“The number one request that we have heard from customers over many, many years, is ‘Why don’t you make an overaged Bourbon?’,” said Rob Samuels, Maker’s Mark managing director. The reason the brand had yet to show an age statement was because it believed the Kentucky heat had an adverse effect on the whiskey once it reached a certain age.
However, quality manager Diane Rogers found the solution to the long-standing problem by pulling six-year-old barrels from the traditional warehouse, and allow them to further age in the brand’s ‘one-of-a-kind’ limestone whiskey cellar, which was built in December 2016. To note, traditional Maker’s Mark is aged for six to seven years.
“The hypotheses being, to slow down the heavy extraction of all those tannins which make it a little hot, which make it a little abrasive, a little one note, but continue the oxidation,” Samuels said.
Bottled at 57.85% ABV, the 2023 edition of Maker’s Mark Cellar Aged is composed of 87% 12-year-old whiskey and 13% 11-year-old whiskey. Cellar Aged will be released annually and always bottled at cask strength. However, the recipe and proof will be subject to change with each batch.
On the nose, the whiskey offers dark stone fruit, caramelized sugar, and toasted oak. The palate balances big oak, dark vanilla, and fruit, while the finish features is long and complex with velvety texture and notes of caramel and baking spices.
Cellar Aged will be available for $150 in the US in September; in London, Munich and select global travel retail accounts in October 2023; and in Tokyo and Singapore in early 2024. For more information, head over to the brand’s official website.