Fall 2020 saw the second entry in the Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series, SE4 x PR5. Curiously, it didn’t receive the level of hype typically associated with annual limited-edition bourbons. A great thing for Maker’s fans, as perception in the bourbon world is seldom 20/20.
Pour: Maker’s Mark SE4 x PR5
Age: not stated
Nose: maple syrup, semisweet chocolate, holiday citrus
Taste: creamy caramel, heavily toasted oak, orange cola
Finish: long & flavorful – vanilla extract, cinnamon, hazelnut coffee
Overall: An ambrosial delight of subtly exotic complexity. For $60, it doesn’t get much better than Maker’s Mark SE4 x PR5. To those that passed this impressive whiskey by, I leave you with the immortal words of Ms. Vivian Ward, “Big mistake. Big. Huge.”
Rating: Slept-on hit.
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.