- Finish: 1 Baked American Pure; 3 Seared French Cuvee; 2 Maker's 46; 3 Roasted French Mocha, 1 Toasted French Spice
I feel like I've really slept on these Maker's Mark private selections. When they first came out, I was floored at how much I enjoyed them. I remember trying my first one at Haymarket in Louisville and I couldn't get over the incredibly delicious chocolate note I got from it. I've since tried a handful of different picks, either bottles I've picked up or pours I've had at bars, and every single one has been delicious.
And yet, despite having had plenty of chances, it's been almost three years since I've purchased a Maker's Private Selection bottle. And it's silly of me given that it's moderately priced, it's cask strength, and I know I'm going to love the whiskey inside (pretty much regardless of the stave combination). Luckily, something motivated me to grab this particular bottle when it hit a while back, and I finally got around to polishing it off.
The nose was baked goods all around. I got pastry crust, sweet cinnamon and even a bit of vanilla icing. What hit me the most, though, was a distinct milk chocolate note. I've been searching for that note in these bottles ever since that first taste at Haymarket, but to no avail. However, in this one, that chocolate note was right up front on the nose.
And to make it even better, it came right through on the palate as well. The very first thing I tasted when it hit the tip of my tongue was that milk chocolate note. However, there was almost a creaminess to it, as well as a distinct sweet vanilla. Overall, that first note reminded me very much of hot cocoa with marshmallows. I was immediately sold.
Other flavors came through as well, as I got pie crust and graham cracker, as well as something that reminded me of cashews, nutty but sweet and even oily. There was a light cinnamon note as well, and that cinnamon note seemed to carry through to the finish, along with the chocolate note, to almost provide a sort of spicy chocolate note that rested nicely at the back of my throat.
I don't know if this stave combination, if replicated, would produce a similar tasting whisky, but this was certainly one of the best Maker's Mark private selections I've had.