Maker's 46: 47% abv
No, it's not a typo. I know, it seems odd to call something "46" with a 47% abv to it. But the number actually has nothing to do with the alcohol content, so don't fret. Maker's Mark is an interesting company, because in the world of bourbon, they don't do a lot of whiskey making. They've had one consistent product for as long as they've existed: "Maker's Mark". So although this one has been on the shelves for a while now, it still has historical significance, being the newest, and only other iteration of Maker's on the market. Interestingly, what makes 46 different, and what gives it it's name is that wood staves are placed into the cask after the primary aging is done, and is finished like that. 46 is the name of the type of stave they used. So with that little background knowledge, onto tasting notes!
On the nose, one will find pleasant aromas of cinnamon, light chocolate and fudge, vanilla, and allspice, with an extreme burn to it. With water, this burn will settle down, and caramel and even some floral notes with become evident.
The taste is strong and complex, yielding, caramel, chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, apple, oak, ginger, oatmeal, apple, with some cajun flavor to it. After the addition of water, the flavors smooth out more, providing a nice spiciness with more oatmeal graininess and cinnamon and green apple. The finish burns a lot, but not just an alcohol burn, more of a hot cinnamon burn, retaining the apple and vanilla, keeping ginger, oatmeal, cajun, but adding in a slight wheat and maltiness. The finish is medium in length and full bodied.
As a closing statement, this is a high alcohol bourbon, but is one of the best ones out there, displaying complexity, unique character, and spicy goodness. Maker's did a great job with this, and is recommended for any bourbon drinker. It is advised though, that if being drank straight, add a few teaspoons of water to allow more flavor to break out.