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Review #115 Maker’s Mark 2021 Wood Finishing Series FAE-01

Distillery: Maker’s Mark

Proof: 110.6

Age: NAS (Up to 6 years)

Mashbill: 70% Corn, 16% Red Winter Wheat, 14% Malted Barley

BACKGROUND: Maker‘s Mark is a legendary staple in the whiskey community who produce delicious wheated bourbon. They launched the wood finishing series in 2019 after the high success of Maker’s 46 which is a wood finished bourbon and was the first expansion to the Maker’s lineup in years. Maker’s Mark products include a regular wheated bourbon, cask strength version, 46 (wood finished), private barrels, a limited mint julep, and these limited release wood finished series. Jane Bowie, Director of Innovation at Maker’s Mark. “For 2021 we wanted to use wood to draw out those underlying bold qualities of classic Maker’s that we get from non-chill filtration – heavy oakiness, earthy fig and that creamy, palate-coating mouthfeel. The more we experimented with different stave types, the more we realized one bourbon wouldn’t even scratch the surface of big flavor and texture, so we’re excited to share a pair of releases that tell two sides of a complete story.” The first 2021 Limited Release, FAE-01, uses an American oak stave that is seared on one side and left raw on the other to amplify some of the signature dried fruit and oak flavors that Maker’s Mark is known for. In 2021, Maker’s will release 2 batches; FAE-01 focused on drawing out specific flavors while FAE-02, which will releases in the fall, will focus on a rich and weight texture. The wood finish series has had some great reviews in the past and we’re excited to get into this one for you. Huge thanks to ABC Liquor in Austin, TX for helping us get our hands on this to be one of the first major reviews.

NOSE: My oh my this is an incredible nose! I was blown away with the rich aroma of dark cherries, toasted oak, fresh leather, tobacco leaves, clove and rich molasses. The proof adds a level of fullness and richness. It is perfectly balanced with a nose tailored to my liking of rich dark fruit, sweet tobacco, and matured oak (25/25)

PALATE: Like the nose this whiskey starts with rich fruit bursting and coats my entire mouth. there was warm caramel and maple syrup drizzled over some fresh plums and cherries. Like the nose there is a delicate element of tobacco, charred oak, and leather that lies in waiting beneath the fruitiness. There is also a nice creaminess that plays well with the proof that adds a boldness. (37/40)

FINISH: A long and enchanting finish that ties this incredible whiskey together. There are delicious notes of dark cherry syrup, leather, perfectly charred oak, and tannins. It fades away with a nice peppery note. (23/25)

VALUE: Maker’s Mark 2021 Wood Finished Series FAE 01 has a SRP of $60 and that is an absolute steal. I would put this up against Stagg Jr, Weller FP, Old Forester 150th, or any top shelf whiskey. (10/10)

Overall: 95/100

FINAL THOUGHTS: Maker’s Mark 2021 which finished limited release FAE-01 Will be an absolute smash it. This is an Incredible Bourbon Whiskey that I could not recommend more to anyone and everyone. This brings together proof, sweet fruit, and wood finished oak. if you see this on the shelves I highly recommend you buy yourself a bottle

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Similar & Slightly Better Whiskey: Four Roses 2020 Limited Edition Small Batch Barrel Strength

Similar & Equal Whiskey: Stagg Jr Batch 15

Similar & Slightly Worse Whiskey: Little Book Chapter 4

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Scoring Legend:

96-100: The perfect dram, juice of the gods

90-95: Near perfect, truly incredible whiskey

85-89: Amazing whiskey, will always try to keep a backup bottle of this

80-84: Very good, some minor flaws here or there

75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink, Will try and keep a bottle on the shelf

70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get this

60-69: Decent, would offer this up to non whiskey drinkers

50-59: Not my cup of tea

Below 50: Give away


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