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Maker's Mark "K&L Exclusive" Private Select Kentucky Bourbon (750ml)

SKU #1350578

Maker's Mark 46 Cask Strength Private Select is BACK! We've been incredibly successful with the exciting program from our friends in Loretto. Usually bourbon "innovation" is a category I like to avoid, but Maker's Mark is pushing the limits of tradition with this unique program. Adding specially toasted staves to cask strength Maker's barrels? Why adulterate such a perfect thing? The reasoning from Loretto was that the consistency between casks due to Maker's Mark's special warehouse management negated much of the excitement of a standard single barrel program. The solution was to incorporate the successful Maker's 46 system into the barrel selection process. 5 stave types, 10 slots, and 90 days in the cool dugout warehouse built specifically for this program. The key of course is to add something special to the already exceptional juice without taking anything away. Given all the possible permutations, it was easy to eliminate the staves that had a more overt influence on the spirit. This left the Baked American and Seared French Cuvee split evenly, which offered interesting additional aromas (baking spice, vanilla bean, a toasty smoke) without masking completely the special Maker's profile. And tossed in a couple 46 staves to give a bit something extra. It's all a bit dicey since you're blending samples rather than tasting a finish product, but when the whiskey arrived everything was there in perfect harmony. Allow some air to open it up; once it does it absolutely sings!

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Price: $74.99
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Staff Image By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/7/2018 | Send Email
While selecting single barrels is good fun, it can also bit nerve racking. You open a cask and stick your nose in the glass and often have to make a decision relatively quickly on the quality of the juice. After 10 years tasting I'm pretty confident in my palate, but there's still a feeling that each barrel is a bit of a referendum on my palate. Of course, I don't make the whiskey that we sell, I just buy it! That's what makes these Maker's Mark Private Selects so interesting. This is the first time, outside of blending in Scotland, that I've truly had a hand at whiskey creation. I took my time with it. The whole operation is kind of outrageous. Maker's Mark has even built a custom warehouse into the side of the hill behind the distillery. They had actually planned to build out the warehouse underground, but an esoteric Kentucky law prohibits the aging of bourbon below ground. So instead this massive warehouse is build against the hill, the coolest -in temperature and style- I've ever experienced. Right in the center of this heavily traffic tourist attraction is a private tasting area enclosed in glass. There they've got samples of the five stave types aged and ready to be blended along with expressions of EVERY barrel bottled to date. You sit down in this extremely well appointed room at the Maker's Distillery in Loretto and sip as tourists gawk behind thick glass walls. It's all a bit over the top, these random people examining you as you blend the various flavors. That of course didn't detract from the exciting task at hand. The key to building a great whiskey in this program is to influence and enhance without masking the inherent deliciousness of the Maker's itself. I tried every possibility, equal parts of each expression? Nope, it felt muddled and unbalanced. Tiny bits of each with a high level of American. Definitely not, even the smallest addition of the Mocha stave and you start to get a bitter note that is very UN-maker's in my opinion. In an effort to be innovative and not rehash recipes we'd already proven (Thank you Mr. Driscoll), I started to toy with different proportions of the three staves that I felt actually enhanced the whiskey drinking experience. The Baked American Pure #2, The Seared French Cuvee and the classic Maker's 46, each offered a subtle, but distinct addition to the potpourri of delicious sweet flavors that make Maker's one of the world's best bourbons. I ultimately settled on something that I felt was going to retain the balance and sweetness of Maker's, but enhance and add additional complexity. I waited nearly 6 months to find out how my experiment developed. On first nosing, I was astonished by how prominent the woodsy staves showed. I honestly thought I'd missed the mark completely. But I set my glass down and returned in 15 minutes to a totally different whiskey. The nose is a constantly morphing beast, bold and full of spice, but tempered with gorgeous sweet peach tea, caramel and fresh vanilla. I knew this whiskey would be rich, but it's absolutely thick on the palate. Creamy and sweet up front with a big bold spice on the back. The finish is all vanilla, roasted coffee beans, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and dark wood. This CERTAINLY is not how I imagined this whiskey to be, but it IS absolutely delicious. Warming rich and overtly pleasurable with tons of nuance and depth. The scariest thing is how good the glass smells when you've finished your pour -that always means I end up pouring another. Dangerous...

Staff Image By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/6/2018 | Send Email
This is decadent indulgence in a bottle. It is rich and full bodied with soft and sweet roundness. There is a hint of spice to add complexity.For lovers of high wheat content Bourbons this is a treat.

Staff Image By: Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/5/2018 | Send Email
I had a customer today ask me if we had any great bourbon in stock that he had not tasted yet which got me to thinking about the bourbon, or American whiskey, market as a whole. To be sure there is a ton a good bourbon in the world now, but it is also sometimes difficult to get a great bourbon. Which is why I have liked the Private Select that Maker's started last year. More than just another single barrel program the Private Select allows those who decided to partake a chance to really play with the flavor through the selection of the staves. In addition, the cask strength allows these barrels to really shine. The selection we have here is all about the exotic spice and beautiful rich chocolate. That being said the classic vanilla and baking spice are still present along with more exotic spice notes and everything is cranked up to be completely unabashed.

Staff Image By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/4/2018 | Send Email
This cask is Maker's all the way, but with an extra spicy and chocolate driven twist and full proof to boot. The rich creamy vanilla and shortbread cake are full throttle. The mocha, coffee, and spicy cinnamon and cloves sing out on the finish. David OG has done a hell of a job blending this masterpiece together. If you've been a fan of the other Private Select editions in the past, this will offer you a brand new experience while feeling like you're visiting an old friend.

Staff Image By: Anthony Russo | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/2/2018 | Send Email
If the Wathen's single barrel smells like a Butterfinger, this one smells like a Milky Way. At 55.05%, its no baby, but its certainly has loads of creamy caramel flavor. Even more pronounced on the palate, this Maker's barrel really stands out with a touch a water, which brings out the woody phenols.

Additional Information:




United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


Alcohol Content (%): 55.05