More varieties of Maker’s Mark bourbon please!October 2nd, 2009
Last week, I participated in a live webcast at the Maker’s Mark distillery with Kevin Smith (Master Distiller, Maker’s Mark) and John Campbell (Distillery Manager, Laphroaig). If you haven’t seen the video yet, here’s the link.
During the webcast, we tasted three different Laphroaig whiskies, including the new 18 and 25 year old expressions. We also tasted the one and only one expression of Maker’s Mark bourbon.
I was once again reminded how much I enjoy Maker’s Mark. It’s very gentle, smooth and easy to drink. This is partly because Maker’s is one of the few bourbons that use wheat as the spice ingredient rather than rye.
For those of you who haven’t been drinking whisky as long as me, there once was a time when there were three different Maker’s expressions: the standard one at 90 proof, a gold label 101 proof (which was the same formula as the standard bottling), and 95 proof black label called “Maker’s Mark Select,” which was a different formula (aged a little longer). The latter two were essentially for Travel Retail and the export markets.
Bottom line here: I liked all three, and I wish we still had all three! I have a bottle of Select which I’ve been hanging on to, but my bottle of the gold label 101 proof is long gone.
I kept thinking this past week how nice it would be to have more than one Maker’s Mark expression to chose from–especially given that there are so few wheated bourbons on the market.
I asked Kevin Smith about it before the webcast. He said that they are having enough trouble just making enough of the standard Maker’s to put out anything else. He also told me he would pass my comment on to Bill Samuels. (And I also hope he passes it on to Beam management, who now controls Maker’s Mark.)
It was nice to taste and enjoy the three Laphroaig whiskies. I wondered what life would be like with just one version of Laphroaig? Or to broaden this thought a little more: “What would life be like with just one Beatles album?” I think you get my picture.
Maybe we can start a petition or something?