Review: Maker’s Mark 101

It’s not very often Maker’s Mark releases a new expression, so it’s pretty big news when they do. A few years ago, Maker’s put out a 101 proof version of their beloved bourbon on the travel retail market, and it seemed popular enough. Now, for a limited time, Maker’s Mark fans can find this 101 proof bourbon on their store shelves. That’s certainly a reason to jump for joy.

The ‘standard’ Maker’s Mark is bottled at 90 proof, so do 11 more proof points make that much of a difference, especially when there’s a cask strength version also available? Yes, it most certainly does.

The hike in proof adds a slightly darker, richer character, resulting in hints of vanilla, dark caramel, fruit, and lots of spice, though not as much as say Maker’s 46. On the palate, that standard Maker’s Mark profile – soft caramel, vanilla and fruit – see a boost in flavor, especially the fruit and spice side. The extra proof makes for a richer mouthfeel, perfect for sipping. The finish isn’t too long or too warming, though it carries lingering bittersweet caramel apple and spice notes.

Between this, the standard 90 proof expression, and the cask strength release, I sort of prefer this one. The former drinks a little too easy, while the latter, though most flavorful, requires me to add a splash of water. Honestly, sometimes I’m too lazy to add a splash of water to my whiskey. So in terms of proof and flavors, Maker’s Mark 101 does it for me. The price is especially eye-catching with an SRP of $39.99. This seems to be a limited release only during the holidays, but I have my fingers crossed that it make the lineup permanently.

Thanks to Maker’s Mark for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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