Unless you’ve got plans to travel, this may be your only chance to get your hands on Maker's Mark's latest release.
Famous as a one-trick-pony, the last decade has seen Makers Mark expand beyond the single whiskey that defined the brand. It shocked the industry when a cask strength version debuted in 2014. Now here's another bombshell: First released for Travel Retail, then as a distillery exclusive in mid 2019, 101 Proof will be the must-have Maker's for 2020. Besides a few select Kentucky retailers, global retail markets have been left dry.
Using the same mash bill as standard Makers, 101 showcases the bolder side of the Kentucky standard. Master Distiller, Rob Samuels explains, "The front-of-the-tongue, delicious bourbon flavour is still there thanks to our soft red winter wheat. It’s just richer and more intense at a higher proof."
The boys at breakingbourbon.com compared 101 to the cask strength and standard Makers in a line up , summing up their observations below.
With the entire Maker's portfolio being just four bottles (regular, Private Select, 46, and Cask Strength), long time followers of this distillery will know just how rarely new products come along. We may not be able to source this again, so if you're a Maker's completionist, grab it while you can!
Tasting note: Amber orange gold. Brimming with buzzing spices before aromas of corn chips, roasted peanuts, vanilla fudge and sponge cake come to the fore. Further air contact adds oak shavings, light apple mint and hints of sarsaparilla. Beefy delivery where lots of toasted cereal notes mingle with sweeter vanilla and corn. The finish is deep and oily, carried by a second rush of spirit heat and wood spice. Lingering dark chocolate and sweet oak add solid length. You really know you're drinking Bourbon here, but the balance at high ABV remains impressive. A booming Makers that grabs you with its punch and vibrancy.
Other reviews... Maker’s 101 really shines. It’s bigger, bolder, and more robust. This is also how I described Cask Strength in my initial review years ago. Most surprisingly, Maker’s 101 tastes more potent compared to my 113.5 proof Cask Strength. Both being new bottles, the 101 proof is noticeably hotter, drier, and less sweet than the Cask Strength. How this black magic is accomplished is anyone’s guess. Joking aside, Maker’s 101 reminds me a lot of Old Weller Antique’s characteristics. It also features a potency I don’t often associate with Maker’s Mark. In contrast, the Cask Strength wears its wheated mashbill on its sleeve much more so than the Maker’s 101. While still potent at times, the Cask Strength tastes sweeter overall with more caramel and butterscotch coming through.
50.5% Alc./Vol. - breakingbourbon.com