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This has been a classic staple in my cabinet. After I married my wife I discovered that this was also a staple of her cabinet . . . but only for cooking! I am on a mission to find an alternative bourbon to cook with (mainly because it is about $30 for a 750mL here in Virginia). Here are my thoughts on a recent bottle:
Nose: Maple, brown sugar, coal . . . wheat and mellow? I mean I know the Evan Williams has rye and this has wheat so maybe my nose is just playing ticks on me. Honey, wheat, barley, and brown sugar. A very subtle sweetness that has more umph then either of the Evan Williams’. There is very little sour in the nose, but it isn’t as sweet as the Jack. It has a depth equal to the Wild Turkey 101 even if I find the 101 slightly more intriguing.
Taste: Sweeter then either of the EW’s without being quite as sweet as the Jack. All on brown sugar, malt barley, and wheat.
Finish: Spicy finish that attacks the mouth more then the others. This has way more spices: cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, paprika, and cayenne. Medium finish.
Balance, Complexity: More balanced then I expected from nose to finish. I really enjoyed it more then I thought. Not the most complex of the group, but possibly the best balanced across the board. It really does a nice job of being spicy, sweet and subdued. The nose, taste and finish are very much inline. So big points for balance, but not as complex as I would like to see.
Aesthetic experience: More orange amber then EW. Medium bodied. This is a tough one. I both like and hate the design. It speaks of both classic hand-made cool bourbon, as well as cheap and mass produced.
Conclusion: I really like Maker’s Mark for a number of personal reasons. I have been drinking this stuff since I started drinking whiskey. It is a classic and staple in my cabinet. And I won’t allow it to be used in a brine or bourbon sauce anymore. This is only for drinking, and is a solid B in my book