Veteran Bourbon Review: Maker’s Mark – 2022 Limited Release BRT-02

Distillery

Maker’s Mark

Mashbill

70% Corn, 16% Wheat, 14% Barley

Age

NAS

Proof

109.4

Price

$50 (2022)

“Purchase Maker’s Mark BRT-02 2022 Release At Caskers Here!”

Official Product Website

Wood Finishing Series

History – “The name BRT was given to these expressions because of the influence our consistent practice of hand-barrel rotation (BRT) and temperature has on our whisky process. Made to be enjoyed as a pair, BRT-01 is inspired by the tasting notes found at the hotter top of the rickhouse, and BRT-02 is inspired by tasting notes found at the cooler bottom. Together, they give people the unique opportunity to experience where the characteristics responsible for the original Maker’s Mark® come from, so they can reach a new level of understanding of whisky.” – Makersmark.com 

With this product Maker’s Mark has focused on the bottom of their rick houses. “To achieve the taste of Maker’s Mark, we’ve always hand-rotated our barrels from the top to the bottom of our rick house. This equal exposure to temperatures gives each barrel the consistent flavors Maker’s Mark is known for. BRT-02 is inspired by the cooler bottom of the rick house and uses French oak staves to dial up the flavors developed over its final years of reaction.” So as many of you already know within general science that heat rises, meaning the top of the warehouse is where barrels experience the hottest temperatures. In turn it causes the barrels to expand in which extraction of the oak tannins takes place. So this wood finishing series is unique in the way that it is kept in the lower, cooler areas of the rick house to avoid having a similar oak profile as BRT-01. 

“Our Wood Finishing Series uses a base recipe of Maker’ Mark 46. It starts with a barrel of fully matured Maker’s Mark at cask strength and then the insertion of 10 seared virgin French oak staves – stave profile 46 – into the barrel and finishes the bourbon for nine additional weeks in our limestone cellar.” -Maker’s Mark

 The primary difference for each of these limited releases is the year along with the location or specifics of the barrel pull which is defined on the label. In this case it is BRT-02. 

  Value – This bourbon is an absolute seal at $50. I wish I had bought a couple more or if I could find more to stock up on, I would. Unfortunately, these bottles will slowly disappear and the price will skyrocket year after year. This is an excellent bourbon for the price. If you happen to see one under $100, I’d say grab it. You won’t be disappointed by any means.

Appearance – Hickory/Pecan. The legs on this are thick and the bottle itself is beautiful. I love that each bottle’s top is different and hand dipped in red wax. The bottle shape shows off and presents the stave profile used and the history of the bottle on the back. One thing to note is that it shows a label that is “Certified B”. This presents that it meets the highest standards of social and environmental impact. I don’t usually see this on bottles but this being here right now shows me that they are truly unique for this product release. 

Nose – Light Toasted Oak / Brown Sugar / Vanilla / Dark Fruit. This nose is delicate and beautiful. Right away you’ll notice the toasted oak followed by a scorched brown sugar, almost molasses note that will remind you of mixing ingredients for baking a dessert. There is a vanilla note along with a sweet, dark, and fruity note. The fruit note comes across as over ripe black raspberry. In addition to the wonderful notes, there is a low to medium amount of alcohol fumes that will sting your nostrils in a pleasant way.     

Palate –   Medium Heat / Full Body / Buttery / Cooling / Caramel / Seasoned Oak / Balanced. This pour will blow you away. If you like a medium heat level, this is perfect. It has an amazing full bodied, buttery, cooling feel to the mouth. It is loaded with caramel and seasoned oak. The caramel tastes like dessert as well, possibly leaning more on the caramel brittle side of flavor. I am very impressed with how well balanced the notes are. Not one overpowers the other. This balance and the buttery feel create an extremely smooth sip that is just wonderful. 

Finish – Medium Heat / Oak / Allspice / Dry. This finish drops off fairly quickly. It has some oak tannin notes with some dessert spices thrown in there. After the notes quickly fade, you’re left with a somewhat dry mouth craving for more. The burn will linger for a little while depending on how big of a sip you take. Overall, its a good finish. 

Summary – Initially, I wasn’t sure what to expect with this bottle. I enjoy Makers Mark products, but I had no idea they had a bottle like this. This is definitely one of my most enjoyed bourbons to date. The nose is wonderful, but what really is amazing are the sensations and notes you get during the sip. It really is incredible, grabs your attention and keeps you coming back for more. It’s going to be a sad day when I finish this bottle. Hopefully Makers Mark will continue to release more Wood Finishing Series like this one.


“This bottle is incredible and genius. Maker’s Mark knows what they are doing. Thank you and well done!

– John McGowan


Uniqueness – 1-10 – 8

Appearance- 1-10 – 8

Nose- 1-20 – 18

Palate- 1-20 – 19

Finish- 1-20 – 15

Value- 1-20 – 20

8.8

“Purchase Maker’s Mark BRT-02 2022 Release At Caskers Here!”

Reviewed By:

John McGowan on 3/01/2023

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