View Full Version : Makers Mark or Buffalo Trace.

07-17-2012, 19:19
Being new to Bourbon, I'am working my way up from bottom shelf and not sure which
one MM or BT? also which one is the smoothest of the two?


07-17-2012, 19:40
You have two different (not just brands) of bourbon. The makers has wheat as the flavoring grain a the BT has rye. The makers will tend to be a little sweeter and the BT will have a little more spice but it is not over the top. Smooth isn't always a great quality but you won't find much burn in either of these choices. I would say flip a coin and but one and then buy the other when you are done. I would tend to lean toward the makers but i also like Wheated bourbons more. If Weller Antique is in you area buy that over the Makers. Happy tasting!

07-17-2012, 19:52
Never been a huge fan of MM so i will go BT. But as Ejmharris said get one then get the other!

07-17-2012, 19:56
I now prefer BT by a mile, but when I was first getting into bourbon MM was what I liked. MM will be lighter, sweeter, less complex. Whereas BT will be heavier, spicier, and more complex. BT is more of a thinker than MM is, MM goes down easy (almost too much so), where BT will have you picking up on different nuances on each sip. With that in mind, it is still up to you, buy what appeals to you most. Tastes change over time, but you have to try different things to know what you like and dislike. My sincere recommendation is BT.

07-17-2012, 20:57
BT in a heartbeat. Maker's, while not bad per se, is simply boring to me. Not much going on there. Regular BT on the other hand is an incredible value.

White Dog
07-17-2012, 22:03
The only way to really know is to buy, and try, every damn Bourbon there is.

07-17-2012, 22:20
Both are stocked at 99.99999% of bars, try before you buy!

07-17-2012, 22:27
If you're in the chicago area and its binnys hand picked bt, then bt without a doubt. Other places have hand picked stuff too though.

Restaurant man
07-18-2012, 08:00
The only way to really know is to buy, and try, every damn Bourbon there is.

:bigeyes::bigeyes: Only 6 more to taste!:bigeyes::bigeyes:

But now what do i do with all these 90% full bottles

07-18-2012, 09:05
:bigeyes::bigeyes: Only 6 more to taste!:bigeyes::bigeyes:

But now what do i do with all these 90% full bottles

THAT is exactly my challenge! I've bought all 40 bottles I have within the past 18 months - many just to try. I checked last night, and I've got several that are 80-90% full (and some of which I don't envision reaching for - at least not on purpose). I've thought about trying some different blends of the "have nots" to see if I can find a combination that is greater than the sum of its parts. Or I'm bringing a few to the next GBS meeting with the "free to good home" tag attached :D

07-18-2012, 09:08
But to answer the original question (sorry!), I much prefer BT over MM - but if you are looking for which is more "smooth", the MM may be the right call. I think you can find 50 ml bottles of these for less than you'd pay for a shot in any bar - so I'd go that route to try them in an environment where you can take your time. That is my new rule of thumb - if it is sold in a 50 ml bottle, I'll find that to try it before I buy a larger bottle (or even a half-pint, pint, etc).

Good luck with your bourbon journey!! I think much of the fun is in finding which ones you like!

07-18-2012, 11:36
BT in a heartbeat. Maker's, while not bad per se, is simply boring to me. Not much going on there. Regular BT on the other hand is an incredible value.

Agree with this and the other BT recommendations. MM is so boring.... I would definitely say try Old Weller Antique first if you want a sweet bourbon. It's much better, and costs less. Like Daryl said, you can always buy a 50ml sampler of MM, they're widely available. I don't believe I've seen a sampler size of BT or OWA though.

07-18-2012, 14:12
While I personally prefer BT, I think MM may be the way to go for someone just getting into bourbon. I have never come across anyone who found MM unpalatable. It's just that, for the money, most aficionados like other choices better. That said, if you are just exploring the bourbon universe, I say go to a bar and have them line you up a shot of whatever they have that you haven't tried. Almost any bar will have MM and many will have BT.

I think a reasonable plan of attack is to figure out if you prefer wheaters or rye-based bourbons. To do that, I think comparing MM and BT isn't a bad start. Or, you could compare BT with one of the Wellers made by BT for a fairer comparison.

Young Blacksmith
07-18-2012, 17:10
I always go for the mini sizes in anything I want to try. It may be a bit more expensive in the longer run, but you're not stuck with something you don't like forever. I can get about 5 good pours out of a 200ml, sometimes 4 if I'm thirsty...

Bourbon Boiler
07-18-2012, 17:56
If I was drinking it myself - BT. If I was giving someone their first taste of bourbon - MM. MM is produced and marketed to be completely non-offensive, which is why so many of us here find it boring. BT is a better reflection of quintessential bourbon.

07-26-2012, 03:38
In short BT kicks butt any day. The BT 45% in the US and even the lower proof BT 40% we get here in Australia.

07-26-2012, 18:04
While I prefer BT to MM ... MM works well as a gateway bourbon ...

07-27-2012, 02:25
If you're new to bourbon, as am I, might I suggest reaching a little lower first? I started with Evan Williams Black and Old Crow Reserve, both decent bottom shelf pours ($10/750 - I'd pick EWB as better). Then I tried Jim Beam Black and Kirkland Small Batch ($15/750 - JBB is richer & balanced, KSmB has a clean 3-note theme of sugar, white oak & heat). I've yet to try my other $15/750 bottles, George Dickel #8 and OGD86, but took a jump ahead to Elijah Craig 12 ($20/750 & best so far - enjoyed every pour & stocked up). Buffalo Trace will go up against Jefferson's Small Batch as $23/750 bottles when I work my way over there (after Wild Turkey 101 and Old Overholt to start on Rye).

07-27-2012, 05:15
If these are my only two choices then it's easy.
It's Maker's Mark.
Buffalo Trace is grassy.

07-27-2012, 06:54
Buy them both and do a couple side by side comparison tastings. You will either learn that you have a definite preference or find that you enjoy both but in a different way. Whatever you decide you will learn a lot doing it that way, much more than tasting each bottle sequentially. Both are available in 375's if cost is a problem.

07-27-2012, 07:26
To the OP, I'd suggest that the sooner "smoothness" is not the most important factor for you, the sooner you'll start appreciating the many different facets there are to experience and enjoy in bourbon.

Lab Walker
08-10-2012, 10:50
I like the Trace then Knob Creek moving on to angel's Envy or Blanton's ( a tie).