Maker's 46

Maker's 46

Maker’s 46 is an interesting bourbon. Created by Bill Samuels Jr. on his way out of Maker’s Mark, his stated intention was to make a Maker’s Mark bourbon that amplified the parts Maker’s that he liked. There’s bit more to the story that their marketing department likes to tell, but suffice to say they ended up finishing standard Maker’s with virgin french oak. According to Maker’s, this makes it “Bolder and more complex”, but we all know that doesn’t actually mean anything. So lets see if anything in particularly stands out to my palate when tasting it completely blind.

This review was done blind in a set of 21 blind bourbon (and rye) reviews, tasted in sets of 3 (on different days). None of the whiskies were revealed until all 21 were drunk. More information about this setup in the first review of the series.

1. Old Forester 1920
2. Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2017
3. Four Roses Single Barrel OESK (Brookline Liquor Mart pick)
4. Kentucky Owl Rye (batch 1)
5. Weller Antique 107
6. Rowan's Creek
7. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof #12 (136 proof)
8. Old Forester Statesman
9. Michter's 10yo Bourbon
10. Henry McKenna 10yo BiB
11. Weller 12
12. Smooth Ambler Old Scout 7yo
13. Rhetoric 23
14. George T. Stagg 2017
15. Four Roses Single Barrel OBSV (Loch & Key Pick)
16. Maker's 46
17. Jack Daniels Single Barrel Bottled in Bond
18. Little Book “The Easy” (2017)

Distiller: Maker’s Mark
ABV: 47%
Age: NAS
Setting: Blind, in a trio with Jack Daniels Bottled in Bond and Little Book #1

Nose: Green apple, eucalypt, yeastiness with a grain character. Cut lawn and icing sugar. Seems a touch young but masks it with some interesting character.
Palate: Light and airy. Toffee, bread. Some heat on the back of the palate, but overall light and reserved.
Finish: Medium to short finish, custard and vanilla. Some drying astringency. Almost speysidey in the finish.
Overall: Weirdly short finish. I really liked the nose, it’s an interesting blend of grainy “funk” character and classic bourbon. I want to take it up a few notches just for the nose. But it falls off on the palate, and then falls of further on the finish. Hard to rate.
Rank: 5
Guess: Pretty much no clue on this one. Henry McKenna BiB seems like a possibility, but this is missing the heat that would make me more confident in that guess.
Reveal: Well, there you go. This is why I do this stuff. To my palate, blind and unsuspecting, I did not find anything special or noteworthy about Maker’s 46. It was just a completely middle-of-the-road bourbon. The only hint that seems to be poking out is the astringency on the finish, which I attributed to a bit of age. Unblind, I generally seem to have a hard time being interested in Maker’s 46. It is the only bottle I have that I consequently lose interest in after pouring. Perhaps this excercise will teach me something about that, too: it’s not a bad bourbon—I sure loved that nose when I was doing this review. Maybe I’ll find something to like in my bottle yet.