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BOTM, 10/06: Maker's Mark


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I drink quite a bit of Makers Mark and always have two or three bottles of it in the house. What I enjoy about MM is the price; I noted that several other have it listed as "top shelf" or "premium" and I am wondering if that is marketing. At my local (warehouse) liquor store I can get MM at $19 for 750 ML and Jim Beam (white label) is $13. Percentage wise that is a big price difference but at $6 more I will grab the MM every time. I suppose if I drank a bottle a week it would add up to a little over $300 in a year.

The flavor of makers is sweeter and les astringent than the other ubiquitous bourbon in my house, Knob Creek. After KC the sweetness of Makers is a nice treat. I need some variety in my evening cocktail and right now (with the advice of cowdery) I am experimenting with the ryes and manhattans.

Find the Makers :slappin:

4750350-M.jpg

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Pappy's Friend

I seem to agree with the majority of folks - Maker's is a good standard to order at a bar that has a limited bourbon selection. Maker's does indeed have a superb marketing machine. Their distillery is gorgeous during Christmas - I have a picture of it as my wallpaper on my work PC!

As to taste, it is consistent, but doesn't match up to my benchmark (Pappy's 20-year). I'll never turn down a pour of Maker's, though!

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I am a bit of a newbie at bourbon, but so far MM is one of my favorites. It's certainly mellow compared with other stuff I've tried, like WT101 and Knob Creek.

As for pricing, here in VA it's comparable to WT 101, and certainly lower than Beam's small batch collection.

Basically, I think Makers Mark is a good introduction to bourbon for newbies such as myself--it really gives bourbon a good name and makes me want to try more, and that can't be a bad thing.

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Pappy's Friend

Yes, it is indeed a tough standard! It was my first bourbon, and I'm forever spoiled!

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mythrenegade puts it well - Makers isn't my favorite bourbon, but I keep buying it. It's my favorite pour when I'm in the mood for Makers Mark.

It's the Rolling Rock of bourbons - and I mean that as a complement.

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Makers's Mark was once my favorite bourbon. Ten ears ago this was a totally different whiskey. No bite, and not a hangover in a fifth. Then in 2001 this totally disapeared. I think that this is when the expansion took place. I visited the distillery in 1998, and again in 2001, no difference in the tour. but I did not see the expansion, but the smoothness was gone. I have not drank it since.

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Just in time for Straight Bourbon of the Month.

Today I received official notification that my name is now on a barrel of Maker's Mark.

Barrel #790348.

I realize this is a rare honor,...

...limited only to those who apply.

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Virus_Of_Life
Damn. I wanted barrel #790348.

:slappin: That made me laugh out loud here at work, and I needed it today!

As for Maker's I had a single serving bottle the other night and find some definite similarities to SW, but it by no means in my opinion is anywhere near as good. I guess you could say I noticed the similarity in that they are both wheated bourbons, but the MM cannot compete on the levels of complexity that most SW bourbon shows...

SW = Stitzel Weller .... if you read enough posts on here you will find it, and then see it seemingly every where...

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Maker's Mark was my first bourbon, and currently is my favorite, although I have only tried a few others.

:slappin: That made me laugh out loud here at work, and I needed it today!

As for Maker's I had a single serving bottle the other night and find some definite similarities to SW, but it by no means in my opinion is anywhere near as good. I guess you could say I noticed the similarity in that they are both wheated bourbons, but the MM cannot compete on the levels of complexity that most SW bourbon shows...

What does "SW" stand for?

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It seems like a lot of us have experience with Maker's Mark, it's a great go to in a bar, solid, dependable, consistent and always in stock. It's also a nice introduction to wheaters. I know for years it was my go to, out in a restaurant.

Great choice this month.

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Having been a member for just a short time now, but an avid bourbon drinker for a couple of years, I thought I'd finally take the opportunity to make my first post. It's certainly enjoyable just reading the comments in this forum - I can always learn something!

As for MM, like many others have said, I think it's a decent everyday bourbon that is marketed very well, is consistent, and can be found almost anywhere. If I'm in the "average" bar, I can usually find MM and maybe a couple of others, but not much else in the bourbon range. In that case, I'll usually order the Maker's, as it will definitely be prefered over JB white or something similar. I'm just not a big fan of the wheated bourbons, much prefer the spicier rye's. But they do make a nice Manhattan! Women seem to like MM more too, maybe because it is smoother (too smooth for me though).

Still, I'll always have a bottle of MM in my cabinet and am glad to offer it to guests, though rarely poor one for myself.

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I really enjoy Maker's Mark -- right up until the point when it just stops. To me, MM has very little finish.

As to price, Maker's moves in lockstep with Jack Daniel's, at least here in Middle Tennessee, because they want to be seen in the same 'premium' (:slappin:) niche. They're even placed side-by-side in many stores. In other words, it's twice as expensive as Evan Williams black-label, which is approximately the same age, if not a bit older.

Combining both comments above = I don't buy Maker's Mark very darned often.

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ProofPositive
MM is an OK bourbon.... not nearly as good as its marketing and (IMHO) not worth the premium price. I'd put it somewhere above average for "everyday" pours.

About the only time I drink it is when I'm in a bar and the only alternative choice is Beam White or some awful rail brand.

No bad by any means but there are so many others out there that are better values and worthy of ones attention.

I agree with this analysis pretty much across the board. I would probably differ only in that I could add a few more to Beam and rail brands which I would avoid in favor of Maker's. At one time, I considered MM a premium pour......that is, until I tried a lot of others introduced to me here (THANX SB.COM!). Now, I hardly ever reach for it but it is definitely a cut above any Beam in my book!

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CrispyCritter

If it came down to Beam Black vs. MM, my choice would depend on whether I wanted a wheat-recipe vs. rye-recipe bourbon, or perhaps a coin toss would make the decision. Both of them are good, solid, dependable pours, in any case, and they're both widely available.

If offered one of either, I'd take both. ;) :yum:

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Twenty years ago I was given the advice, by someone who used to work at Stitzel-Weller, to drink Old Fitzgerald instead of Maker's Mark. "It's essentially the same thing," he said, "and a lot less expensive." That was, of course, when all Old Fitzgerald was still made at Stitzel-Weller, but it is no less true today.

That said, the real gripe we bourbon enthusiasts have with Maker's Mark is that they won't play our game. They won't give us extra age and higher proof and single barrel and all that jazz. Still, the Samuels family's gamble that bourbon could be repositioned as a high grade spirit paid off for them and for us, for they started the American whiskey renaissance that we enjoy today.

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It seems, like many who have sounded off before me, I started out on Maker's. Had I not liked it, my foray into Bourbonia would probably have stopped right there. But again, like many of us, I thoroughly enjoyed it. And, I continue to. I have been going to it regularly the last several nights and as always, it is easy drinking, consistent, and flavorful. A very solid upper level performer, with all the right things just where they're supposed to be, and in the right amounts. When I open the doors to the bunker to see what I am going to have on any particular night, I don't pick the Maker's many times. But I always give it a dutiful nod of respect, because it is what started it all for us who have the opportunity to enjoy the other great bourbons out there. Chuck has called the period we are now in " The Golden Age of Bourbon". I agree, and I think we can thank Maker's for it. Distilleries are finally able to profitably put out new products for our enjoyment. Just look at all of the new super premiums coming out over the last several years. The quality of their wares have never been better, and probably unsurpassed anywhere in the world. Bourbon is finally getting the respect and attention of liquor retailers, and the percentage of shelf space given to bourbon is growing. And, we have this wonderful site to discuss and carry-on about our favorite spirit. IMHO, all of this would not have happened without the one that kick-started the whole thing--Maker's Mark. Call it Luck, Quality, Kismet, Marketing, or anything else, but whatever contributed to the overwhelming success of this stellar brand, and what that succuss has meant to bourbon lovers, I'm glad it happened. And so, my bunker will ALWAYS have a bottle of Maker's Mark in it.

One last thing: Please, please, don't screw it up Jim Beam.

:toast:

JOE

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[QUOTE][/QUOTE]

Still, the Samuels family's gamble that bourbon could be repositioned as a high grade spirit paid off for them and for us, for they started the American whiskey renaissance that we enjoy today.

Chuck,

I think you stated it perfectly.

Maker's Mark is what got me into the whole bourbon thing.

And am glad that it did. But it has been a little over a year since I've had any.

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I believe Maker's was the first Bourbon I ever drank straight as well. I found it from drinking it in a Manhattan. If it wasn't for Maker's it is safe to say I wouldn't be where I am today!!

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Twenty years ago I was given the advice, by someone who used to work at Stitzel-Weller, to drink Old Fitzgerald instead of Maker's Mark. "It's essentially the same thing," he said, "and a lot less expensive." That was, of course, when all Old Fitzgerald was still made at Stitzel-Weller, but it is no less true today.

That said, the real gripe we bourbon enthusiasts have with Maker's Mark is that they won't play our game. They won't give us extra age and higher proof and single barrel and all that jazz. Still, the Samuels family's gamble that bourbon could be repositioned as a high grade spirit paid off for them and for us, for they started the American whiskey renaissance that we enjoy today.

Chuck:

As usual, very well said....

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The only bottle of MM I ever bought is still unopened. Not I assure you because I feel it's not worthy of opening, but only because it never whispered my name in the darkness or realistically because I've had it in bars before and there is no mystery requiring solving. Someday it will be opened and when I do, I imagine myself saying "hello old friend, I see you haven't changed a bit" and then remembering why I hate going to high school class reunions and seeing that classmate that is still the same after all these years while I'm twice the man (closer to 2.5 times) I used to be...

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