Today I want to take a look at nothing less than a bourbon icon! Maker’s Mark with its red wax seal on the bottle neck was, and still is, the favourite of many bourbon drinkers. However, since a few years there is a new version out there and since a few months it is regularly available here in Germany! On top of slightly higher ABV, the addition to the former singular Maker’s Mark line-up, comes with a new and revolutionary barrel management.
Well, I guess the guys behind the world famous Maker’s Mark Bourbon were not the first ones to add oak staves to their barrels. Yet, they might be the ones with the biggest impact on the industry. At this point, you can argue that this is like cheating and that a great whisky takes time and patience.However, I as an engineer and connoisseur applaud every technically approach which tries to improve the overall product. As long as it is clearly communicated and only “natural” products are used! As mentioned before, the Maker’s Mark 46 is also bottled at 47 % ABV, instead of the regular 45 %.
When tasting the original Maker’s Mark Bourbon I am always taken back to the start of my cocktail mixing career! I took the renowned advice of starting with one cocktail, the Old-Fashioned in my case, and mixing it in a lot of variations. This means that I always will get a little bit sentimental when tasting Maker’s Mark. Still, there is a reason why this whisky is beloved by millions: It has everything you can whish for in a bourbon: Sweet corn, cereals and even some fruity notes. Apart from that, it comes with a slightly higher proof than your average bottling and it is reasonably priced, too. However, this does not mean it cannot get any better, so let’s take a look at the 46!
You can really taste a difference when directly compared! The Maker’s Mark 46 is more powerful and has additional oak spices and tannins. Although, this means that it is not as smooth as the regular red capped bottle. At the same time, the balder taste also means that the Maker’s Mark 46 can better stand up against other ingredients when being mixed.
Blue and purple
For a cocktail I decided on mixing a sour style drink which uses both Maker’s Marks. On top of that, I added some Parfait Amour, just because I was curious to see as to how it would taste in a cocktail. Also, I had some frozen blue berries on hand and thought that they would give the drink the last finishing touches. I started off with just 0,75 cl Parfait Amour, but after tasting the mix while preparing the drink I added some more. This really contributed to the complexity of the cocktail! You will also find my tasting notes for the Parfait Amour liqueur bellow. This very exotic liqueur is a mix of geraniums, oranges, roses, vanilla and violets.
1,5 cl Maker’s Mark Bourbon
1,5 cl Giffard Parfait Amour
3 cl Lemon Juice
1,5 cl Giffard Agave Syrup
½ oz Maker’s Mark Bourbon
½ oz Giffard Parfait Amour
1 oz Lemon Juice
½ oz Giffard Agave Syrup
Shake – double strain – chilled Cocktail glass;
Garnish: Blue berries – lemon twist;
Song: Tallest Man On Earth – Time Of The Blue;
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Basically, the Time Of The Blue is just a dressed up Whisky Sour… Yet, at the same time, it is much more than that! The blueberries and the Parfait Amour not only give the drink a beautiful colour, but also take the sipping experience in a very different direction than the standard Whisky Sour: It is more fruity and of course also incorporates certain flower aromas. However, do not think of this cocktail as an Aviation variation, the Parfait Amour just adds a hint of flowers, which are perfectly interlaced with the rest of the ingredients. All in all, this drink is a perfect showcase that even a “standard” bourbon can make an exceptional drink!
*The fact that I received a product reviewed in this article for free, did not – in any way – influence the rating of said product.