Makers Mark Private Select Cask Strength Bourbon Whisky (700ml) - The Original Barracuda Selection
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Makers Mark Private Select Cask Strength Bourbon Whisky (700ml) - The Original Barracuda Selection

$165. 00
$1980.00 Dozen

Beyond single barrel picks: Barrel customisation. A unique approach to the Private barrel program.

Whether you consider it genuinely novel or simply a clever gimmick, this series - which is rarely found in Australia - follows the success of the 2015 distillery-only release of Maker's 46 at cask strength. It's not quite the same as the Private Selection Wood Finished Collection, instead the Private Barrel Program is aimed at retail or restaurant partners. As with any private pick, you get to pre-taste and purchase a barrel. The twist is, you then choose ten finishing staves from a set of five options: Baked American Pure 2, Seared French Cuvee, Maker’s 46, Roasted French Mocha and Toasted French Spice. That's 1001 possible stave combinations. Given the number of potential combinations, not every bottling is going to be a winner. We feel this selection succeeds in taking Maker's in a new direction that's truly engaging.

The finishing staves were 2 x Baked American Pure 2, 1 x Seared French Cuvee, 3 x Maker's 46, 2 x Roasted French Mocha and 2 x Toasted French Spice. What firstly strikes you is the gorgeously pure, bright copper colour, followed by a bouquet that shifts ground and blossoms over five to ten minutes, opening with pecan pie, vanilla, dried coconut and light rye (even though there's none in the mashbill), later smelling more like Armagnac - think dates, dried apricots, brandy cream sauce and dark chocolate. Tasted undiluted it's unbelievably restrained - at least on entry where it hits the tongue pillow-soft. Once again, those classic Bourbon notes of vanilla oak and caramel arrive but, in this expression, half the finishing staves were French oak, which usually means more wood spice and astringency - consequently, it's Bourbon that's a balancing act between sugars and tannin. That also makes it more elegant than most. You've got to work this around your mouth to extract extra richness and / or give it plenty of time to breath. Those sweeter caramel-vanilla notes recover through the finish and aftertaste, mingling with cinnamon, clove, peppermint, dried fruits and satisfying spirit heat. If you're partial to high cocoa dark chocolate, you should love this, or if you just like variation in your American whiskeys, it offers a nice point of difference. As with the best wood aged spirits, we found its sweet spot after 20-30 minutes of breathing.

Commissioned by "The Original Barracuda", Dubai's largest retail wine and spirits store to celebrate their 25th Anniversary and labeled as such, according to the Maker's website, this is a single barrel bottling, however the total outturn isn't stated. You can also expect the mash bill to be the distillery's standard at 70% corn, 16% wheat and 14% malted barley. [55.35% Alc./Vol. barrel tasted] One shipment only.