Maker's Mark 46 Cask Strength - High-Proof Thrill Seekers, Move On.

Maker’s Mark 46 Cask Strength
Maker’s Mark Distillery
Beam Suntory
Taste Score: 91
Category: American Straight Bourbon, Wheated, Cask Strength
Whisky Cabinet Rating: ★ ★
☆ ☆ *

Maker’s Mark 46 Cask Strength bourbon comes in a charming miniature bottle that has that “I snuck it out of the test lab” feeling to it. At the time of this writing, though, it’s only available at the Maker’s Mark Distillery gift store. There’s a good degree of bottle variation between releases. Proof levels will vary. The one reviewed here is bottled at 54.45% ABV.

It is not cask strength whisky for high-proof thrill seekers. Next to Booker’s or Stagg Jr, Maker’s Mark 46 Cask Strength feels far too polite to hold that same title. In that regard, it’s perfect for the Maker’s Mark brand. I enjoy it more-so then the regular Maker’s Mark Cask Strength release (the 46 designates Maker’s Mark that is finished with oak staves for added flavour).

While it isn’t Booker’s boozy, it’s not a light-weight. On the nose, there’s lots of deep caramel, sawdust, bit of dark chocolate, and bright spices. On the palate, it’s thin to start (not unlike Maker’s Mark 46), but the flavour catches up. There are vanilla and caramel notes, but it’s rapidly overpowered by rich oak spiciness flavours that expand beautifully. The finish is the best sort of peppery and joined by dark chocolate notes that include a touch of bitterness (uncharacteristic for MM46).

Maker’s Mark 46 Cask Strength tastes like a rich drink. It is, though, also expensive. At $39.95 US for a 375ml bottle, it seems over-reaching. In the stratosphere of cask strength whiskies, this is not likely to win over many high-proof drinkers. However, it is definitely worth the purchase if you’re not price-sensitive and enjoy Maker’s Mark 46. For that reason, it’s the perfect example of a 2 star whisky. It’ll come and go from my whisky cabinet, and when it’s there, I’ll enjoy it. 

*Whisky Cabinet Rating Explained:
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆  Not recommended
★ ☆ ☆ ☆  Good whisky, but not a ‘must-have’
★ ★ ☆ ☆  Your great regular rotation whisky that'll come and go
★ ★ ★ ☆  Excellent, a near must-have
★ ★ ★ ★  Extraordinary, memorable, and original