Makers Mark 46 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky

Makers Mark 46 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Maker’s Mark 46 is a Kentucky straight Bourbon with no-age-statement. This wheat bourbon is the brainchild of Bill Samuels Jr., son of Bill and Margie Samuels, the founders of Maker’s Mark. Released in 2010, The Maker’s Mark 46 was the first new recipe created at the distillery since production first began in 1953.Bill & Margie Samuels named the whisky ‘46’ since it was the file number of the French Oak staves that they used to ‘finish’ their Bourbon, drawing out the influence from the wood. Maker’s Mark are also one of the select few American whiskey brands that prefer to use ‘whisky’, dropping the ‘E’. 

History of Marker’s Mark Bourbon Whiskey

On October 1, 1953, T. William “Bill” Samuels Sr. purchased the Burks Distillery in Kentucky, the bourbon capital of the world and five years later, in 1958, the Samuels released the first batch of Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whiskey.

After accidently setting fire to the family’s only copy of a trusted 170-year-old recipe. Bill Samuels began experimenting with different flavourings and baked bread with various grain combinations instead of distilling them. It is during one such experiment that Bill Samuels switched the traditional rye grain with the soft, red winter wheat. This replacement gives the Maker’s Mark it’s well known traditional sweetness.  

Since the latest discovery helped the flavour of Maker's Mark stand out from the crowd, co-founder Margie Samuels wanted to create a bottle that would do the same. The shape of the bottle, look of the label, and the signature red wax seal were all Margie’s contributions.   Margie hand-dipped the first bottles in her kitchen using a home fryer to melt the wax. This ensured that no two bottles were exactly alike as each bottle had a unique wax tendril flowing down its neck. Even today, each bottle of the Maker’s Mark is hand-dipped in red wax at the distillery.

Maker’s Mark prefer to use refer to their product as ‘whisky’ and not ‘whiskey’, which is the standard practice in America. They chose to spell it this way to honor the family’s Scottish heritage. One more interesting thing about Maker’s Mark is their use of Red Winter Wheat instead of Rye, which is another common practice in America not followed by the company.

Making Process of Marker’s Mark 46 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Just like traditional Maker’s Mark expressions, the Maker’s Mark 46 starts out as a wheat bourbon which is then emptied from its barrel to add in 10 more seared French oak staves. The whisky is returned to the barrels and aged for around nine more weeks.  After trying out a dozen of wood staves that were cut and processed in a number of different ways, Bill Samuels Jr. finalized on the flavour that the French oak imparted. This wooden stave was saved on file as “Stave Profile No. 46”, thus giving the new drink its name.  Any longer and the drink would turn bitter and absorb the flavour of the wood, a usual effect of additional aging. These staves amp up the flavour of the bourbon, distinguishing it from its predecessor.  

These barrels are stored in a limestone cellar to maintain a cool temperature throughout the ageing process. Higher temperatures cause the wooden barrels to expand and release bitter tannins.

Alcohol Percentage in Marker’s Mark 46 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

The Maker's Mark 46 contains 47% ABV (94 US Proof), slightly higher than the standard limit for Bourbon whiskeys. 


Silver at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in 2018. 

Silver at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in 2018. 

Silver at the Meininger’s International Spirits Award 2017 in the American Whiskey category.  Gold at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in 2015. 

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28th January 2017

Makers Mark 46 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Tasting Notes


Toasty oak aroma with strong hints of caramel and vanilla.


Creamy with rich notes of caramel, cinnamon, and mulled spices.


Smooth and subtle with a lingering sweetness.

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