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BOTM 08/21 Maker's Mark 101


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flahute

We've been talking about this one a lot recently so it's time to make it the BOTM.

 

Most of you know my take on this by now. Standard MM has an off taste to me that I attribute to youth. It's not a grainy flavor like with most young bourbons but has a similarity to the wet cardboard taste combined with another off flavor. I had high hopes when MMCS came out and while I did have one bottle I enjoyed, the ones that came after also had that flavor.

 

So along comes 101 and what can I say, I'm a sucker for that proof (I am Turkey head ya know), so I gave it a shot and was astonished to discover how much I liked it.

I think I'm on my third bottle now so it remains consistent. I have a friend who works for MM so I asked him if the barrels for these were a different age or came from a specific place in a rickhouse and he says they do not - it's all the same as the other lines. But he also agrees with me that 101 just hits at a different level and it is now the most consumed MM product in his house. He doesn't know why either. The best we can tell is that this is just an ideal proof for MM.

 

So why not take MMCS and just proof it down? Well I've tried that (not aiming to hit 101 specifically because that was before 101 existed) and I get the same off flavor. I believe it's because in this case it needs time to mingle properly. Many of you have seen Nancy talk about the proper methods to downproof a barrel proof spirit and it involves going slowly and allowing proper time for molecular bonds to form. Is that the case here? It's my theory but I have no proof. (proof! no pun intended).

 

For me 101 tastes like what I remember older MM tasting like.

 

What do you all think?

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Years ago (I want to say discontinued in the 1980s or early '90s) MM had a 101 proof version.  It had a gold colored wax dipped top.  Back in the days some stores still had some dusties, that was a coveted find.  I never had the luck myself.  People would be all shook up if they found one of those.  So glad to see something good from the past revived.

 

As to the individual barrels, I recall MM rotates the barrels throughout aging.  They don't spend all their time in one spot.  The goal is every barrel should be as similar as possible at the end of aging.

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JCwhammie

Steve, I agree with everything you said about MM, MMCS, and MM101. 

I've never been a fan of regular MM. MMCS is good for the price, but I don’t ever think "I need a bottle of that." 

MM101 is different. It's fantastic, and I see myself having an open bottle as long as it's available. 

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lemonman

My favorite of the MM lineup, too. I enjoy the MMCS and sometimes basic MM as well, but most often the 101 hits the spot. It would be nice if it became a permanent product line. I really need to water down some CS to 101 and let it mingle for a while & see if that's the ticket, if only for knowledge's sake; short term tests have not equaled the bottled stuff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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dwightschrute

I picked up two recently and excited to give it a try.  

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G L Tirebiter

Curious as to most here usually buy more than one bottle when finding something new?   Or maybe just when it is a harder to find item, just in case?

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9 hours ago, G L Tirebiter said:

Curious as to most here usually buy more than one bottle when finding something new?   Or maybe just when it is a harder to find item, just in case?

I do not.  If I want to try a new product then I just buy one to try.  I'll wait until I'm about half done with the bottle before deciding on a second because my opinions change with the first few pours.  If I really like it and it is a limited offering then I will pick up a spare.  For example, I just bought my second bottle of MM101 this past weekend.  The first one was not long after it first hit Atlanta and I went through it pretty quick.  But I have a lot of bourbon so I wasn't in a rush to get a second one.  Another example is Four Roses Small Batch Select.  I tried and bought a bottle when it first came out.  I really like it.  Probably more than a lot of SB members.  But I still haven't bought a second one.  It's not limited, not cheap, and as I said before, I have a lot of bourbon. 

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mbroo5880i

I have had several bottles since last Fall's initial release.  I just picked up a couple more bottles over the weekend.  Similar to posts above, I find regular MM to have a muted flavor profile, almost like something is missing.  I have also had several bottles of MMCS over the years.  While I understand they have a target profile via barrel rotation, I have found some batches more enjoyable than others.  I rarely drink any bourbon at 110+ without a little water to proof it down.  I have had a few MMCS that were fine at barrel strength but didn't seem fare when a drop or two of water was added.   MM101 is a different story.  It seems to sing from the first pour to the last pour of each bottle I have purchased.  Similar to others, I believe the mingling, age and proof to be the difference.  

 

It's availability is interesting.  I seem to recall it being identified as a limited release last Fall.  While it disappeared for a brief period, it showed back up at several stores in the Spring and has been available ever since.  Interestingly enough, it has disappeared from most stores, except for one of the larger grocery stores, which has it stacked deep on their shelf and added more bottles to the shelf last week.  

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G L Tirebiter

Not sure if its allocated in PA, but I have not seen it in any of the local stores.     Will have to look harder, I guess.

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lemonman

Yeah, I've mentioned before there's plenty of it around here. Disappeared for a short while after the holidays, then trickled back in. I now know of at least four different places close by I could buy it right now. Been deciding if this means I should add more to the bunker while the gettin's good, or treat it like a readily available product.

 

 

Edited by lemonman
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Great choice for Bottle of the Month Steve.  I love MM101.  I also love MMCS.  I still have YET to do a proper SBS of those.  I prefer wheaters in the wintertime, so after this nasty hot summer weather goes away, I look forward to a nice SBS of those two bottles, both undiluted, and also diluted to equivalent proof.  They are BOTH excellent values... and in the case of MMCS represent some of the better choices we have as bourbon lovers for bottles sitting on the shelf and available at a good price for everyone.  Let us all appreciate and covet that!

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This has become a favorite of mine. Definitely the sweet spot for MM, I've started slowly bunkering these. It's everything I like about MM kicked up a notch and fleshed out more fully...though I still like regular MM as a daily especially when it's on sale. MM and WT101 being the comfort foods of whiskey for me... ;) 

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fishnbowljoe
11 minutes ago, B3Nut said:

This has become a favorite of mine. Definitely the sweet spot for MM, I've started slowly bunkering these. It's everything I like about MM kicked up a notch and fleshed out more fully...though I still like regular MM as a daily especially when it's on sale. MM and WT101 being the comfort foods of whiskey for me... ;) 

Nice pick for BOTM Steve. 👌 I’ve been revisiting MM products the last year or so. All have made me smile, but the most satisfying pour has been MM 101.

 

 FWIW, I also pretty much agree with  “the keyboard man”. 😉  Just substitute Weller SR for WT 101. 😁 

 

BTW,  I can personally attest to the fact that Todd likes WT101. I have incriminating photos. 😙

 

Biba! Joe

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Guy at my local LS told me on Friday that the distributor told him that it's was gone/done and to remove the shelf spot for it. 😞

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4 hours ago, Clueby said:

Guy at my local LS told me on Friday that the distributor told him that it's was gone/done and to remove the shelf spot for it. 😞

My friend who works for MM tells me it's released twice a year - Father's Day and end of year in the Nov/Dec time frame so it should be back at the end of the year.

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lemonman

Another batch around Father's Day would explain the uptick in availability. It would be nice to know for sure it's going to continue to be a semi-regular release, otherwise I'd pick up a bunch more.

 

 

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1 hour ago, lemonman said:

Another batch around Father's Day would explain the uptick in availability. It would be nice to know for sure it's going to continue to be a semi-regular release, otherwise I'd pick up a bunch more.

 

 

It is going to remain a semi regular release and may even become permanent though that is yet to be decided.

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smokinjoe

It has been pretty regular in the stores where you would expect to see it, but that is probably because most of these stores that I see it have it higher priced than Cask Strength.  I pass at that as I adore the MM CS, though I think 101 is solid.  I did pick up one in Virginia this week at $39.99, which I do not believe I have ever seen close  to that here in ATL.  
 

Overall, it is a solid whiskey, but the Cask Strength sings to me.  

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tanstaafl2
3 hours ago, smokinjoe said:

It has been pretty regular in the stores where you would expect to see it, but that is probably because most of these stores that I see it have it higher priced than Cask Strength.  I pass at that as I adore the MM CS, though I think 101 is solid.  I did pick up one in Virginia this week at $39.99, which I do not believe I have ever seen close  to that here in ATL.  
 

Overall, it is a solid whiskey, but the Cask Strength sings to me.  

 

If you stop drinking it whilst eating the pot edibles that @troyce is always making it will probably stop singing to you...

 

 

 

 

Edited by tanstaafl2
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G L Tirebiter

Picked up a couple bottles today at local FW&GS store.  $37.99

 

Also saw it at a second store I stopped in while I was driving around.

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20 hours ago, G L Tirebiter said:

Picked up a couple bottles today at local FW&GS store.  $37.99

 

Also saw it at a second store I stopped in while I was driving around.

K&L has it on sale for $26.99.  Of course, I picked up a couple of bottles...

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On 8/15/2021 at 8:45 PM, tanstaafl2 said:

 

If you stop drinking it whilst eating the pot edibles that @troyce is always making it will probably stop singing to you...

 

 

 

 

Didn't make 'em; only ate 'em  and it was a "one and done" experience....

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fishnbowljoe
6 hours ago, troyce said:

Didn't make 'em; only ate 'em  and it was a "one and done" experience....

Yeah, that’s what she said. 🤔

 

Biba! Joe

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I ticked this at the distillery in June and found it pretty tasty. Granted it was sandwiched between the 90 proofer and the CS, so it kinda got lost.
 

Earlier this week I saw this thread and realized it was time to pick up a bottle. Which worked out well, as western PA got recent drop and most stores are well stocked. 
 

I spent some time with a hefty neck pour last night and I must say, it is really good. I’ve drank a lot of regular ol’ MM in my day, and I find this to be an entirely different and more decadent, rewarding experience. It’s like the Goldilocks of the MM portfolio - not too big, not too small. Just right. 
 

I like the CS, and I do enjoy the 90 proofer on occasion. And I find both to be of consistent quality and value. But if given a choice of the three, I’d likely take a wee dram of the 101 most every time. 

Edited by Rhettro
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/9/2021 at 2:26 PM, lemonman said:

My favorite of the MM lineup, too. I enjoy the MMCS and sometimes basic MM as well, but most often the 101 hits the spot. It would be nice if it became a permanent product line. I really need to water down some CS to 101 and let it mingle for a while & see if that's the ticket, if only for knowledge's sake; short term tests have not equaled the bottled stuff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I took my own advice that day and proofed some CS (batch 20-05) to 101 using the calculator and Ice Mt. spring water. I had intended to let it mingle a little longer, but curiosity got the better of me.

 

I labeled and poured two Glencairns of 101, plus a single of the vatting, then did the shell game long enough I had no idea what was what. Walked away for 10 minutes, then started tasting. They were extremely alike; my first "guess" as to which was the vatting was...101. SBS between the remaining pair, and the guess at the vatting turned out to be...101 again. Maybe Spring Mountain is better water than they use?🙂

 

I have enough left to do the test again, and will, but it seems accurate to me the 101 is just CS and needs a little time to settle after watering, as Steve has stated. It's encouraging to know that, if they decided to drop it, it's easily replicated.

 

 

 

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