Spirit: Maker’s Mark Private Selection (Fine Wine & Good Spirits, Pennsylvania)
Distillery: Maker’s Mark Distillery
Aged: 5 3/4 to 7 years
About The Distillery:
“Maker’s Mark® began with one family’s quest to create a bourbon they enjoyed drinking and sharing with friends. That’s hardly revolutionary today, but in 1953 it changed an industry.
Bill Samuels, Sr.’s quest to create Maker’s Mark began with his only copy of the family’s trusted, 170-year-old recipe. The one the sixth-generation distiller promptly set on fire, of course.
After accidentally burning a set of drapes in the process, Bill experimented with different flavoring grains, searching for a mash bill all his own. To save years of aging time, Bill baked several loaves of bread with various grain combinations instead of distilling them. His quick thinking not only saved time but also led him to swap out the traditional rye grain that is commonly used in bourbons for soft, red winter wheat. This replaced the hot bite of rye with the delicate sweetness that Maker’s® is known for today.”
About the Maker’s Mark:
“At Maker’s Mark, our wood-finishing series was created to explore new, unique expressions of our signature whisky. Beginning as fully matured Maker’s Mark® at cask strength, Private Selection is created by adding 10 custom wood finishing staves to each barrel. It’s then aged in our limestone cellar to extract a unique, flavorful taste profile. Participants in this special barrel program get their say in the selection of these wooden staves. The finishing staves can be any combination of five flavor profiles chosen especially for this program. With 1,001 possible stave combinations, each expression of Private Selection has a customized finish and taste profile that is unique, yet undeniably Maker’s®. Maker’s Mark® Private Selection is available in select markets and also at our distillery.”
Proof vs Heat
Nose: Baking Spice, mild oak, honey, dried fruit Palate: Maple, chocolate hints of smoke Finish: Toasted brown sugar, vanilla, spice Review: I will never discourage some one from purchasing a bottle of whiskey, but of course, some bottles stand out over others. I have never been disappointed with a bottle of Maker’s Mark Private Selection and this one, by no means, disappoints. However, when thinking of a generic Private Selection pour, this is the bottle you should think of. It is by no means bad. It is a solid pour. But the juice lacks the complexity that you typically find in a bottle that is as custom as this one. This barrel uses, as shown on the label, two Baked American Pure, two Seared French Cuvee, one Maker’s Mark 46 (to me the most prominent profile), three Roasted French Mocha, and two Toasted French Spice stave profiles.. The best way I can describe this pour is a subdued Maker’s Mark 46 with a hint of smoke and chocolate. At 108.7 proof, this pour drinks a lot hotter than it is. Be prepared for a long Kentucky hug that picks up where the very short finish ends. Like I said, I will never discourage someone from buying a bottle. But at the $70 price point, I suggest a bottle of the 46 Cask Strength. Cheers!