Review: Maker's Mark 101 Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey / by Jason Hambrey

New Charred Oak
70% Corn, 16% Wheat, 14% Malted Barley
Distiller Maker's Mark (Loretto, Kentucky)

The founder of Maker’s Mark, Bill Samuels Senior, always liked the flavors released at 101 proof in Maker’s Mark bourbon. He would set it aside for special occasions. The distillery, in turn, offered this whisky to guests who visited Maker’s Mark – but now, they’ve put forward a broader release. I’ve always liked Maker’s at higher proofs – Maker’s 46 (granted, it’s a bit different in profile) and the cask strength releases.

Review (2021)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: L1123MMB 06231 1041

  • Bottling Date: ~2021

Maker’s Mark, through and through here – bright fruit (dried apricot, cherry, plum), corn, toffee, and all sorts of dessert-like characteristics. It’s quite sweet – the caramel just booms on the nose. Very nice, refined grain notes in the background….the palate follows – relatively soft for a 50% bourbon – rich and with a great mouthfeel. The finish jumps up with some berries, toffee, and sweet oak before fading into spices.

Pretty much what you’d expect for a higher proof Maker’s – all the core characteristics, concentrated a bit more. Perhaps, not as hot as you might expect given the jump in ABV.

A bit pricy at $100! I suppose, relative to where bourbon has been – on a quality basis against Scotch, this would be par for the course.

Highly Recommended (50% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average at $100. There are certainly better buys in bourbon, but this isn’t disappointing either against whisky in general.