Smack dab in the middle of the last century, bourbon was getting its ass kicked by blended Scotch whisky. Being solidly outsold by the Scot’s drink forced the bourbon makers of the day to re-examine their product carefully. Any struggling business must do this in order to survive: innovate or die. They came to grips with the fact that bourbon at the time was hard, harsh and priced too low. Bill Samuels Sr. saw this problem and decided to introduce a game changer in a brand we know affectionately today as Maker’s Mark.
The defining characteristic of Maker’s Mark is that it contains no rye, but rather wheat as the dominant small flavoring grain. Specifically, 70% is corn, 16% is wheat and 14% is barley. It is aged in oak barrels for about 6-7 years. This produces a sweeter, smoother, more accessible flavor profile often associated with wheated bourbons.
Did Samuels dream work? Up until a few years ago, this company has only produced one spirit in its brand profile. If you’re going to pull that off, one would hope that your singular solution manages to be as iconic and successful as Maker’s Mark. Let’s see what we thought of it…
SWC Group Review
Nose – Vanilla, nutty. Buttery smooth and soft.
Taste – Vanilla again with butterscotch, caramel. Classy.
Finish – Medium. Classic barrel char, pleasant and clean
Comment – A classic. Not an overtly complex spirit but still a staple. Safe bet against the competition. Good stuff.
SWC Rating- 82/100
Contact us at SpokaneWhiskey@gmail.com