This is a spirit that you know by the bottle alone. Maker’s Mark comes in the iconic square bottle with the wax closure. But, there are some facts that you might not know about Maker’s Mark. First, the wax closure is protected by a copyright obtained by the family (and was invented by the inventor’s Marjorie Samuels). Second, Maker’s calls it Bourbon Whisky in honor of the company’s Scottish roots (it was those rogue Scots that brought the proud distilling tradition to Kentucky). Third, Maker’s Mark has its roots in pre-Prohibition Kentucky and was badly harmed by Prohibition. Fourth, the recipe for Maker’s Mark resulted from the rogue actions of a son determined to produce the best Bourbon possible who threw out the family’s recipe dating back to the 1790s and started anew. Fifth, the Maker’s Mark distillery was the first distillery on the National Register of Historic Places.
As you can see, not only is the bottle iconic but so is the distillery and its heritage. And, honestly, the Bourbon, itself, is pretty iconic as well. Bill Samuels Sr. worked for years to perfect his Bourbon whisky recipe. When he did, he borrowed money from other Bourbon distillers, bought a closed distillery and started producing Maker’s Mark. No-one knew if it would be a success but Bill Samuels and his wife knew. They had spent years perfecting their perfect mashbill. Given Mark’s Mark longevity and heaped upon acclaims, clearly a number of people over the years agree with the Samuels’ assessment.
Mark’s Mark Bourbon is clear with a medium golden amber color. On the nose, the Maker’s Mark has a complex aroma of caramel, vanilla, orange rind, allspice, cardamom and mellowed out cloves. It is clear that clear that the flavors are derived from the charred oak barrels in which the Marker’s Mark rests for a number of years. On the palate, the Maker’s Mark is smooth with a luscious mouth feel (you can feel the heat of the alcohol burn but it doesn’t affect the taste) with notes of caramel and burnt sugar on the back palate, butterscotch, vanilla, flamed orange peel and cardamom with a spicy kick. Well integrated components that result in a fiery, spicy, complex Bourbon with a long fish.
Maker’s Mark is great served straight, neat or in a cocktail.