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How Bourbon is Distilled at Maker's Mark


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Of course, they left out the bit where they strip out all of the intricacy (most bottlers call this "chill-filtering") and add a whole bunch of water without regard to perhaps giving the consumer an option of proofs.

Wheated bourbon is a sacred trust to whiskey enthusiasts. By only offering it as no-age-stated, stripped, and heavily watered (plus the roided-up, but still stripped and heavily watered, "Makers 46"), Makers Mark is violating that trust.

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Jake,

What are your favorite Bourbon's? Makers is my go to bourbon at home, with some Bakers and Bookers thrown in for good measure when the budget allows. Clearly this is in your wheel house, and I would appreciate your recommendations.

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What are your favorite Bourbon's? Makers is my go to bourbon at home, with some Bakers and Bookers thrown in for good measure when the budget allows. Clearly this is in your wheel house, and I would appreciate your recommendations.

Six good "starter" suggestions are described in this article from our own Fearless Leader (sadly, that Van Winkle Lot B price is very, very obsolete). I also sell quite a few that I like (full disclosure, blah, blah, blah), including Noah's Mill and Rowan's Creek, plus, of course, the Willett Single Barrel bottlings that we get to do from time to time (and of which, there is never enough). Those single barrel bottlings (with the coat-of-arms label) are not chill-filtered, and almost all are at full cask strength.

I also love Wild Turkey Rare Breed.

I general, bourbon does not have as many complex flavors as Scotch, and so water deadens it more. I advise folks to taste bourbons as close to full strength as their mouth can handle, and never to ice bourbon if the purpose is to taste it (ice dilutes the whiskey and chills it; chilling deadens all flavors but promotes tannins, which make the whiskey harder to appreciate).

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Of course, they left out the bit where they strip out all of the intricacy (most bottlers call this "chill-filtering") and add a whole bunch of water without regard to perhaps giving the consumer an option of proofs.

While I agree that 90pf is at the extreme low end of what I would accept in a bourbon (the flavor dilution really becomes pronounced below 95 or so), can you shed more light on the process by which MM "strips out all of the intricacy", considering that they've long claimed that they don't chill-filter? Are you referring to the final charcoal filtration that most mass-market bourbon (regrettably) receives?

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I also love Wild Turkey Rare Breed.

I general, bourbon does not have as many complex flavors as Scotch, and so water deadens it more. I advise folks to taste bourbons as close to full strength as their mouth can handle, and never to ice bourbon if the purpose is to taste it (ice dilutes the whiskey and chills it; chilling deadens all flavors but promotes tannins, which make the whiskey harder to appreciate).

I like the barrel strength WT Rare Breed [not sure if that is the only way it comes] and the Van Winkles are excellent. A good place to go to sample Bourbon is Old Glory -- they have a large selection and if you fulfill the requirements you can have a brass plate with your name on it installed in or around the bar, certifying you as a true lush for friends and family to see.

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Six good "starter" suggestions are described in this article from our own Fearless Leader (sadly, that Van Winkle Lot B price is very, very obsolete).

Our Fearless Leader was an uninformed dolt before writing that article, but had the wisdom to turn to two of our area's leading Bourbon experts, Bill Thomas and Jake Parrott, before embarking on it. Who you know is more important than what you know, sometimes. :)

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I like the barrel strength WT Rare Breed [not sure if that is the only way it comes] and the Van Winkles are excellent. A good place to go to sample Bourbon is Old Glory -- they have a large selection and if you fulfill the requirements you can have a brass plate with your name on it installed in or around the bar, certifying you as a true lush for friends and family to see.

WT Rare Breed is only available at 108pf.

A much better place to sample Bourbon is, um, Bourbon.

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While I agree that 90pf is at the extreme low end of what I would accept in a bourbon (the flavor dilution really becomes pronounced below 95 or so), can you shed more light on the process by which MM "strips out all of the intricacy", considering that they've long claimed that they don't chill-filter? Are you referring to the final charcoal filtration that most mass-market bourbon (regrettably) receives?

Sorry, did not realize that MM doesn't chill-filter. Almost every mainstream bourbon is chillfiltered (including most of the ones recommended in Dr. Rockwell's article).

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Pritchards is one that has impressed me recently. Hard to find around here. I used to buy Pappy at MoCo but that's over. I took the opportunity to drink a copious amount of the 20 year Pappy last time I was in NYC visiting the Jazz Standard. In fact, at the end of the night, there was none left. Big band and bourbon-a wonderful pairing.

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VW Lot B was $40 6 years ago? I'm going to stop investing in commemorative plates and start stockpiling bottles.

It was, and if you looked hard enough, you could still find a few bottles of ORVW 15 around.

The obvious catch with this plan is that one's inventory of commemorative plates doesn't mysteriously decrease while being held, neat, in a glass, in a warm hand...

Remember when VW FRR 13 "A" was a sale item in the $30s at Montgomery County liquor stores? I should have socked away a case. Wolfe was right: you can't go home again.

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It was, and if you looked hard enough, you could still find a few bottles of ORVW 15 around.

The obvious catch with this plan is that one's inventory of commemorative plates doesn't mysteriously decrease while being held, neat, in a glass, in a warm hand...

Remember when VW FRR 13 "A" was a sale item in the $30s at Montgomery County liquor stores? I should have socked away a case. Wolfe was right: you can't go home again.

I got one at the SS store. Loved it so much that I went back in to buy some back-ups a few days later. One unidentified customer had cleaned out the entire stock of a case or two.
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I have been really impressed with Evan Williams Single Barrel, which is readily available and reasonably priced.

Four Roses is a bit harder to find but consistently great.

Maker's is pretty dull. I keep it on hand for occasional cocktails.

Jack Rose has better selection of bourbon than Bourbon and better food as well. (Terrible coffee though.)

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I just spied a bottle of "Shackleton" Whiskey at the local liquor store. I am sorely tempted to buy it, but how do I justify dropping $160 on a rare, but likely overpriced tipple. Seriously, not being rhetorical here, help me justify it.

"For a joint scientific and geographical piece of organisation, give me Scott; for a Winter Journey, Wilson; for a dash to the Pole and nothing else, Amundsen: and if I am in the devil of a hole and want to get out of it, give me Shackleton every time".

-- Apsley Cherry-Garrard

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