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PowderKeg

Are Maker's 46 Private Selections Really Worth the $$$

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PowderKeg

Been meaning to ask this for awhile but never got around to it.  First off and for the record, I'm a cheap @ss, relatively speaking.  I can pretty well count the # of bourbons I've paid over $65 for on one hand.  There are a number I enjoy that I've paid in the $50-65 range, but even they set me to cringing as I complete a purchase. That said, I sampled a non-standard/M46ps at the distillery a year+ ago, and while it was different and enjoyable - or as enjoyable as a tour micro-pour can be - I just couldn't see the value for the tremendous markup over standard M46.   Down here (in AR) standard M46 usually runs in the $30 -35 range while ps versions hit @ $75+ when/if they can be found.  What am I missing that justifies such a whopping markup?  Other label ps (KC sib, OF sib, 1792 variants, etc) typically run $5-10 over standard versions at most.  I don't recall the spin job the MM guide put on the tour through the M46 warehouse, but isn't the only difference between standard and ps the type/variety of flavoring staves added?  Is there a large proof diff too?  What justifies the double+ price increase?  Am I missing several extras/benefits that go along with a Maker's ps, or is the flavor boost/unique-ness really that magical and fantasmagorical, or am I just being my cheap @ss self in expecting some definable reason for such a large price jump?  I am willing to occasionally spend $50 for a MMCS - which is roughly twice standard MM - as I do think it's a big improvement, but I just haven't been able to do the same with M46 vs M46ps.   

 

And also for the record, I've never bought a 4R SiB ps for the same higher $$$ reason, although at least there I can see some justification for the big increase (barrel proof, diff recipes from standard SiB, etc).   My interest just naturally starts to wane when prices hit $65 and up.

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0895
Posted (edited)

I feel like the answer to your question is:

Sometimes. 

 

Ive tried  some that are fantastic and some duds.  My rule is to always try before I buy.  Most stores will have a sample bottle open, if they really want to sell them.

 

The one at the distillery gift shop didn’t impress me either...

Edited by 0895

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BigRich

Worth is relative so I don’t know that any of us can answer that. Personally, I don’t find them to be worth the coin. I only buy a bottle when one of a couple of local LS get a pick in. I only do that to support them.

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lcpfratn

The big difference you are missing is that M46 PS is a cask strength product and regular M46 is not. Also, the Maker’s Mark Private Selection program (M46 PS is just one of the stave options) provides the ability to select 10 combinations of staves out of 5 different stave options, so theoretically this provides many possibilities to create a very special bourbon. You have to decide if it’s worth it. I wish it was priced lower, but it’s not as ridiculous a price as some other products on the market.

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Harry in WashDC

The problem for me has been: Trial and error is expensive.  Several stores near me have offered different "stave" mixes. with their private selections/store picks.  I have learned, at some expense, which picking panels USUALLY pick stuff I like AND to some extent which stave mixes just don't do it regardless of who picked.  When I get an email announcing a store pick, I first look at which store and which stave mix.  If it's an email from a picker panel I fit with, I MAY beg a taste.  If I like it, I may buy one bottle.

 

How often is there a match with what I like?  I think I've bought four MM CS offerings in the past 12 months - that's two 750s of one (which I tasted before I bought), and one 750 of two others (which I got discounts on because I was buying other stuff, too).  That'll hold me for awhile.

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PowderKeg
2 hours ago, Harry in WashDC said:

The problem for me has been: Trial and error is expensive.  Several stores near me have offered different "stave" mixes. with their private selections/store picks.  I have learned, at some expense, which picking panels USUALLY pick stuff I like AND to some extent which stave mixes just don't do it regardless of who picked.  When I get an email announcing a store pick, I first look at which store and which stave mix.  If it's an email from a picker panel I fit with, I MAY beg a taste.  If I like it, I may buy one bottle.

 

How often is there a match with what I like?  I think I've bought four MM CS offerings in the past 12 months - that's two 750s of one (which I tasted before I bought), and one 750 of two others (which I got discounts on because I was buying other stuff, too).  That'll hold me for awhile.

Next time I see one, I'll try to get a sample if possible.  Kinda doubt it will result in a purchase as my general satisfaction with purchases in that price range has hardly been 50/50 even after a sample (why do they so often not come off as nice at home as at the store...), but anything is possible.  My success with standard M46 has also tainted my consideration.  While the handful of bottles I've had to date have been ok, a couple had some obvious musty oak aftertaste when first opened,   The first one like that got shuffled to the back for several months before I gave it a second whirl (before a potential dump) and found the nastiness had dissipated.   Spend that much for a ps and get a similar first impression, and I def won't be a happy camper.  Trial and error is so much easier to accept at substantially lower prices - as reflected by my now lack of interest in trying other Smooth Ambler options after Big Lose... er, Big Level. 

2 hours ago, lcpfratn said:

The big difference you are missing is that M46 PS is a cask strength product and regular M46 is not. Also, the Maker’s Mark Private Selection program (M46 PS is just one of the stave options) provides the ability to select 10 combinations of staves out of 5 different stave options, so theoretically this provides many possibilities to create a very special bourbon. You have to decide if it’s worth it. I wish it was priced lower, but it’s not as ridiculous a price as some other products on the market.

Well that does make a difference, don't recall that vital detail (cask strength) from the tour (I'm sure they said it, I just don't remember it), and the few times I've seen a ps I've looked right on past because of the price.   While I could understand some premium $ added for offering multiple stave option selections, and the seemingly endless flavor possibilities (I'm too lazy to do the math on the actual number of combinations), I couldn't grasp how that alone could double+ the price point.  Cask strength sheds light on that.   And true too, that it's not as crazy as some MSRPs of other labels (and doesn't even approach the rampant insanity of the secondary market for others).  

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mosugoji64

As others have said, the worth is entirely subjective based on your tastes. For some, MM is a no-go regardless of variables. For me, M46 was a big step up from standard MM, which I found to be not bad but too young. The PS bottles that I've had, however, have been VERY good and worth the uncharge to me. That said, there's a lot of potential for a bad pick given the stave combinations available. Try before you buy is good advice unless you know your taste preferences align with the pickers. It also depends on what they're charging. Most I've seen are in the $65-70 range and I'm fine with that. One of the big chains here was charging $99 for their pick and I thought that was ridiculous. Anyway, let us know what you decide and, if you buy, what you think!

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Jazzhead

I've never had a CS version of the MM46,  but think the CS version of regular MM is tremendous -  and one of the few CS wheaters on the market at any price.   

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Adam777

Based on your Initial post I would say no it’s not worth it. This is also based upon my experience as well. I’d much rather have a 4R SP or KCSB SP. private Selection is nothing special based upon a couple bottles I have bought. One kept on my shelf forever bc it simply wasn’t that good. Every palate is different so good luck.

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mbroo5880i

I have had a few different MM46 CS. My favorite was all 10 MM46 staves. It was well worth the price.

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