Maker’s Mark is a small-batch 90 U.S. proof bourbon whisky produced in a distillery in Loretto, Kentucky by Beam Suntory, an American multinational drinks company.
Interestingly enough despite being an American company Maker’s Mark spells Whisky on the bottle without the extra e, which goes against the typical naming conventions for America who notably like Ireland render the word as Whiskey. Speaking of which if you want to find out more ahout Whisky, click here to read my Quick Whisky lesson. The reason behind Maker’s Mark using this spelling goes back to Bill Samuels Sr, a sixth generation distiller, who during the post prohibition period attempted to improve their family recipe for bourbon to make it more palatable. Over the course of six years he worked on and improved the existing recipe, however his father did not appreciate this, nor did he appreciate his son’s more expensive bourbon.
This led to Bill Samuels Sr leaving the family business to establish his own distillery. In 1953 he purchased the ‘Burks’ Distillery’ in Loretto, Kentucky, for $35,000 and began producing his own recipe bourbon, cerimonially burning the original family recipe he had a copy of, as a sign of this transition. Now you are probably wondering how that relates to using ‘Whisky’ as opposed to ‘Whiskey’ and basically, Bill Samuels Sr and his family have Scottish/Irish roots so he decided to adopt the Scottish spelling as a throwback to those familial ties. Since 1981 when the business was sold by Bill Samuel Jr, who took over from his father, to Hiram Walker & Sons it has changed hands several times before finally being bought by Suntory in 2014, with each successive owner keeping this somewhat esoteric nod to the company forefathers.
Firstly, Maker’s Mark has the same sharp aroma that I’ve come to associated with good whisky, but without the same overt heaviness that’s present in some other whiskies, especially those with a peaty base to them. It’s nice on the nose, light enough to be inoffensive but with enough body to invite you to drink it.
In terms of taste, it’s also very sharp, with an almost bitter heat to it. It’s tasty and lingers on the palate but not in a cloying or overpowering sort of way, instead it leaves a pleasing warmth that went well with a very heavy, carb and starch filled meal.
First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org/