- 109.4 Proof
While I don't actively hunt these out, the Maker's Mark Wood Finishing Series releases have all been great whiskeys. So, when I see one on the shelf, I'm sure to grab it. Luckily, these aren't the target of the typical bourbon hunters, so running across one of these hasn't been all that difficult.
This year, though, they decided to release two of them. So, I was put to a decision, because I just didn't really want to buy both. For no reason whatsoever other than that's where my hand went, I picked up the BRT-02. This one was finished with 10 virgin toasted French oak staves. While I like the use of French oak in Maker's, so far I haven't been high on toasted finish bourbons. But, I was hopeful that this one would provide a different influence than other toasted finishes I've tried.
The nose on this is a great combination of caramel and wood. It lacks that tannic bitterness, but provides the nice, oaky notes that I love. I also got a decent amount of dark chocolate to go with, as well as a sort of walnut note. It smelled rich and delicious.
As much as I liked the nose, I enjoyed the flavor even more. The chocolate and caramel really came through, providing a great baseline of flavor including some rich, sweet dessert-like notes. There was also another sweet note, kind of like a honey note to go with that chocolate and caramel. As sweet as all this sounds, it never leaned too sweet. It was, though, on the sweet end of the spectrum.
It had a nice, light cinnamon spice to it, more noticeable on the finish than on the back end. That seemed to be folded into a sweet nougat note. Once I got the nougat note, that was almost all I could notice, and it was great! That nougat along with the chocolate and caramel gave this bourbon a real Milky Way vibe.
The finish had that little bit of cinnamon spice, and the chocolate and caramel notes carried through as well. However, those notes were all fleeting, and the finish simply didn't last very long. Usually that's the case with a lower proof whiskey. This had plenty of viscosity, but those flavors just didn't stick around nearly as long as I wanted them to.
That said, this was still another great release from Maker's in the Wood Finishing Series, and I'll continue to grab these as I see them!