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Maker’s Mark Private Select Review: Randall’s Wine & Spirits

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews by Patrick "Pops" Garrett1 Comment


A continuation of our wood-finishing series, Maker’s Mark Private Select® is a first-of-its-kind barrel program. It allows our retail or restaurant partners to purchase a barrel and explore their own taste visions of Maker’s Mark®Maker's Mark Distillery
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Maker's Mark Private Select - Randall's Wines & Spirits


  • DISTILLER: Maker's Mark
  • MASH BILL: 70% Corn | 16% Red Winter Wheat | 15% Malted Barley
  • Select Staves:
    • Two (2) Seared French Cuvée
    • One (1) Maker's 46
    • Six (6) Roasted French Mocha
    • One (1) Toasted French Spice
  • AGE: 3/4 to 7 years, plus finishing of 9 weeks in cold conditions in barrels with chosen combination of staves
  • YEAR: 2019
  • PROOF: 108.7 Proof (54.35% ABV)
  • MSRP: $59.97 for VIP members at Randall's
  • BUY ONLINE: Randall's Wines & Spirits

NOSE: Dried Fruit | Spice Cake | Caramel | Cocoa

TASTE: Spice Fruit | Chocolate | Toasted Oak | Pepper

FINISH: A medium-length tongue tingling finish full of baking spices, maple and toasted oak.

SHARE WITH: Fans of Maker’s Mark who are looking for something bolder will enjoy this bottle, as will experienced bourbon drinkers who like to taste and analyze what they’re drinking.

WORTH THE PRICE: Yes, it’s a very solid pour of bourbon and is far better than most of the limited editions we’ve reviewed in 2019.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: You can’t go wrong with buying a bottle of this Maker’s Mark Private Select.

OVERALL: The Maker’s Mark Private Select program is one of the most impressive private selection programs in the country. As such, it’s always enjoyable trying a new release because you get to taste a very specific combination of staves as selected by the group leading the pick (in this case Randall’s Wines & Spirits).

This release has a beautiful nose that invites you in to sniff around and stay awhile. I could have easily spent 30 minutes nosing it and pulling out new aromas as it continued to open up. The promise of layered dried fruit, spice cake, caramel, and cocoa was hypnotizing and required me to cut my nosing session short.

My first sip was greeted by a combination of flavors very close to what I smelled but quickly shifted to spiced fruit, chocolate, and toasted oak with a healthy dash of pepper for good measure. It was missing the sweet caramel notes from the nose, and the hit of pepper was a bit unexpected. While this surfaced a bit of oak bitterness, it rapidly disappeared as the finish brought forth a bit of maple to balance things out.

Although I didn’t quite get the flavors I was looking for based on its aroma, this Private Select release is a wonderful example of what’s possible within Maker’s Mark’s program. If you enjoy bourbons that are full of flavor and can challenge your palate, look no further. This one will make a great addition to your home bar.

Learn more about Pop’s whiskey preferences and check out more of his reviews…

Making Maker's Mark Private Select®.

A continuation of our wood-finishing series, Maker's Mark Private Select® is a first-of-its-kind barrel program. It allows our retail or restaurant partners to purchase a barrel and explore their own taste visions of Maker's Mark® – much in the way our past-and-present Maker's® distillers defined theirs. Find your favorite by trying unique expressions of Maker's Mark Private Select at your favorite establishments.

Picking up where Maker's Mark 46™ left off.

Maker's Mark Private Select® offers a new take on the Maker's Mark 46 process. It begins with cask-strength Maker's Mark® and is aged for nine additional weeks in barrels specially fitted with 10 wood-finishing staves in our limestone cellar. Where Private Select separates itself from Maker's Mark 46 is barrel customization using five different stave types. This results in over 1,001 different possible combinations. As a single-barrel bourbons, all expressions of Maker's Mark Private Select are bottled at cask strength – which ranges from 108-114 proof.

Five staves, 1,001 possibilities

Retail partners purchase a barrel and select 10 finishing staves to create a desired flavor profile. There are five different toasted wood types to choose from and over 1,001 different possible combinations. This results in a uniquely customized finish and bold flavors, yet each barrel is undeniably Maker's. After additional aging, the barrels are dumped, and the Private Select is bottled and labeled. You can purchase yours through participating retailers.

P2

Virgin American oak and French oak are the woods of choice for Private Select finishing staves. P2, or Baked American Pure, is made from American oak and is the first stave sampled in the program. It adds notes of brown sugar, vanilla, caramel and spice.

Cu

Next in the tasting order is Cu, also known as Seared French Cuvée. Cu is made from French oak that's ridge-cut and seared with infrared heat. It gives off toasty notes of oak and caramel.

46

The next finishing stave is the one used to finish Maker's Mark 46. It's made from seared French oak and delivers dried fruit, vanilla and spice. A barrel fitted with 10 of these staves would give you a cask-strength version of Maker's Mark 46.

Mo

The Roasted French Mocha stave, or Mo, is French oak toasted at high heat in a convection oven. Mo adds pleasant traces of char, maple and cacao.

Sp

Sp, or the Toasted French Spice stave, is also French oak that's toasted in a convection oven, first at high heat and then low heat. Sp has a flavor profile of smoke, coumarin and spice.

Extended aging

Once a consensus is reached on the desired flavor profile, these special barrels of Maker's Mark Private Select are aged for nine weeks in the cool temperature of our one-of-a-kind limestone cellar.


Disclaimer: Randall's Wines & Spirits provided Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their product for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.


About the Author
Patrick

Patrick "Pops" Garrett

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Patrick Garrett, "Pops" as he's known to his friends, is the founder of Bourbon & Banter, LLC and claims the title of Chief Drinking Officer (CDO). A long-time marketing professional and photographer, Pops hopes to use his professional experience and love of Bourbon to spread the Bourbon Gospel and help everyone realize the therapeutic power of having a good drink with friends. Read Patrick's full profile.

Comments

  1. Steve Coomes

    Just got to go through the short (media visit) version of the Private Select program (lucky enough to have done the full one twice) and I still maintain it’s one of the most exiting things going on in American whiskey. And well it better be for the cost of that $15,000 barrel! Great bottles to have around.

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