Review #28 Maker's Mark Private Barrel Select

Updated: Mar 9, 2021

Distillery: Maker's Mark

Proof: 108.5

Age: NAS

Mashbill: Undisclosed (Wheated)


BACKGROUND: Maker's Mark private select series uses wood finished bourbons to make each barrel completely unique to the store. Maker's Mark private barrel selects are bottled at cask strength after the whiskey ages with 10 custom wood finishing staves. After the whiskey is given the 10 custom wood finishes, it is then aged in a limestone cellar. The finishing staves can be any combination of five finishing options which allows for 1,001 possible stave combinations, each expression of Private Selection has a customized finish and taste profile that is unique. This Private Barrel comes from Corona Cigar Co. from Davidoff's of Geneva in Tampa, FL.


NOSE: This private barrel whiskey has a very enjoyable and sweet nose with notes of strong oak, vanilla, brown sugar, sweet cherries, milk chocolate and some faint notes of marshmellow. All of the notes work well together and are balanced. There is no burn at all. (22/25)


PALATE: When the whiskey touched our lips they began to tingle reminding us of the proof. The palate is pretty straightforward but it is dominated by strong oak notes and caramel. As the whiskey sat in our mouth we were able to pick up on some nutty notes but also a bitter dark chocolate note. Overall, the whiskey is balanced and chewy with a nice warming feeling that can be attributed to the proof. (32/40)


FINISH: The finish is very long with unique flavors of toasted oak spice, cinnamon, bitter dark chocolate, and burnt caramel. (21/25)


VALUE: Maker's Mark Private Barrels carry an SRP of $65 which is on the higher side. However, being a cask strength wheated bourbon while being under $75 is great! (7/10)


Overall: 82/100


FINAL THOUGHTS: This Maker's Mark private barrel was pretty good but the bitter notes threw me off and I wasn't a huge fan of that. The proof was perfect as there was a nice subtle reminder the entire time of the proof without it being overpowering. This is a tasty whiskey that is good for people who enjoy wheated bourbons or dry flavor profiled bourbons. Maker's Mark Private Barrel Selections are always so unique and some people love specific combinations.


Similar & Slightly Better Whiskey: Oceanside Cask Strength Bourbon

Similar & Equal Whiskey: Traverse City Barrel Proof Whiskey

Similar & Slightly Worse Whiskey: Still Austin "The Musician" Straight Bourbon


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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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