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I pride myself on trying all sorts of whiskies from around the world, although I have a particular love of scottish single malts. I tried the 'regular' Maker's Mark some the ago and thought it a good bourbon, but as always I felt it should be drunk with die or a mixer even.
However, that all changed when I got my hands on Maker's Mark 46. Not easily available in the UK I might add!
It comes in a very nicely shaped bottle with the usual MM wax seal (red). Looks the part on the shelf. The '46' is matured a bit longer inside barrels containing seared French oak staves. MM say that the staves create bolder, more complex flavours and boy are they right! Remember, this is a “wheated bourbon” - distilled from a mashbill with no rye, and a higher content of wheat in its place. It makes for a smoooooth bourbon, silky smooth with no burn in fact. Feels more like a Glenmorangie than a Bourbon!
I have to say from the outset that this is by far the nicest bourbon I have ever tasted over many years of experimenting. Drunk 'neat' its a beautiful whiskey. And so to the tasting notes:
Colour: Dark Golden
Nose: Vanilla ice cream, hint of those wood staves, toffee, caramel and a beautiful sweetness.
Palate: The first thing you notice is that its unbelievably smooth. No harshness at all. Very creamy, vanilla and light oak give way to fantastic spices and cinnamon. Oh wow! You'll want to keep tasting this for ages.
Finish: ...goes on and on, highly complex vanilla and spices and sweetness take ages to fade. Incredible stuff.
Overall impression: I rank this amongst the best of my whisky collection. It has the nose, palate and finish to rival the top scottish single malts. Its smooth and complex. Drunk on its own, with nothing in it, it just oozes quality.
If you can get this in UK/Europe, don't even hesitate, I assure you, you won't be at all disappointed and will think totally differently about bourbons from here on in.