Awhile ago (5 years?) I was sent down to Kentucky/Ohio (right on the border, near Cincinnati) on a surprise training trip.
Being the first time I had traveled for business, I was a little overwhelmed, however much to their credit, the people down in Kentucky/Ohio were pretty awesome and welcoming, bringing me out for great food and tons of drink.
On the biggest night of eating/drinking, I was asked what I liked to drink. I said “Manhattans”, and after explaining what that was, I was told that asking for Canadian whisky would be poor form. Cause I’m in Kentucky, and since I’m in Kentucky, I should be drinking bourbon.
So I ordered Maker’s Mark, as I was young and didn’t know too many specific whiskies at that time. And it made a pretty good Manhattan. Thus it was quite nice, while I’m out hurting my liver as much as possible here in the UK 5 years later, to have a nice dram of Maker’s Mark and do a review of the Kentucky bourbon.
The mash on this is made up of red winter wheat, corn, and malted barely. According to what I’ve read, this whisky borrows a lot of original advice from the famous Pappy Van Winkle in it’s original creation, and no rye mix met their standards in the original concoctions.
Let’s see if this meets the old timey standards.
Price: $42.95 (CAD)
Colour: Wood Stain
Nose: Honey, lemon cake, vanilla, alcohol burn, icing, poppy seed bagel, cider, strawberry
Very sweet smell, with just a little bit of bready/appley tartness breaking it apart. Almost too faint for me to notice, but there is some alcohol burn.
I can see why I enjoyed this when I was young, my sweet tooth has died down since then.
Taste: Corn, toffee, weak coffee, sour, oak, vanilla, Weetabix
Bitter! Sweet! Bitter! Sweet! Duck Season! BANG!
Joking aside, this doesn’t have much balance, though is pleasant to sip none the less.
Finish: Wood, golden flour Indian naan, pear, corn, turnip, kiwi (the fruit, not the people), medicinal, stale cinnamon pull apart bread
Very yeasty and woody at the end. It doesn’t skimp on the flavour, just needs to move some of the sweetness around to balance it all out.
Conclusion: It’s an alright bourbin; not weak, decently complex, interesting flavours, and makes a decent Manhattan. That said, I think there are other choices out there for about the same price, and if you aren’t mixing it into a cocktail, I’d skip on this one.
Bourbon review #8, Kentucky review #6, Whiskey Network review #121
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