I am a big fan of scotch. Last summer I decided to venture out and try some whiskeys (and whisky). This summer, is my summer of bourbon. The first bottle that I bought was Maker's Mark, one of the premium bourbons at $46.95 CAD. In retrospect I should have done what I did with the whiskey (whisky) and scotch - start at the bottom. My excuse is an episode of "Eastbound & Down". If you haven't watched it yet, go and do it. Anyways, in one of the episodes Kenny Powers (played by Danny McBride, the guy from Pineapple Express) starts working out to eventually get back into the major league. Well, the song that plays when he starts working out is Lil Wyte's "Fucked Up" and its chorous mentions Maker's Mark quite a lot of times. There is also something I would like to point out - whoever made the mistake and posted the lyrics as "Makers Moka" and all the lyrics sites picked up is an idiot. What the hell is Maker's Moka? It's Maker's Mark, or that's what I think. What do I know about rap anyways? Anyways, I checked it out and it turned out to be a highly respected bourbon. Fast forward a couple of months later and there is a bottle of it in my cool and dry cupboard.
First off, it's 45% alcohol...45%. How does that differ from the usual 40%? Well, it's a higher number, go and do the math. The worst that I have ever had was a shot of Bacardi 151, with no chaser. That's 75.5% alcohol. The Maker's Mark did not seem much stronger than the usual 40%. Once I took a slightly larger sip I was able to taste the extra 5%. I found that for me (the inexperienced) it is better to take small sips and let them sit on your tongue for a while. The spirit smells absolutely unbelievable, like caramel and toffee with hints of vanilla. I would say with confidence that this is the best smelling spirit I have ever had. At first it tasted like other premium dark spirits - quite refined and a bit smoky. I wasn't blown away until it went down. The aftertaste unlocked some pleasant tastes - more vanilla and a bit of caramel. The taste lingered for quite a long time and it got better in the first 30-40 seconds then levelled off. The second test I did was with ice. I put a huge chunk of glacial ice in a lowball glass and poured a bit of the spirit in. Within half a minute I was able to sense the caramel and vanilla much clearer. The taste and smoothness improved quite a bit for me. The aftertaste was the same - fantastic.
Later on I tried it a few cocktails including a Manhattan, a Brooklyn and some local award winning recipe with watermelon and lemon. None of them tasted above average. I think this is much better enjoyed neat or on the rocks.
Cost - 6.7/10 (at $46.95 CAD due to our high taxes)
Taste - 9/10
Overall - 15.7/20...I wish it was a bit cheaper because I went through a 750 mL bottle in less than 2 weeks and would definitely buy it again.