Sunday, February 25, 2024

Assessment: Maker’s Mark Cellar Aged 2023

Wait a second: Bourbon is aged in warehouses, not cellars, proper? I’m going to exit on a limb and say that “cellar aged” is basically only a advertising and marketing time period meant to evoke what’s actually distinctive about this expression: It’s a mix of whiskies aged 11 to 12 years, which is a primary for Maker’s Mark — an organization that’s by no means put out an expression older than a decade earlier than. Actually, in occasions I’ve attended with Rob Samuels, I’ve tasted samples of Maker’s Mark that had been about 8 years previous that had been deemed “over-aged.” Rack bottles of Maker’s Mark hit the shelf at about 6 1/2 years of age.

Now Maker’s is “embracing each the distinctive affect that our warehouse and cellar maturation have on taste” to supply “an older expression that’s richer and extra advanced while staying true to the founder’s style imaginative and prescient of bourbon with out the chew.” Curiously, the choice was made to bottle Cellar Aged at cask energy, which positively goes a good distance towards holding mentioned chew intact.

The whiskey shall be a everlasting addition to the Maker’s Mark portfolio, launched yearly.

Nosing Cellar Aged shortly reveals that fears surrounding this whiskey being overblown by wooden might be safely put apart. Sure, it’s heavy on notes of punchy charred wooden, however not overly so. Balanced by aromas of mint, toasted coconut, and a slight hit of umami-heavy soy, the whiskey provides complexity whereas holding its concentrate on a reasonably savory goal — which one would count on from an 11 12 months previous product. Time in glass helps coax out some fascinating citrus notes,

The palate opens the door as much as a extra fascinating and balanced profile. Textured and fairly fruity, it’s daring with citrus notes, bordering on the sting between orange and lemon. A daring vanilla and chocolate character shortly turn into seen, the palate changing into a lot sweeter than you’d count on based mostly on the heavier, wood-soaked nostril. Notes of pastry cream and a reprise of mint arrive for the prolonged and by no means savory end. Echoes of citrus play a fragile foil in opposition to the lingering cocoa components.

Whereas Cellar Aged could also be a bit a lot for the standard Maker’s Mark fan, there’s definitely sufficient to take pleasure in right here to benefit sampling it aspect by aspect in opposition to the corporate’s commonplace expressions — and particularly its cask energy choices. The annual restricted launch choices could also be extra intriguing should you’re attempting to determine the place to place your pennies, nevertheless.

115.74 proof.

A- / $150 / 

Maker’s Mark Cellar Aged 2023


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