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Maker’s Mark Bourbon

Clear Bottle filled with light brown colored liquid with a red wax bottle top

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Maker's Mark Bourbon


About Maker's Mark

There are few things more iconic in bourbon than the bright red wax bottle top of Maker’s Mark Bourbon. It always catches my eye on store shelves, but I’d never tasted it until now.

Maker’s Mark was first put into production in 1953 by Bill Samuel, Sr. He and multiple generations of his family have continued to run the distillery on the same grounds in Loretto, Kentucky called Star Hill Farm.

While Bill Samuels ran the distillery operations, his wife, Margie, had just as big an impact on Maker’s Mark. She named it, designed the logo and and came up with the iconic waxed dipped bottle top.

Bottle Specs

❖ Spirit: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky

Distillery: Maker’s Mark Distillery, Inc

❖ ABV: 45% (90 Proof) 

❖ Low/Moderate Price

Tasting Notes


Color: Honey

❖ Nose: Vanilla, spice, caramel

Taste: Honey, cherry, spice

Finish: long, spice, cherry syrup

light brown liquid in a glencairn glass


dark red liquid in a coupe glass with a orange peel and cherry garnish


1 1/2 oz Bourbon

3/4 oz Campari

3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth

Orange Peel and Cherry

❖ Add Bourbon, Campari and Sweet Vermouth to a mixing glass filled with ice

❖ Stir to chill, strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a cherry and orange peel

Now that I feel a bit more comfortable with Campari after the Negroni, and since I still have a whole bottle left, I thought a Boulevardier would be fun to try. I was curious if the sweetness of bourbon would counter the bitterness of Campari more effectively than gin. Since this is a classic cocktail with a bunch of different variations, I didn’t get this recipe from anywhere specifically. These specs are pretty common, but I did choose the glass and garnish. I was pretty pleased with this weird orange and cherry garnish, that kind of looks like an ancient alien amulet.

I’m still struggling a bit with Campari, but I still enjoyed this cocktail. The bourbon and vermouth sweetness didn’t blend with the Campari, but instead created a cycle of sweet then bitter. It did make for a great dinner cocktail, since I kept having the urge to eat something to get rid of the bitterness.

Bottom Line


While Maker’s Mark is a solid bourbon and I mostly enjoyed my time with it, some details were missing to keep it from being a must try whisky. The cherry and spice notes were pleasant, but the overall tasting experience lacked complexity. It also probably has the least interesting nose out of all the bourbons I’ve tried so far. 

 But, despite Maker’s not being my favorite sipping bourbon, the affordability and availability help balance out the negatives. Maker’s Mark is one of the biggest brands in America, so it’ll be easy to get your hands on a bottle for a decent price. I also really like the general bottle design, and the wax bottle top is a great gimmick.

I was also impressed with the amount of information available on Maker’s website about their sustainability efforts.

As always, drink responsibly.

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