Maker’s Mark 101, 50.5%

Yet another totally random sample from my shelf which I poured. Of course, on the nose there’s the typical bourbon giveaway, but before smelling it, I didn’t even know what type of whisky I was going to get.

Maker’s Mark is one of those big distilleries in Kentucky, which makes a very decent entry level bourbon that sells in the Netherlands for somewhere around € 20. It’ll never be a 90 point whisky, but it sure punches above it’s weight. As in, you can also get a Jim Beam White Label or a Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 and between those three I know where I’ll put my money.

Image by Kirsch Import

Then this 101 came out, a few years ago according to my understanding. Somehow a sample of it ended up in my collection and last week the time was there to taste it.

Very aromatic with a bit of a dry wheat influence. Quite intense, but not necessarily sharp. Vanilla, caramel apple, a bit of pastry. In the background there’s a bit of rancio, that deep, dark woody stuff. The dryness translates to cigar leaves too.

The palate brings a bit more heat than I expected, but not much of the richer notes that I got on the nose. Quite surprising, but not in a very good way. It’s a bit thin, with the wheaty dryness taking control, and the somewhat sweeter vanilla and caramel notes being left behind.

The finish doesn’t bring back much of the richer notes. It’s a bit more in the direction of pastry than the palate was, but apart from a whiff of baking spices and Speculoos, not much is happening. Well, it’s still quite dry.

Generally I like dry whiskies, but this one is just a bit too one dimensional on the palate and finish to warrant the bite. The nose was great though, but it didn’t deliver on the palate.

I’d rather buy a bottle of the regular one. I don’t think that’s better but it’s equally drinkable and it’ll save me almost forty bucks.


Available in The Netherlands for about € 57, and quite a bit less in Germany


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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