Redfort – Maker’s Mark Cask Strength

I admit, I am a Maker’s Mark fan! The bottle with the red way top was the first high-quality bourbon I ever bought and I still enjoy Old-Fashioneds made with it. Naturally, I was very excited when I first discovered the Cask Strength bottling here in Germany! So that I am now able to share this review with you. On top of that, I also have quite an unconventional cocktail recipe for you!

The Maker’s Mark Cask Strength shares the same basic recipe as the iconic regular 45 % ABV version. It is distilled in Kentucky from a mash bill consisting of 70 % corn, 16 % red winter wheat and 14 % malted barley. Especially the wheat is said to give the Maker’s Mark its smooth taste. The distillation takes place on one of their three Vendome column-stills, but only to an ABV under 60 %. After aging in the obligatory new American oak barrels the Cask Strength is bottled without dilution somewhere between 54 % and 57 % ABV.

Caramel, corn and a lot of mint

It is amazing how different a cask strength version tastes from the regular ABV bottling. While there is the typical caramel, charcoal, grassy and vanilla notes of the Maker’s Mark and Maker’s Mark 46, there is a thick layer of complexity. Apart from that, there are also a lot of fresh spearmint notes. To sum it up, Maker’s Mark put it best on their homepage: “Maybe we should have bottled this sooner.”

My first trial of creating a cocktail with it did not go well. A combination of Maker’s Mark, Strega and Suze was too strong, even for my palate. However, I also came up with the idea of combining things that go well with mint. So, I threw together apple juice, beet root juice, maple syrup and Peychaud’s Bitters. It turned out to be quite a good mix.

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4,5 cl Maker’s Mark Cask Strength Bourbon
2 Dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
4,5 cl Cloudy Apple Juice
0,75 cl Beet Root Juice
1 cl Maple Syrup
2 Sprays Freimeisterkollektiv Peppermint Eau De Vie
Garnish: Slice of beet root;
Song: The Roots – Redfort;


Of course, the first thing you will notice with the “Redfort” are the pickled beet roots. However, when taking the first sip your palate will be surprised by a multiplex layer of minty bourbon notes with a hint of beet roots and maple syrup. The apple juice is giving the whole drink a great backbone. With a little temperature the earthy notes become more pronounced, but the beet root juice is never getting overwhelming. Yet, you should not underestimate this drink, it still contains quite an amount of cask strength bourbon.

*The fact that I received a product reviewed in this article for free, did not – in any way – influence the rating of said product.

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