Veteran Bourbon Review: Maker’s Mark 46


Maker’s Mark Distillery


70% Corn, 16% Red Winter Wheat, 14% Malted Barley


6-7 Years based on taste


94 Proof

Price $40 (2022)

Purchase Maker’s Mark 46 at Caskers Here!

Official Product Website

Maker’s Mark 46

History – Maker’s Mark has a very long history dating back to 1953 when Bill Samuels Sr. set forth on his experimentation of various grains using his family’s 170 year old recipe. Through ingenuity, patience and determination, Bill and his wife Margie reinvented his family’s whiskey recipe and revolutionized an industry. 

Maker’s Mark has been true to Bill and Margie’s vision, still making every bottle the same way their very first bottle was made. They still use the same corn farm as their supplier, as well as the wheat. Every bottle is still hand dipped in wax and bears the ‘mark’ with the Star, S, and IV. The star represents their home at Star Hill Farm. The S represents the family name Samuels. The IV represents the 4th generation distiller that Bill Samuels Sr. claimed. His son Bill Jr. actually discovered his father was a 6th generation distiller.   

I highly recommend spending some time on the Markers Mark website if you are a fan of their Bourbon. There is so much interesting information about their history and product, summarizing it just doesn’t do it any justice.  

Maker’s Mark 46 started out as a Bill Samuels Jr’s. “Taste Vision”, which led to a finishing process that adds rich layers and dimension to Maker’s Mark. Maker’s Mark 46 is actually fully matured Maker’s Cask Strength Bourbon fitted with 10 seared French oak staves in its barrel for 9 weeks. This barrel is stored in a very cool 50 degree limestone cellar. Keeping it cool is key to prevent the wood from releasing bitter oak tannins. Makers Mark 46 gets its name from the perfectly toasted French oak stave, which was named Stave Profile Number 46 at the Independent Stave Company they source their staves from.  

Value – I purchased this bottle for $40 dollars. This Bourbon is all around great, including the price. There are so many overrated Bourbons and Whiskeys out there that cost much more than this one. This is a steal at $40 dollars. Enough said.

Appearance – This bottle really stands out on the shelf in the store. The design goes all the way back to Margie Samuels and her vision and I have no intention of bashing it. If you are at a bar and look across at the whiskeys, one of the first ones you recognize will be a Maker’s Mark bottle. It has a great shape, great markings, screw on top, and who doesn’t love the red wax dipped top. Maker’s Mark says that the Bourbon may taste the same, but each bottle is unique due to the red wax drippings.

Nose – Very Low Alcohol / Toasted Oak / Caramel / Brown Sugar. This bourbon has a very well balanced aroma to it. It has a strong, yet delicate toasted oak note. This is followed by a sweet brown sugar and caramel note. It smells wonderful. You get hit with almost no alcohol fumes. Great nose on this one!  

Palate – Oak / Light Alcohol / Light Butterscotch / Light Consistency. These notes are hard to pick out. The oak is very prominent and the consistency is light and somewhat thin. This makes the oak very overpowering in terms of the other flavors, but allows you to notice very slight sweet notes on the back of the palate. It’s very interesting. I noticed a buttery note, which led me towards butterscotch, which explains the slight sweetness. I like it.  It’s extremely drinkable and light enough to keep you drinking.    

Finish – Long / Light Heat / Low Alcohol Burn / Oak. This finish is very pleasing. It lasts quite a while, but you don’t get any overpowering flavors. It’s very low heat and low alcohol burn. The oak is still there, but it doesn’t leave you with that overpowering oak tannin taste. The proof seems to be just right at 94, as this doesn’t burn you in any step of the process. 

Summary – I really enjoy Maker’s Mark 46. It’s all around a great Bourbon. It has wonderful oak notes on the nose, very clean, sweet and oak palate, and the finish is subtle. This pour is 94 proof, but doesn’t burn much at all. Overall, a great sipper neat or on the rocks if you like.

“Maker’s Mark doesn’t disappoint with this pour. It’s packed with a wonderful charred French oak that stays with you from the  beginning until the end. This is a Bourbon I will keep buying and  always enjoy.

– John McGowan

Uniqueness – 1-10 – 8

Appearance- 1-10 – 8

Nose- 1-20 – 18

Palate- 1-20 – 16

Finish- 1-20 – 13

Value- 1-20 – 19


Purchase Maker’s Mark 46 at Caskers Here!

Reviewed By:

John McGowan on 1/29/2023

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