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Walk the Line: Maker’s Mark

walk the line makers mark

Walk the Line is a series we do at Simple Cocktails where we take all the various bottlings from one brand, then differentiate them all.¬†Today we explore a small brand with a huge name in the whiskey space. Actually I need to correct that to whisky as the Samuels family has tapped their Scottish heritage to name Maker’s without the traditional American “e” on the bottle,¬†setting them part even more in the bourbon space.

Starting production in 1954, Maker’s is a relatively “new” brand of bourbon. It’s currently owned by Beam-Suntory and packaged in distinctive, trademarked),dripping-red-wax bottles. Here’s the line that’s available from Marker’s now:

Maker’s Mark ($30). The core brand of the line, Maker’s contains a higher amount of wheat in its ingredients, which makes for a sweeter, smooth sipping whiskey. It’s sold at 45% ABV.

Maker’s Mark Cask Strength ($50). Using a bottle with a similar shape as the core whisky, Cask Strength is exactly what it sounds like: Maker’s at the strength it comes¬†out of the barrel. Introduced in 2014, it’s similarly sweet, though a tad spicier than the core Maker’s. This one packs a punch at 56.6% ABV.

Maker’s 46 ($30). 46 starts as Maker’s, but is put through a special aging process in which additional charred wood staves are inserted into its casks as it ages. This produces a bourbon that’s spicer than Maker’s. It’s different enough that Fred Minnick, in his book “Bourbon Curious,” separates it from the “caramel-forward” Maker’s Mark and Cask Strength and moves Maker’s 46 into¬†his¬†“cinnamon-forward” bourbon category. Maker’s 46 was introduced in 2010.