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Dobber
01-19-2010, 06:49
Maker's Mark will be unveiling a new expression mid-year. Slight premium to the orginal MM with 94 proof. Original MM will be re-barrelled in toasted barrels (not charred barrels) to give the new expression a longer taste!

Yes, I had the privilege of tasting some - great stuff (in my opinion) - much fuller flavour than original MM.

Thanks!

Inthewater
01-19-2010, 07:39
Sounds like what many people have been asking for.

Maybe they listened to the customer?

:grin:

barturtle
01-19-2010, 07:53
So can we call this "Maker's Well" or maybe "Prichard's Mark"

StraightBoston
01-19-2010, 07:55
Huh. Not exactly "Bring Back The Black", but an interesting approximation given what Dave P has said about the lack of aged stock to really do a black wax.

Josh
01-19-2010, 08:01
Interesting! Looking forward to trying some. Is this going to be a limited release or a permanent addition to the line-up for MM?

p_elliott
01-19-2010, 08:03
Maker's Mark will be unveiling a new expression mid-year. Slight premium to the orginal MM with 94 proof. Original MM will be re-barrelled in toasted barrels (not charred barrels) to give the new expression a longer taste!

Yes, I had the privilege of tasting some - great stuff (in my opinion) - much fuller flavour than original MM.

Thanks!

Drum roll .....Kuthud what a let down. We're going to raise the proof a whooping 4 points and I'm not sold on this toasted barrel thing.

Dobber
01-19-2010, 08:10
From what I gather, it is not a limited edition but will be a permanent addition to the Maker's portfolio. There is not yet a name, at least from what I have been told.

SMOWK
01-19-2010, 08:52
Funny this thread shows up. DGonano and I were just talking about MM only having one expression just yesterday. He made a very good point during the conversation. If they come out with something "better", they may hurt sales on the original by making it seem like a lesser product.

I always thought MM was somewhat unique in that they weren't competing against themselves like a lot of the other distillers/brands.

Another fact he provided that was new to me was that over the years MM has not only come down in price, but proof as well. Does anyone know the history of the price/proof drops? And has MM ever released anything other than MM with a different wax top?

StraightBoston
01-19-2010, 09:28
Down in proof? MM standard red wax has been 90 proof since I think forever; many years ago there was a Kentucky-only 101 proof; and about 5-10 years ago there were export-only 95 proof (black wax) and 101 proof (gold wax). VIP bottles (until the 80s at least) had varied proofs.

There's one other expression on eBay today that I had never heard of: "International" black wax at 80 proof (but that doesn't count towards this discussion!)

ILLfarmboy
01-19-2010, 09:30
Drum roll .....Kuthud what a let down. We're going to raise the proof a whooping 4 points and I'm not sold on this toasted barrel thing.

You said it Paul!

Forget the gimmick of re-barreling in a toasted barrel. How about something eight years old and 100 proof?

IronHead
01-19-2010, 11:44
You said it Paul!

Forget the gimmick of re-barreling in a toasted barrel. How about something eight years old and 100 proof?


I'd drink to that for sure!

kickert
01-19-2010, 12:23
You said it Paul!

Forget the gimmick of re-barreling in a toasted barrel. How about something eight years old and 100 proof?

Give me a 12 year old MM at 100 proof and I would pay double.

OscarV
01-19-2010, 12:29
,...how about an uncut, unfiltered, single barrel?

smokinjoe
01-19-2010, 12:41
Give me a 12 year old MM at 100 proof and I would pay double.

I'd pay double, too. But unfortunately, I don't think MM would let us off that cheaply. :)

Hey ya'll, this new bottling...it's a start. They're off the schneid. It's something. Maybe, not a "blow our doors off" effort (Or, maybe it is...don't know, yet)...but, it's a most welcome start. I'm anxious to see what it brings.

nor02lei
01-19-2010, 12:46
It is high time that they come up with something after sticking to their standard bottle for years.

Leif

docbible
01-19-2010, 13:26
Being a wheated fan, I would love to see additional expressions. Anything higher proof with some age (12yo would be nice). tim

BigRich
01-19-2010, 13:36
My interest is peaked

SMOWK
01-19-2010, 14:20
Down in proof? MM standard red wax has been 90 proof since I think forever

Maybe I misunderstood, but I'm pretty sure Dave said MM was a higher proof 20+ years ago.

IronHead
01-19-2010, 14:41
I am curious to know what the price will be for that extra 2% ABV...

SMOWK
01-19-2010, 15:05
I am curious to know what the price will be for that extra 2% ABV...

I take the over on 2%.

OscarV
01-19-2010, 15:23
Isn't the percentage increase in proof more like 4.444%?
MI minimum for MM is $26.99, I'm betting this new 94 proof comes in at 32 bucks, that would be 18.56% increase.

fishnbowljoe
01-19-2010, 15:48
So can we call this "Maker's Well" or maybe "Prichard's Mark"

How 'bout Maker's Marked? :skep: Joe

fishnbowljoe
01-19-2010, 15:50
Down in proof? MM standard red wax has been 90 proof since I think forever; many years ago there was a Kentucky-only 101 proof; and about 5-10 years ago there were export-only 95 proof (black wax) and 101 proof (gold wax). VIP bottles (until the 80s at least) had varied proofs.

There's one other expression on eBay today that I had never heard of: "International" black wax at 80 proof (but that doesn't count towards this discussion!)


Paging Bourbongeek!

Stones
01-19-2010, 18:57
Do you think it might make it's way down to us here in Oz?

Lost Pollito
01-19-2010, 19:13
I for one am pretty stoked about this. Lets hope it tastes great at a decent price-point. We need more value bourbon at an affordable price. :grin:

BourbonJoe
01-20-2010, 05:57
Do you think it might make it's way down to us here in Oz?
If I know Makers Mark, you might even find it on the moon.
Joe :usflag:

GOCOUGS2002
01-20-2010, 07:22
Maker's Mark is what got me started on this journey, I at least owe it to them to try out their new product.

sailor22
01-20-2010, 08:15
I'll give it a try for sure. In the meantime I'll be mixing a little Seasoned Oak juice in with some Makers for a poor mans preview. I am curious how close to the new product a vatting of those two current product will be.

Gillman
01-20-2010, 10:15
What I find interesting is the additional aging but in toasted barrels. This approach makes the company's argument over the years consistent: further aging (i.e., in the usual barrels for bourbon) would not add anything, and might take away, from the qualities of the product. What they are saying is, we will try another, non-traditional approach, and maybe people will like it.

I am not opposed to such variations in a company's product line, the new WR, which I haven't tried, is another example. In the end the palate is all that counts.

Gary

unclebunk
01-20-2010, 11:03
I'm down to my last pour on my only bottle of MM and planned on purchasing another but maybe I'll wait and see when this new expression comes out before grabbing a new bottle. I like MM just the way it is, but something new from them sounds interesting. Here's hoping they come out with an even bolder expression in the future!

StraightBoston
01-20-2010, 12:37
John Hansell just blogged (http://www.whatdoesjohnknow.com/2010/01/20/new-makers-mark-whiskey/) it over at his site (but we heard it here first!)

OscarV
01-20-2010, 12:51
Cool, SB.com got the scoop first!

pepcycle
01-20-2010, 13:48
The new name will be Jack's Mark.
Putting wood in a barrel of whiskey.

C'mon. What kind of PR crap is that. Its not really changing anything.

OK. Maybe its baby steps for them.

At least its not Charred Maple

marco246
01-20-2010, 14:30
As far as I know, MM is the only wheated bourbon sold here in Hawaii. Whenever I go the the Mainland, a major priority is finding some Van Winkle and/or Weller to bring back in my luggage. So a new wheater, even if it is a variation on an old theme, is most welcome.

I wonder if this is a Beam initiative?

fishnbowljoe
01-20-2010, 14:43
For what it's worth, I e-mailed MM to try and get more info. Haven't heard a thing yet. I thought it was at least worth a try. Joe

jburlowski
01-20-2010, 16:27
Drum roll .....Kuthud what a let down. We're going to raise the proof a whooping 4 points and I'm not sold on this toasted barrel thing.

The re-barreling thing can work... see WSRMC SO, BTEC, etc.

Anybody know where MM gets their barrels? The B-F cooperage claims they may been making toasted barrels for some time.

CorvallisCracker
01-20-2010, 17:02
The re-barreling thing can work... see WSRMC SO, BTEC, etc.

Anybody know where MM gets their barrels? The B-F cooperage claims they may been making toasted barrels for some time.

Any number of places. Barrels meant for aging wine are almost all made from oak seasoned for three years (and four years seasoned are available, but cost more). Most of these manufacturers offer the barrels in various toast levels.

I've been researching this lately because I may be buying two or three 15 gallon barrels in the near future.

NeoTexan
01-21-2010, 03:18
For what it's worth, I e-mailed MM to try and get more info. Haven't heard a thing yet. I thought it was at least worth a try. Joe

I heard back ...... "No comment,... yet"

arrScott
01-21-2010, 04:55
I participated in a marketing focus group on the packaging for the new Maker's expression on Wednesday. We weren't sworn to secrecy (though no photos allowed), so I can offer these details from the packaging we saw and reviewed:

1. All were labeled 94 proof.

2. "Toasted Oak Staves" were prominently mentioned on all labels.

3. The bottle was a very elegant decanter-like cross between a Maker's bottle and a Bulleit bottle. Sort of rounded oval, smaller on the bottom than at the shoulders. Very thick glass bottom, with the inside forming a smoothly rounded teardrop of whiskey. Gave it the illusion of fine crystal.

4. Red wax on all bottle tops. Some also had a paper seal impressed over the top of the wax.

5. Three of the six packages had a product name that was a variation on "51". Maker's 51, Maker's Mark 51, and just plain 51. Two of the "51" bottles had a legend on the label or a hang-tag explaining that this was the 51st of a series of experiments.

6. The other product names were "Limited", "noted." (all lower-case with a period), and "Landmark". The "Landmark" bottle was clearly trying to separate the new product from Maker's Mark; it was very slick and corporate looking, in a generic way, but it was also one of only two bottles for which they had variations to show us after almost everyone rated it their least-favorite design. The variation was even more generic.

7. Two of the bottles had paper labels; the other four were screen printed directly on the glass.

8. The marketing guy leading the discussion seemed very concerned with what packaging designs led us to consider the new product to be significantly higher-quality or higher-price than Maker's. From a few little things he said, I'm guessing they're hoping it will work at a $40 price point for 750 ml.

No samples to taste, though they did let us all choose a bottle from the lineup of existing premium brands with us when we left.

HighTower
01-21-2010, 05:26
nice info arrScott, and welcome aboard!

I hope this makes it to Australia!

Scott

Bourbon Geek
01-21-2010, 06:07
Maybe I misunderstood, but I'm pretty sure Dave said MM was a higher proof 20+ years ago.

MM has been 90 proof ... with relatively few exceptions ... from the very beginning .... (exceptions are: 86 proof in Australia ... 101 proof in the US and Japan for a while ... 95 proof in Japan and duty free for a while ... 95 proof "vintage" in the US for a year or two ... mint julep ... that's about it) ... remarkably consistant throughout the years at 90 proof.

dgonano
01-21-2010, 06:13
I didn't mean to confuse SMOWK. I was referring to the 101proof that Mike V always talks about.

SMOWK
01-21-2010, 10:32
I would love to try some of the 101 stuff! Anyone...???

Dave, you overwhelmed me with information. In a good way. Luckily it was early afternoon and we didn't dip into the EWSB they had behind the bar.

I've always thought MM was pretty good, and readily available. I'm not a big buyer of things under 90 proof, so MM has always been on the cusp of "to buy, or not to buy".

Obviously this next release will be purchased, as it heads towards 100+ proof, which is what I always prefer.

Ruby K
01-21-2010, 16:00
,...how about an uncut, unfiltered, single barrel?

I think Oscar's got this right. I might try this new iteration, depending on the price point, but I'd rather a single barrel barrel proof.

jburlowski
01-21-2010, 16:54
I think Oscar's got this right. I might try this new iteration, depending on the price point, but I'd rather a single barrel barrel proof.

And I'd rather be good-looking and talented... and thus a movie star.

Cmurfs73
01-21-2010, 17:51
I was in Kentucky at MM with a group of co-workers and we got the vip tour and we were able to have a personal tasting by Kevin Smith MM Master Disitiller. He had us try some so called "over aged, over proofed" MM and now upon reading this, I have a feeling this was it. It tasted great and Kevin at the time even said they expirement with different proofs and ages all the time but have stuck to the current recipe and proof. Very interesting...

NeoTexan
01-22-2010, 01:51
MM has been 90 proof ... with relatively few exceptions ... from the very beginning .... (exceptions are: 86 proof in Australia ... 101 proof in the US and Japan for a while ... 95 proof in Japan and duty free for a while ... 95 proof "vintage" in the US for a year or two ... mint julep ... that's about it) ... remarkably consistant throughout the years at 90 proof.

One other exception......

http://i.ebayimg.com/20/!Bj42VH!BGk~$(KGrHqQOKk!Esm4--qZ5BLVQPnRyDw~~_3.JPG

Ruby K
01-22-2010, 07:19
And I'd rather be good-looking and talented... and thus a movie star.

you mean you're not?

cowdery
01-22-2010, 08:24
Where are the people who are going to rail that "it isn't bourbon!" because they did something to it after the fact?

The nice thing about something like this is that it's an experiment that doesn't take ten years to play itself out.

pepcycle
01-22-2010, 10:16
My Jack reference and sticking wood in bourbon was a troll for just such an argument.

ILLfarmboy
01-22-2010, 11:40
Where are the people who are going to rail that "it isn't bourbon!" because they did something to it after the fact?


does a toasted barrel do something to the spirit that a charred barrel does not?

I see this as a bit gimmicky, but on the whole I see nothing wrong with this, or double barreling for that matter.

To equate this with adding fruit concentrates is, well, a little odd.

ErichPryde
01-22-2010, 11:46
does a toasted barrel do something to the spirit that a charred barrel does not?

I see this as a bit gimmicky, but on the whole I see nothing wrong with this, or double barreling for that matter.

To equate this with adding fruit concentrates is, well, a little odd.


Fruit concentrate?

since bourbon has to be aged in charred, new white oak barrels, there are definitely going to be some people who freak out and think this isn't bourbon. It's like the whiskey/whisky debate, some people get really serious over stuff like this.

ILLfarmboy
01-22-2010, 12:00
Fruit concentrate?

since bourbon has to be aged in charred, new white oak barrels, there are definitely going to be some people who freak out and think this isn't bourbon. It's like the whiskey/whisky debate, some people get really serious over stuff like this.


Chuck was referring to the Red Gag controversy, I'm sure. Fruit concentrate or essence, what does Beam use?

I don't recall a similar a controversy over Pritchard's Double Barrel. Sure, it's kinda non-standard practice and there was a question of how to define the exact age etc. and a discussion of barrel notes overpowering the distillate's taste qualities, but nothing like the Red Gag threads.

jburlowski
01-22-2010, 12:25
you mean you're not?

When I last used the phrase (And if I were good-looking and talented, I'd be a a movie star.) at work, several of the women responded in chorus: "Come-on John, you're talented."

MMDistiller
01-22-2010, 15:43
Hi All,
Thought I would weigh in with a brief comment on the MM expression...I didn't use a toasted barrel to make our new bourbon. We did something different.....
Kevin Smith
Master Distiller MMD

cowdery
01-22-2010, 15:48
You can mince it however you want, Brad, but I think it a difference of degree, not of kind.

People don't scream about sherry cask finished SMS, but they probably would scream if you added an ounce of sherry to every bottle. Admittedly, because it's wood, it's more like the arguments about JD than about Red Stag. Wood chips are an old moonshiner trick and there is a commercial product out that is essentially a charred oak corkscrew, that is supposed to impart wood flavors in record time.

The closest parallel is probably to what Woodford did with Seasoned Oak Finish, as in addition to long seasoning those barrels were toasted, not charred.

Since I assume Hansell has the straight dope, what MM did was take mature whiskey, re-barrel it, then put toasted oaks staves in the barrel. It's still "bourbon and...," in this case a toasted oak finish.

I have an idea. Instead of toasted or charred oak, how about deep fried?

MMDistiller
01-22-2010, 15:50
Hi Dave, Hope all is well. Thanks for sharing the info on the proof question. Ran into TBlincoe this morning and he told me he saw you this week. We need chat soon, got some catching up to do.
Talk to you,
Kevin

barturtle
01-22-2010, 15:50
Hi All,
Thought I would weigh in with a brief comment on the MM expression...I didn't use a toasted barrel to make our new bourbon. We did something different.....
Kevin Smith
Master Distiller MMD


You mind elaborating?

MMDistiller
01-22-2010, 16:00
Hi Chuck,
Great discussion. As you can imagine, I am pretty excited...can't wait to let you taste it. Oh, and it is different from the stuff they did up the road.
Kevin Smith
Master Distiller MMD

CorvallisCracker
01-22-2010, 16:00
I have an idea. Instead of toasted or charred oak, how about deep fried?

Plus soaking the staves in a solution of eleven secret herbs and spices.

kickert
01-22-2010, 16:27
Hi All,
Thought I would weigh in with a brief comment on the MM expression...I didn't use a toasted barrel to make our new bourbon. We did something different.....
Kevin Smith
Master Distiller MMD

Thanks for joining the conversation Kevin.

Hasn't it already been discussed that seasoned oak staves were added to the barrel?

jburlowski
01-23-2010, 03:08
At least according to the sample botle pictured on John Hansell's blog (http://www.whatdoesjohnknow.com/), this is going to be called Star Hill Farm Bourbon Whisky.

OscarV
01-23-2010, 04:36
The label also says, "Barrel Finished with Toasted Oak Staves."
I'm not expecting much from this but I'll get a bottle of course.

The name Star Hill Farm is a good name.
MM is worried that a new expression might hurt the sales of the Red Wax stuff.
If they use that name and say it's from the Star Hill Farm distillery maybe they'll produce more expressions.

SBOmarc
01-23-2010, 09:49
We have been asking/begging on this site for MM to try something different. Well, they are. I look forward to tasting it, but I don't get all of this complaining...MM did something!

SMOWK
01-23-2010, 10:05
MM did something!

HEAR HEAR! I'm anxious to try it, as I am with anything I have yet to sample.

fishnbowljoe
01-23-2010, 10:13
We have been asking/begging on this site for MM to try something different. Well, they are. I look forward to tasting it, but I don't get all of this complaining...MM did something!

I feel the same way. MM was my gateway bourbon. I'll always have a bottle of it on my shelf. Can't wait to try the new stuff.

As for a name, how about Mark II.

Thank you very much for joining us here at SB Kevin. The more the merrier. It's always nice to have members that are in the industry. It's a special treat to have a Master Distiller on board. Welcome. Joe

spun_cookie
01-23-2010, 10:17
Maker's already has a 94 proof bourbon that goes to Japan... It has a black label... so, all they are doing is keeping here right?

There has not been a change in their process is there?

... and they already have a label for a 101 proofer... they should keep put that one out as well.

Josh
01-23-2010, 10:39
Maker's already has a 94 proof bourbon that goes to Japan... It has a black label... so, all they are doing is keeping here right?

There has not been a change in their process is there?



Yes, there has. The oak staves.

camduncan
01-23-2010, 12:38
We have been asking/begging on this site for MM to try something different. Well, they are. I look forward to tasting it, but I don't get all of this complaining...MM did something!

My sentiments exactly! Makes has been very good to Australia for a lot of years now. I plan on supporting them for may more to come!:grin: Can't wait to try the new expression should it makes its way down here :skep: :cool:

HighTower
01-23-2010, 12:55
Makers iMark 2.0

Oh no I didn't!!

George
01-23-2010, 13:40
I'm a fan of MM and looking forward to trying this new juice. I'm curious to see how they price it.

ILLfarmboy
01-23-2010, 14:00
Now that I know it is "Barrel Finished with Toasted Oak Staves", not re-barreled in toasted oak I'm less interested than I was before. Didn't the wine industry try this and abandon it because of unsatisfactory results?

I'll try a bottle anyhow, but it isn't something I'm real jazzed about.

jburlowski
01-24-2010, 02:53
I believe that it would still be bourbon, just not straight bourbon.

callmeox
01-24-2010, 07:27
Random thoughts on this thread:

Looking forward to trying it to compare against the standard MM.

I've considered MM to be 1/2 of a bourbon (no finish whatsoever) so any additional barrel flavors would be a nice change.

With just one expression and (until recently made public) very little experimentation, is the job of Master Distiller at MM the most plain vanilla of the bourbon distillers?

Perhaps SB should look into licensing the Goggles technology that Google has enabled for Gmail. :grin: http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2008/10/new-in-labs-stop-sending-mail-you-later.html

OscarV
01-24-2010, 08:40
I've considered MM to be 1/2 of a bourbon (no finish whatsoever)

is the job of Master Distiller at MM the most plain vanilla of the bourbon distillers?



If Bud Light didn't already use the term "Drinkability" in their advertisments it would be perfect for MM.

craigthom
01-24-2010, 11:19
When I last used the phrase (And if I were good-looking and talented, I'd be a a movie star.) at work, several of the women responded in chorus: "Come-on John, you're talented."

Ouch! That stings worse because they mean well.

ErichPryde
01-24-2010, 11:26
Paul, they aren't further aging it in toasted barrels, they are adding toasted staves to the whiskey. I think the reason cowdery asked where the objectors were is because adding toasted staves to impart additional "age" is "cheating." I don't really give a crap if it's cheating or not, I hope they made a superior product here that tastes good.

The talk of wood chips actually reminds me of something- my brother-in-law was in saudi arabia for a while, and there wasn't any alcohol around. He was in the oil business at the time, and a good number of his co-workers would pester him about bringing Jack Daniels wood chips back from the US when he visited home. They were making moonshine, and adding to wood chips to give it some sort of a whiskey flavor.

....I have no idea how it turned out... :skep:



I believe that it would still be bourbon, just not straight bourbon.


I was kind of thinking the same thing. bourbon, straight bourbon, I'll try it either way.

kickert
01-24-2010, 11:44
I believe that it would still be bourbon, just not straight bourbon.

In my reading of the regs, there is nothing to disqualify it from being a straight bourbon. The term straight only refers to the length and location of aging:

[Bourbons], which have been stored in the type of oak containers
prescribed, for a period of 2 years or more shall be further designated as
"straight"; for example, "straight bourbon whisky", and
[bourbons], except that it was produced from a fermented mash of less than 51
percent of any one type of grain, and stored for a period of 2 years or more in
charred new oak containers shall be designated merely as "straight whisky".
No other whiskies may be designated "straight". "Straight whisky" includes
mixtures of straight whiskies of the same type produced in the same State.

The only part of the regs that address wood are in the initial wording where it says bourbon must be "stored at not more than 125 proof in
charred new oak containers"

MMDistiller
01-24-2010, 14:10
[quote=callmeox;194555]Random thoughts on this thread:


With just one expression and (until recently made public) very little experimentation, is the job of Master Distiller at MM the most plain vanilla of the bourbon distillers?

__________

I understand your comment. But it is a bit more challenging than that as I also am the plant manager and oversee every aspect of the operation (maintenance, distillery, QC, warehouse, bottling, security, formulation, tours, etc.). And I am the first to acknowledge that all the real credit goes to the 85+ MM employees that on a daily basis cook the grain, roll the barrels, dip the bottles, give the tours, etc., making our distillery a great place to work and Maker's Mark a wonderful bourbon. This is not the norm for most MD's so I can understand why you might think of my job as plain vanilla.

But you have to admit that a lot of folks like plain vanilla. My friend that owns the barrel company once said that he thought of vanilla as the catnip for humans....just about everybody loves it. We have been very fortunate at Maker's as we bottle and sell everything we have on hand; so as the Master Distiller my first priority is to make sure the popular plain vanilla is always there! More vanilla anyone?

The exciting news...we are bringing out another flavor. How does french vanilla sound? Ha, Ha! Plain vanilla or not...being the Master Distiller is still great honor. Thanks for your comment and being a bourbon fan!

TomH
01-24-2010, 14:22
I don't know about the wine industry, but Compass Box used staves with their initial Spice Tree Scotch which was well received by many folks....at least until the powers that be said they couldn't call the product scotch if they used that process. I really don't care about the process used to produce a spirit, just what does it taste like (could be why I bought the last 6 Spice Trees I found on the shelf at a local store a year ago).

Tom


Now that I know it is "Barrel Finished with Toasted Oak Staves", not re-barreled in toasted oak I'm less interested than I was before. Didn't the wine industry try this and abandon it because of unsatisfactory results?

I'll try a bottle anyhow, but it isn't something I'm real jazzed about.

callmeox
01-24-2010, 14:40
The exciting news...we are bringing out another flavor. How does french vanilla sound? Ha, Ha! Plain vanilla or not...being the Master Distiller is still great honor. Thanks for your comment and being a bourbon fan!

I'm glad that you didn't take my comment as a negative and I'm sure that you work your ass off at MM wearing many hats. I was simply comparing the single product line from MM to the various experimental and yearly expressions from Buffalo Trace, Four Roses and others.

When you can sell every drop that you distill I understand that innovation isn't necessarily a top priority. It is good to see MM expanding their line into something more crafty.

Can you expand on the comment that you made in an interview in Malt Advocate in the last year that the black wax isn't dead, just on hiatus? :grin:

Josh
01-24-2010, 16:05
[
I understand your comment. But it is a bit more challenging than that as I also am the plant manager and oversee every aspect of the operation (maintenance, distillery, QC, warehouse, bottling, security, formulation, tours, etc.). And I am the first to acknowledge that all the real credit goes to the 85+ MM employees that on a daily basis cook the grain, roll the barrels, dip the bottles, give the tours, etc., making our distillery a great place to work and Maker's Mark a wonderful bourbon. This is not the norm for most MD's so I can understand why you might think of my job as plain vanilla.

But you have to admit that a lot of folks like plain vanilla. My friend that owns the barrel company once said that he thought of vanilla as the catnip for humans....just about everybody loves it. We have been very fortunate at Maker's as we bottle and sell everything we have on hand; so as the Master Distiller my first priority is to make sure the popular plain vanilla is always there! More vanilla anyone?

The exciting news...we are bringing out another flavor. How does french vanilla sound? Ha, Ha! Plain vanilla or not...being the Master Distiller is still great honor. Thanks for your comment and being a bourbon fan!

Thanks for your great comments and interaction, Kevin. You've been a model of how a master distiller (or any other commercial interest) should interact with the members of this community.

I'm very much looking forward to trying this new product. I hope to see it on Michigan shelves in a few months! For now, I think I just might go out and pick up 1.75 ltr of MM tomorrow. :lol:

jburlowski
01-24-2010, 17:55
In my reading of the regs, there is nothing to disqualify it from being a straight bourbon. The term straight only refers to the length and location of aging:

[Bourbons], which have been stored in the type of oak containers
prescribed, for a period of 2 years or more shall be further designated as
"straight"; for example, "straight bourbon whisky", and
[bourbons], except that it was produced from a fermented mash of less than 51
percent of any one type of grain, and stored for a period of 2 years or more in
charred new oak containers shall be designated merely as "straight whisky".
No other whiskies may be designated "straight". "Straight whisky" includes
mixtures of straight whiskies of the same type produced in the same State.

The only part of the regs that address wood are in the initial wording where it says bourbon must be "stored at not more than 125 proof in
charred new oak containers"

I was responding to an earlier post (apparently since deleted) over whether this could be called boubon or not. Since the reg definition of straight whiskey refers to aging in charred barrels, it would seem that aging in other than charred barrels might violate the regs. Perhaps this is an overly cautious reading, but in this MM case (and, IIRC, in earlier BT re-barreling experiments) the product is refered to as "bourbon" or "whiskey" but not as straight.

I'll leave it to Chuck and others who are more conversant with the detailed interpretation of the regs for a more definitive answer.

kickert
01-24-2010, 18:01
I was responding to an earlier post (apparently since deleted) over whether this could be called boubon or not. Since the reg definition of straight whiskey refers to aging in charred barrels, it would seem that aging in other than charred barrels might violate the regs. Perhaps this is an overly cautious reading, but in this MM case (and, IIRC, in earlier BT re-barreling experiments) the product is refered to as "bourbon" or "whiskey" but not as straight.

I'll leave it to Chuck and others who are more conversant with the detailed interpretation of the regs for a more definitive answer.

Actually it is only the "Bourbon" definition that refers to charred barrels. The "Straight" definition is silent on the matter.

DeanSheen
01-24-2010, 21:05
If Bud Light didn't already use the term "Drinkability" in their advertisments it would be perfect for MM.

Perfect.

Don't mean to be a fanboy but I really don't like the stuff. It's not a bourbon of last resort for me because if the place I am at has nothing better than Makers I'm more than happy to have Tequila/Irish Whiskey/Scotch instead.

Bourbon Geek
01-25-2010, 06:10
The re-barreling thing can work... see WSRMC SO, BTEC, etc.

Anybody know where MM gets their barrels? The B-F cooperage claims they may been making toasted barrels for some time.


Most Maker's barrels come from Independant Stave ... they are custom treated for Maker's ... special aging of the wood, special toasting, special char ... special head thickness ... the works.

NeoTexan
01-25-2010, 11:57
Just got this e-mail:

Some of you may have heard the rumor that Kevin Smith, Master Distiller for Maker's Mark, has been working on a secret project here at the distillery. You heard right.
After years of prodding from Maker's Mark brand friends, bourbon lovers, taste-makers and, yes, even you Ambassadors, Kevin and I looked at each other and said, "Well, let's see what we can do."
Make no mistake, we weren't interested in finding which barrel held at the right light on the proper floor of a special warehouse could be packaged and shipped to stores nationwide. What we were trying to do was go after a specific taste. We had very narrow parameters and went after this new idea the way my dad did when he burned the old Samuels' family mash bill and created Maker's Mark.
Almost a year and a half later, Kevin comes back to me and says he thinks he's done it.
Boy, has he ever. Totally amazing new stuff. I mean wow. WOW!
The first step is to get blow back from the bourbon opinionaters, journalists, spirits bloggers, whisky club organizers and, yes, from our Ambassadors. Think of this as either a gut-check or, more bluntly as a disaster check.
Here's where our taste-making Ambassadors come in. You have already received your invite to Thoroughbreds and Redheads weekend, April 9 and 10. I want you to know that we'll be sampling our new product at the distillery for the first time on April 10, Ambassador Homecoming Day. Even if you decide not to spend the whole weekend with us, we hope you'll join us for this momentous occasion.
If you plan to join us, be sure to print out a pass for the event, located in the RSVP portion of the Thoroughbreds and Redheads site, http://makersmark.com/mile2010. We sure don't want to run out of Kevin's creation before everyone's had a chance to sample it that day.

craigthom
01-25-2010, 18:49
I got that email, too. I had already signed up for the Saturday thing in Loredo yesterday. I wonder if it will "sell out" more quickly now.

JohnHansell
01-27-2010, 18:48
For those of you who like more detail than most, I'm tasting my way through several different possible final versions of the new Maker's with Kevin Smith (and comparing to past and current expressions, including Black Wax), and posted my thoughts up here (http://www.whatdoesjohnknow.com/2010/01/27/five-makers-mark-bourbons-in-front-of-me-and-the-master-distiller-on-the-phone/).

So nice of Kevin to be so open about this. A great guy!

AVB
01-27-2010, 19:24
Since You seem to want to bait somebody I'll bite.

Wood is part of bourbon, I was looking at the regs and couldn't find anything that precludes the use of toasted staves however there was a part that said if you put cherry crap in, it is no longer bourbon no matter what it started as, the end product isn't bourbon. I quoted that in the other thread.


Where are the people who are going to rail that "it isn't bourbon!" because they did something to it after the fact?

The nice thing about something like this is that it's an experiment that doesn't take ten years to play itself out.

Lost Pollito
01-27-2010, 19:40
So far, what I've read has lead me to think Kevin may have tossed in some toasted chips. Is that correct? I'm curious to know what was done to change the flavor. Glad MM is expanding the line.

DeanSheen
01-27-2010, 19:41
A nice candid review John.

I'll be interested to try it when it comes out, at least they are trying.

spy247
01-27-2010, 21:34
Althought I'm not to comfortable with the toasted barrel idea,
I'm willing to give this a crack if it ever comes down under.

flsean
02-02-2010, 02:22
For those of you interested in a hearing Kevin Smith talk about this a bit more, Mark Gillespie has an interview with him in his newest podcast. (warning, there's always quite a bit of S#*%$& talk as well) http://whiskycast.com/

Pretty good weekly whisky show for those of you who may not already have listened.

arrScott
02-02-2010, 15:03
For those of you interested in a hearing Kevin Smith talk about this a bit more, Mark Gillespie has an interview with him in his newest podcast. (warning, there's always quite a bit of S#*%$& talk as well) http://whiskycast.com/

Listened to the podcast last night, in fact. A good show, and an interesting (at times awkward) conversation between Mark and Kevin.

Highlight for me was the explanation of the "toasted oak" business. All of the package designs I saw in the focus group used the phrase "toasted oak," which sounds like the wood is only lightly heated. Makes me think of, you know, toast. Like the cooperage equivalent of taking a slice of Wonder bread and toasting it until it's just slightly tan, and just warm enough to melt a pat of butter.

Kevin described the new secondary barrel profile as being blackened with indirect heat, and used the word "seared." That makes sense to me, and makes me more enthusiastic about the new expression. I hope it's not too late for Maker's Mark to consider calling it "seared oak" instead of "toasted oak."

Josh
02-02-2010, 17:03
Listened to the podcast last night, in fact. A good show, and an interesting (at times awkward) conversation between Mark and Kevin.

Highlight for me was the explanation of the "toasted oak" business. All of the package designs I saw in the focus group used the phrase "toasted oak," which sounds like the wood is only lightly heated. Makes me think of, you know, toast. Like the cooperage equivalent of taking a slice of Wonder bread and toasting it until it's just slightly tan, and just warm enough to melt a pat of butter.

Kevin described the new secondary barrel profile as being blackened with indirect heat, and used the word "seared." That makes sense to me, and makes me more enthusiastic about the new expression. I hope it's not too late for Maker's Mark to consider calling it "seared oak" instead of "toasted oak."

I suspect that, marketing wise, "toasted" sounds better than "seared", so I imagine they'll keep it as "toasted".

CorvallisCracker
02-02-2010, 17:17
I suspect that, marketing wise, "toasted" sounds better than "seared", so I imagine they'll keep it as "toasted".

Wife: I seared you some bread, dear. Would you like marmalade with it?

Me: Um...I'm not hungry. Just give it to the dog.

barturtle
02-02-2010, 18:10
Wife: I seared you some bread, dear. Would you like marmalade with it?

Me: Um...I'm not hungry. Just give it to the dog.

Wife: I toasted you a steak

Husband: Geez, um...would you mind getting out a pan once in a while?

CLANK!!!

Husband: Forget I said anything.

ILLfarmboy
02-02-2010, 19:30
Toasted steak bares a resemblance to Woodford Reserve Four Grain.
Its the copper....:grin:

cowdery
02-03-2010, 10:55
I think what they're really trying to say with 'toasted' is that the wood is treated with heat, but it's not charred.

marco246
02-03-2010, 11:36
Bartender: And how would you like your Maker's Mark, Mr. Bond?

007: Toasted, not charred.

jburlowski
02-03-2010, 17:53
I believe that the WRMC SO used toasted barrels for the second barreling... And, IMHO, it was a great success.

The B-F Cooperage says they "toast" all barrels used by B-F.

BourbonJoe
02-03-2010, 18:19
I believe that the WRMC SO used toasted barrels for the second barreling... And, IMHO, it was a great success.



And I did not care for it (at least batch 5). Different strokes for different folks.
Joe :usflag:

CorvallisCracker
02-09-2010, 09:14
So is this actually available yet? Has anyone tried it?

DukeB
02-12-2010, 16:30
Not available yet. Here's a new tasting with Keving Smith and Tom Fischer from BourbonBlog.com that just came out. It's pretty good!

http://www.bourbonblog.com/blog/2010/02/12/new-makers-mark-bourbon-new-makers-mark-expression-kevin-smith-tasting/

craigthom
02-15-2010, 07:31
They are making a big deal of giving samples to Ambassadors in April, so I wouldn't expect a general release until then.

sailor22
02-15-2010, 09:59
Everyone is being very kind to MM when I haven't yet read a positive taste test of this new stuff.
I recall someone describing distillers adding wood chips to barrels to modify taste and accelerate aging as "knuckleheads". I wonder if that description applies to MM also?

cowdery
02-15-2010, 14:24
Very few people have tasted this. I haven't.

Let's also be clear that what Maker's is doing is putting a finish on a fully and conventionally aged whiskey. The "knuckleheads" reference I believe applies to people who are using so-called oak alternatives instead of conventional aging. That's a crucial distinction.

silverfish
02-16-2010, 07:39
So is this actually available yet? Has anyone tried it?

bourbonv over at BE (http://www.bourbonenthusiast.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=7283) has tried it.

ILLfarmboy
02-16-2010, 10:19
bourbonv over at BE (http://www.bourbonenthusiast.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=7283) has tried it.

That's disapointing.

Overly dry and bitter whiskey is something I can't come to terms with. Once I detect those things, that's all I can focus on.

TomFischer
02-16-2010, 15:38
Thanks Duke for posting our video tasting on the New Expression at the Maker's Mark Distillery with Kevin from this past week - http://www.bourbonblog.com/blog/2010/02/12/new-makers-mark-bourbon-new-makers-mark-expression-kevin-smith-tasting/

I tasted it and I like this new Maker's Mark expression. Even if you haven't tasted it, what do you think Maker's Mark should name this new expression? I'd enjoy seeing your all's suggestions on this thread and/or within the the link above..

Cheers, Tom Fischer

Westernboys
02-17-2010, 09:58
Kudos for Maker's Mark doing something different. People (the market) will let them know if it was worth the effort. I'll try it and if I don't like it neat, that's what old fashioned mix is for.:cool:

flsean
02-17-2010, 17:05
The more I see and listen to interviews on this, the less I am interested. I guess if I was more of a MM fan, I would be excited about this, as I sometimes am about new finishes on my favorite scotches. It seems like in the interviews, Kevin is just trying real hard to convince whisky drinkers to try this, even though it isn't really something that is going to be drastically different. I think I would be more interested in a single barrel version.

Will I try it? Yes. Do I expect to be overly impressed? No. I will try it simply because I will be interested in seeing how the seared staves affect the flavor.

funknik
02-28-2010, 18:44
The more I see and listen to interviews on this, the less I am interested. I guess if I was more of a MM fan, I would be excited about this, as I sometimes am about new finishes on my favorite scotches.
Coming from someone who is not a MM fan, what I liked most about this expression when I tasted it was how it differs. This stuff has some serious depth. It is a little one-dimensional still, but it's just a better tasting whiskey. Will the new Maker's become my daily pour? No. Will it find a place in my collection? Yes.

It is really heavy in the cinnamon, though -- wonder if this will melow out or if my palate was blasted from a lot of tasting today.

funknik
03-01-2010, 09:16
Isn't the percentage increase in proof more like 4.444%?
MI minimum for MM is $26.99, I'm betting this new 94 proof comes in at 32 bucks, that would be 18.56% increase.
The Maker's rep confirmed that it would be around $35 which is an extra $10 in these parts. Like I said, I'll try a bottle, but the cinnamon thing might be a deal breaker -- this is still a cop out from releasing a higher proof, longer aged whiskey . . . no matter how you slice it, this is a gimmick.