I wasn’t an immediate fan of Woodinville, but after tasting multiple private barrel selections and (spoiler) their cask-strength rye, consider me converted. Thanks to generous friends, I received two samples of this distillery exclusive. This batch is my favorite of the pair.
Pour: Woodinville Cask Strength Straight Rye Whiskey
Age: 5 years
Color: rich amber
Nose: candied pear, dried apricot, sliced orange
Taste: fruit cocktail, vanilla cookie, tea, herbal spice
Finish: long w/ sweet cayenne, cinnamon, Altoid mints
Overall: There’s something about a 100% rye done right. Be it Alberta, Frey Ranch, or in this case, Woodinville Cask Strength Rye, there’s an unexpected fruitiness that cradles the rye’s grain-inherent spice. At $70 it’s not cheap, but it’s damn sure flavorful.
Rating: Ryet on.
I must admit, I’ve had fun exploring the Maker’s Mark catalog in the last year. But I’m not done yet! When I saw Maker’s 46 Cask Strength at my local bottle shop, I figured I’d give it a go. Can’t say I’m the biggest 46 fan, but maybe this uncut version will change my mind.
Pour: Maker’s Mark 46 Cask Strength
Age: not stated
Color: dense copper
Nose: brown sugar, maple syrup, leather
Taste: bittersweet molasses, stout vanilla, gingerbread
Finish: medium-long w/ boozy English toffee, tannic oak, dry spice
Overall: Such a perplexing pour. There are things I like about Maker’s 46 Cask Strength, and things I don’t. I appreciate its robust, layered character; I just find the tannins and dry spice accompanying it a bit overpowering. Bold, yet unbalanced.
Rating: Mood 46.
As popular as Maker’s Mark may be with the general public, it often flies under the radar for whiskey enthusiasts. Its lean portfolio is possibly one reason, though it shares an expression count equivalent to Van Winkle. At least Maker’s Mark is available and affordable, right?
Pour: Maker’s Mark Cask Strength 20-01
Age: at least 4 years
Color: rose gold
Nose: sweet vanilla, toasted oak, hazelnut coffee
Taste: bright woody spice, caramel drizzle, semisweet chocolate
Finish: moderately long – Cinnamon Red Hots, classic syrup, peppery tea
Overall: What Maker’s Mark Cask Strength lacks in maturity and complexity, it more than makes up for in character. It’s Maker’s DNA in near-pure form. Considering it’s likely 5-year KSBW (or thereabouts), there’s a lot more to love here than loathe.
Rating: It’s good.