For the Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series release this year, the Kentucky distillery opted for two bottlings, featuring “complimentary bourbons” inspired the process of rotating their “barrels by hand throughout the rackhouse.”
The first bottle, BRT-01, according to Maker’s Mark, uses American oak staves and takes inspiration from the hotter top of the rackhouse, while the second bottle, BRT-02, uses French oak staves and takes inspiration from the cooler bottom. As is customary with the Wood Finishing bottlings, it begins with fully matured Maker’s Mark at cask strength.
From there those barrels are fitted with 10 wood staves that vary depending upon the year, and then further aging occurs for nine additional weeks in their limestone cellar.
For BRT-01, bottled at 109.4 proof (54.7% ABV), 10 Virgin Toasted American Oak Staves have been used in the finishing process. Official tasting notes are as follows:
- Aroma: Caramel and butterscotch mixed with a sweet spice
- Taste: Bright, brown sugar and stone fruit
- Finish: Warm and toasty, paired with hints of honey
For BRT-02, meanwhile, it is also bottled at 109.4 proof (54.7% ABV), having been emptied from finishing barrels making use of 10 Virgin Toasted French Oak Staves. Official tasting notes for it include:
- Aroma: A seasoned oak nuttiness combined with molasses
- Taste: Prevalent dark fruit and chocolate with baking spices
- Finish: Long, viscous and round
Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...