Maker’s Mark is a very popular mid-priced bourbon whisky which you can get for about $20.00. Having seen many great reviews for this bourbon, I thought I’d give it a shot. The flavor profile looked appealing, and I’m always searching for good, affordable “everyday” bourbons which won’t drain my budget.
The drink is amber in color and smells delicious. Even the aroma is complex, consisting of honey, fruit (banana?), vanilla, and a hint of oak. The smell is very soothing and pleasant, and as a result I sat sniffing this bourbon for quite a while before I finally tried it.
The flavors lived up to my high expectations. The strongest note is definitely corn, which is what I think of when I see a Kentucky bourbon. There is also a rich caramel smoothness, and the vanilla and other sweet flavors really define this drink. The fruit (which I’m pretty sure is banana after all) is in the background, but isn’t lost in the medley of flavors, and neither is that classy hint of oak. There is even a bit of spiciness about mid-palate, which may be cinnamon.
What stands out to me most about this bourbon isn’t just the flavors, it’s how balanced they are. One would expect such a sweet bourbon to be overpowering, but it isn’t. It’s a mellow sweetness, not a syrupy, cloying sweetness. The finish on the Maker’s Mark is also right on the mark—long, smooth, sweet and satisfying.
I’ve seen this bourbon for sale for as much as $30.00 and as little as $15.00, with most bottles priced around $20.00-$25.00. Are there cheaper bourbons? Yes, certainly, but most of them don’t deliver as much in terms of complexity and balance. Are there higher quality bourbons? Yes, I’ve tasted better—but usually at a much higher price. This bourbon falls squarely into my hopes for its price range—but does outshine my expectations. The Maker’s Mark is a great value, and definitely worth your while if you want something which is delicious but affordable!
Nose: Honey, vanilla, oak, banana.
Taste: Corn, caramel, vanilla, oak, banana, cinnamon.