Posts tagged ‘Maker’s 46’

(What’s In) Phil’s Cabinet

Happy New Year!  To kick of the New Year, I am starting a new section on the blog called (What’s In) Phil’s Cabinet.  People ask me all the time what I am drinking at present, what they might expect if they came by for dinner and a dram.  So, on the first of every month, I will update what is in my whisk(e)y cabinet, both opened and unopened bottles.  This is also an opportunity for you to put in requests as to what you would like to see me review in the future, whether it is Scotch, Irish, Bourbon, Rye, Welsh, Indian, Japanese, or other type of whisk(e)y.  So, leave me a comment, or drop me a line on Facebook or Twitter.

Here is what is in the cabinet as of January 1, 2013:

Bourbon:

Angel’s Envy (unopened) – This is a bourbon that some folks have asked about, and I should have a review of it up by the end of spring.  It is a bourbon finished in port wine casks, and I am very excited to try it.

Evan Williams Single Barrel 2002 Vintage – This is a wonderful everyday bourbon, and I looking forward to grabbing a bottle of the 2003 Vintage that just hit shelves a few weeks ago.

Maker’s 46 – This is very good bourbon, with a very nice, deep sweetness that unfolds beautifully.  If it were a few bucks cheaper, it would contend for one of my favorite value bourbons.

Wild Turkey Rare Breed (unopened) – Another whiskey that has been requested a lot, this is a barrel-strength offering from Wild Turkey.  I am excited to try it, review it, and here what y’all have to say about it.

William Larue Weller (fall 2012 bottling) (unopened) – This is a barrel strength, limited-release wheated bourbon from Buffalo Trace that my father found as a Christmas present.  Not necessarily a value bourbon, but it is one of the most anticipated bourbon releases every year.

Rye:

Jim Beam Yellow Label – A solid every day pour that makes a very nice cocktail, too.

Sazerac 18 yr. (fall 2012 bottling) – This is my favorite whiskey currently in my cabinet.  I love this one.  Not necessarily an ideal price point, but you get your money’s worth for $70.

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac (fall 2012 bottling) (unopened) – This is the younger, brash brother to the Sazerac 18.  Jim Murray rated this bottling as his Whisky of the Year in the 2013 Whisky Bible (William Larue Weller was his runner-up).

Willett Single Barrel Estate Reserve 4 yr. (unopened) – This is an LDI rye, bottled at cask strength.  My affinity for Bulliet 95 is what made me seek this one out.

Scotch:

Ardbeg 10 yr. – This is one of my favorite Islay Scotches from one of my favorite Scotch distilleries.  As far as Scotches go, it is a pretty good value, and I’ll probably put up a review here in the next few weeks.

The Black Grouse – A nice, peaty blended whisky that works well for an everyday Scotch.

Highland Park 12 yr. – Another beautiful Single Malt Scotch from Scottish islands.  I should have my review of this one up soon.

Those are the whiskeys in my cabinet at present.  What’s in your cabinet?  What whiskeys do you want to see reviewed on the blog?  What whiskeys are you hoping to try in 2013?  Once again, Happy New Year and let it ride!

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Maker’s 46 Bourbon Review

Maker's 46Today, I am reviewing (and currently enjoying) a glass of Maker’s 46.  As many of you who know me and read the blog know, I am not a Maker’s Mark fan.  Honestly, I really don’t like that stuff.  However, I had been told by some of my bourbon friends and other bourbon blogs that I should get my hands on some Maker’s 46.  I’m glad I listened.

Maker’s 46 is the standard Maker’s Mark recipe aged 6 years just like Maker’s Mark.  Then, the 46 is finished in specially-made barrels that have seared French Oak staves running down the middle of the barrel.  The name “46” comes from the number of the searing recipe that eventually went into new barrels.  After a few weeks/months finishing in the special barrels, Maker’s 46 is ready to go (bottled at 94 proof).  Its a cool process, but the proof is in the pudding.

Maker’s 46 has a rich, dark amber color, and it smells wonderful.  To me, the nose smells like freshly baked banana bread (oh yeah).  There are also notes of cinnamon sugar, vanilla frosting, and drying oak.  The palate follows nicely.  It is sweet up front, big vanilla and caramel.  There is also some hot cinnamon and some bitter tannins.  The finish is long and warming.  The banana bread comes back along with some berries and vanilla frosting.  There is a slight tannic influence that I hope doesn’t take over the whiskey as I go through the bottle, but the tannic zip is not enough to ruin this one.

Overall, this is a monstrous step up from Maker’s Mark.  The palate is more complex and much tastier, and the finish is long, warming, and delicious.  Of course, it is a few dollars more than Maker’s Mark, but I would still reach for this one every time.  My Grade: B+.  Price: $35-40/750ml.  This is a great wheated bourbon, and definitely one of my favorites at the price point.  Pick up a bottle and let it ride!