at once, this would be a much more onerous task, but luckily the pick-up truck can only hold so many cubic yards of mulch. So I get to break it up into three much more manageable (though, to this out of shape drinker, still tiring) jobs. We like to get the ruby red mulch. Not only is it an attractive color, but it nicely accents the green plants that it surrounds. 

Does this have anything to do with tonight's whiskey? Not really. I just wanted to whine about my sore back for a bit. 

Well, maybe there is one connection. Red. Tonight I'm tasting a lovely limited edition, gift shop only, version of bourbon's favorite redhead, Maker's Mark. It is a sold out release, so I'm basically bragging at this point. But the knowledge of how good, or not, this release is might help you decide whether or not to make the trip to Maker's to stand in line the next time they announce a super limited, distillery only release. 

In case you hadn't guessed it already, I'm tasting the Maker's Mark Seared Bu 1-3 bourbon tonight. It is an off-shoot of the Private Select program we discussed back in December. This time they are featuring a new stave that wasn't included in the Private Select program. Not because it didn't taste good, but because it didn't play well with others. 

So what is this Stave Bu 1-3? According to the press release, it is a "virgin seared and sous-vide  French oak stave." And according to author Carla Carlton, that means precisely what it sounds like: the seared staves were soaked in temperature-controlled water for some length of time. How does this help the stave make the whiskey taste different? No idea. I'm not a wood scientist (though if a wood scientist is reading this, I would love to know, and will happily publish, the answer). 

But for now, you probably don't care about that. You just want to know how it tastes. 

Maker's Mark Seared Bu 1-3

Purchase info: This sample was kindly provided to me free of charge by Maker's Mark. The suggested price was $39.99 for a 375 mL bottle. 

Details: 55.35% ABV. Batch #1. Sample date April 24, 2018. Stave profile 10 Seared Bu 1-3. 

Nose: Caramel, vanilla, ripe cherries. 

Mouth: Very warm when neat. Buttered toffee, honey, baking spices, and a light fruitiness. 

Finish: Long and warm. Lingering dark chocolate and cinnamon. 

Image: a hand-drawn smiley face

Thoughts: This is delicious. Forget making me want to drive down to buy it; this bourbon makes me want to live near the distillery so I could be first in line on the off chance there is something like this put out again. I'd love it if this one was added to the permanent line-up along side Maker's Mark, Maker's 46, and the cask strength ones. 

As this is a barrel-strength release, I'll let you know that this holds its own with, and can benefit from, a little water. All the flavors stick around, but the heat gets knocked down some so you can enjoy them. I absolutely love this one. I'll be sticking this in the closet to share when company comes over. accepts no advertising. It is solely supported by the sale of the hand-made products I sell at the BourbonGuy Gifts Etsy store. If you'd like to support, visit Thanks!