Whisky Advocate

I have a lot of writing to do, but this looks very tempting…

January 22nd, 2010

Yep, it’s the new Maker’s Mark bourbon that I blogged about here. After I talked with Master Distiller Kevin Smith, he sent me this sample of it. And he sent me a 375 ml bottle of the standard Maker’s Mark to compare it to. Both are sitting on my desk next to me. (Click on the image for a better view of it.)

The problem is, if you want to read about the Malt Advocate Whisky Awards which I am promising to post up starting February, I have to write them up sometime soon. And then get them to my copy editors.

But it’s 4 pm and I’m getting kind of thirsty.

Okay, one more hour of writing and then it’s time for me to make my mark on Maker’s Mark. I’ll let you know my thoughts on it in the near future.

What are you drinking tonight?

50 Responses to “I have a lot of writing to do, but this looks very tempting…”

  1. WHISKYhost says:

    Thanks for asking, John.

    I’m leading a tasting of five 30 Year Old single malt whiskies in Moscow, Idaho! Glenfarclas, AnCnoc, Glen Ord, Highland Park and Talisker. Should be a good time with no open spots.

    Full reviews will be on the blog Monday.

    Jason @WHISKYhost

  2. WhiskyOClock says:

    I’m repeating last weekend: Springbank 10yo and BenRiach Curiositas : . Might throw in a Highland Park 11yo 2nd edition Single Cask release for Texas.

  3. H.Diaz says:

    Sippin’ on Talisker 18 y/o and indie Battlehill-Macallan 16 y/o while I peruse the website. It’s Friday, after all.

    • JWC says:

      h.diaz, how is the battlehill-macallan 16 yo? i’ve been thinking about trying it but am unfamiliar with it.

      • H.Diaz says:

        JWC, It’s good. I like it. Reminds me of Macallan Fine Oak 15 y/o (about the same price). Not heavy on the sherry flavor, but more bourbony. This is my first indie bottling, I’ve always been skeptical, but I’m convinced to try more (indies). This was gifted to me. I say go ahead, try it. Other Battlehill bottlings are available and I may try those.

  4. DeanSheen says:

    Drink John, drink. We need to hear impressions.

    When I get back from dinner it will be some ER10/90.

  5. Kevin Smith - Maker's Mark Distillery says:

    Hi John,
    Don’t pay much attention to the package, we were in a hurry to get it in your hands and used our Star Hill Farm name to keep the regulators happy, this is not the final look. Hope you enjoy the taste! Oh, and RubyK wondered if this was similar to something that just came out from our friends up the road…no this is something really different. And I don’t know what to tell you about the cost RubyK…we’re still trying to figure out what to name it.
    Kevin Smith

    • Ruby K says:


      Thanks for the answers. I do look forward to giving it a try… and my first brush with the seasoned oak was not a positive one, so I’m glad to hear it’s entirely different. Any thoughts of doing a barrel proof MM?


  6. Excited to hear the results!

    Tonight, I’m drinking Laphroiag 18 yr.


  7. Marcus says:

    Laphroaig, that is!

  8. jpact says:

    Can’t wait to hear more about the new MM. I just killed a bottle of Evan Williams Single Barrel 2000. Perfect way to finish a busy work week.

    • JWC says:

      jpact, i haven’t tried the ewsb 2000 yet – is it as good as john says? i hope so – great bourbon at a great price that is readily available is becoming increasingly rare.

  9. Jim Nemeth says:

    Going with beer tonight….Flying Dog Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA. Really interesting stuff. I’m liking it quite a bit. Looking forward to the new MM. I’ve only had the standard, and I love it. Great expectations for the new one.

  10. JWC says:

    about to finish off what’s left of a bottle of evan williams single barrel 1999 – it’s good but am really looking forward to drinking the 2000. i have one unopened evsb 1999 left – it’ll stay unopened (i try to keep an unopened bottle of each year of the evsb) but i won’t be buying anymore of the 1999. if the 2000 is as good as you say it is john, i’ll be buying a case of that one. looking forward to hearing your opinion about the forthcoming mm. i need another premium type bourbon that is reasonably priced and just as important, easy to obtain. the running around and increase in cost of the btac’s and pappy’s is irritating (even if it is worth it).

  11. sam k says:

    Killed the Maker’s a week ago. Tonight it’s Old Weller Antique 107. Still a great deal, even with no age statement.

  12. Josh West says:

    John — I hope the new Maker’s Mark ends up being something to look forward to.

    WHISKYhost — The Glen Ord 30yo is excellent and usually overlooked. I’ve been able to get a couple bottles for about $120/ea. which is amazing for a whisky so old, so good, and cask strength. Not to mention the bottle design…

    Tonight I’m debating the age old question: Peated or Not Peated. The battle is between the Laphroaig Quarter Cask and the Compass Box Asyla; two very different whisky’s as many of you already know.

  13. MrTH says:

    “The problem is, if you want to read about the Malt Advocate Whisky Awards which I am promising to post up starting February, I have to write them up sometime soon. And then get them to my copy editors.

    “But it’s 4 pm and I’m getting kind of thirsty.”

    See, this is why I’m not the editor of a really excellent magazine. Or even a really bad one.

    Just now I’m having the last dram of a bottle of Glenlivet Nadurra that I bought, on impulse (good price!), just eight days ago. Eight days isn’t my record for killing a bottle single-handed, but it’s close. If you forced me to pick an ongoing expression to stick with for the rest of my life, I guess the Nadurra would make me less unhappy than anything else.

    As for Maker’s Mark…I was standing in the bourbon aisle at the local liquor store one day when that dripping wax, like a melting candle, caught my eye. It occurred to me that you could have a pretty fair bourbon survey with the Booker’s, the Baker’s, the candlestick Maker’s.

  14. John, since you’re trying new whisky, I decided to go for a couple new beers I got from my local distributor: Blue Moon Grand Cru (8%) and New Belgium Ranger IPA (to be released February 1).

    I wouldn’t hike a long distance for either. The standard Blue Moon on draught is ok unless some overzealous waiter hangs an orange slice on the glass. This new Grand Cru could have been bottled by your favorite Florida juice maker. Wow, what a punch of orange, but not from the alcohol.

    As for the Ranger, well, I’ll stick with my daily IPA: Red Hook Longhammer. The distributor said the Ranger was too hoppy. Not. But the hops are the only flavor. I wanted malt to join the party. Never happened.

    I’m betting you weren’t disappointed with your new samples tonight. Can’t wait to hear.

    • John Hansell says:

      Two-bit, (and Monique): You aren’t going to believe this but: what I chose to drink yesterday while I was finishing up my writing was (drum roll…) none other than New Belgium Ranger IPA. And I hear what you are saying about wanting more malt to go with the hops.

  15. TheGentleman says:

    Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this new offering. Tonight I had some Van Winkle Lot B…I love that stuff!

    • BourbonBreath says:

      Im not as jazzed on my recently procured and opened VW Lot B…I been spoilt by Jefferson Pres Select 17yr or the Pappy 15 of late, so maybe thats why the lot b isnt enjoyed as much….

  16. Monique at the Dell says:

    Hosted a charity tasting last night that featured Glenmorangie Astar, Glen Garioch 21, Balvenie 17 Madeira, Talisker 18 and Lagavulin 1991 DE. Had a great time, the bulk of the opera fans were first-time single malt drinkers. Not surprisingly, they flocked to either the Glenmo (tasted the most like bourbon) or the Lagavulin (tasted unlike any thing they’d ever had).

    John, can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the new MM. Maker’s was my first bourbon, pretty much the reason that I entered the whiskey industry. That and the song, “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer.”

    Two-Bit: I am about to taste the Ranger for the first time. I’ll let you know if the malt joins the Omaha party!

  17. Can’t wait to hear your results on it. I think I will stick with the “toasted staves” theme tonight and have some Compass Box Spice Tree. & John, just had a chance to try the Parker Heritage Collection 27 Yr. & Golden Anniversary side-by-side &, although I loved them both, I was blown away by the Golden Anniversary! That was special. I could not believe the way it bounced around on the palate!

  18. Red_Arremer says:

    Well, I didn’t see this post when you put it up, but last night my friend and I had some 26 yo brora from Duncan Taylor, followed by Peat Monster Reserve, Followed by Pebble Beach Speyside. Also in the mix we tried that new Bulldog Gin– I usually don’t feel this way, but stuff should have been bottled at a higher strength, but it’s a fine gin and nice straight too.

  19. Duke Brubaker says:

    Please post your comments when you can, I can’t wait to hear what you think! I have an open bottle of Black Wax Maker’s Mark at home and one day I’ll be able to compare all 3. Cool stuff from my buds in Loretto!

  20. John Hansell says:

    I tasted the whiskey. I’m trying to set up a time where Kevin Smith and I can taste the whiskey together via phone conference before posting my thoughts, because I would also like to include his thoughts. Stay tuned.

  21. John M says:

    Look forward to hearing about the MM.

    Tonight I’m drinking a Bunnahabhain 28 from Single Malts of Scotland… It’s one of my favourites, but it’s almost gone.

    • bgulien says:

      John M, I have the same, with only one dram in it, so cheers!!

      Then I am going to see if the Scapa 14 yo is something I can like. It was so cheap, that I couldn’t let it pass.
      Now is the time to check after a decent burial for the Bunny and that was one of the best Bunny’s I have tasted.

      • bgulien:

        Let us know your thoughts on the Scapa 14. Not a top-10 favorite, but really easy to drink. Hard to believe the new 16 came from the same distillery. Eager to know what you think.

        • Monique at the Dell says:

          Gotta tell you guys, I really like the Scapa 14. It’s been discontinued and replaced by a 16 with a 15% increase in price… I like the 14 better. Can’t go looking for a traditional HP-style Orkney here. This is much lighter. A nice diversion from the bulk of the Pernod portfolio.

          • Mark says:

            Same take on the move from Scapa 14 to 16 here, Monique. I was a bit taken aback, actually. I miss the 14.

          • MrTH says:

            Seems like just a few months ago that they replaced the 12 with the 14. Now the 16, and still at 40%. Come on guys, get on the ucf wagon!

  22. Patrick says:

    Tonight was time for a special Laphroaig tasting:
    1964 Berry Bros & Rudd43%, 1970 Samaroli 54%, 1989 20 YO sherry from Douglas Laing for La Maison du Whisky as well as the 19 YO from the SMWS: 29.75 and 29.76.
    The BBR was most impressive 🙂

  23. Gary says:

    Tonight…Woodford Reserve.

  24. Louis says:

    This afternoon, I started off with a little bit of the Evan Williams 2009 vintage, and then compared the Binny’s Four Roses OBSO to the newly arrived OBSV. Had a nice nap afterwards.



  25. Louis says:

    Whoops, make that the Evan Williams 2000, bottled and acquired in 2009.

  26. Gary says:

    Looking forward to the tag team MM review.

  27. […] Hansell informs us that Maker’s Mark is getting ready to release a new expression aged in part using toasted oak staves (like Spice Tree from Compass […]

  28. lawschooldrunk says:

    In the spirit (no pun intended) of trying new things, I went out and bought forty creek and W.L Weller special reserve (45%). Never had either of them and I hope like them. The weller I picked because of the wheat- I hope it’s mellow.

    John, three questions: is the old weller 107 also mellow? Which of the two mentioned wellers do you like more? And, are you ever on the whiskywhiskywhisky or whiskymag forums?

  29. John Hansell says:

    LSD, both of the Wellers are nice. The Old Weller 107 is also very good value–because of the higher ABV, you may not think it is as mellow unless you add water. I like the higher proof.

    You will find me occassionally on WWW forum, but not on Whiskymag forum, for reasons that should be obvious to you.

  30. lawschooldrunk says:

    Thanks, John.

    And, the forty creek is very interesting. I put a nice dent into the bottle last night. (much better than crown royal, the only other Canadian I had )

  31. @yossiyitzak says:

    I was going to go with the Hjarta but I decided to have a wee bit of the Benromach 10yr and then, just for good measure, some Lagavulin 16yr.

  32. Vince says:

    Sorry I picked up this post late, on Friday I finished a bottle of PVW 15 Year Old and had some Evan Williams Single barrel 2000. On saturday I had Old Weller Antique 107 and some Wild Turkey Tradition

  33. JWC says:

    vince, how would you compare the pvw 15 (2009 i assume?) to the ewsb 2000 and the wt tradition? i will be drinking all three fairly soon – would like to know what others think.

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