For my companion this evening, I chose the last bit of Maker’s 46 Cask Strength, a small bottle of goods that we picked up at the Maker’s Mark Distillery and have been drawing out ever since. Maker’s 46 is finished Maker’s Mark aged for 10 weeks longer in barrels fitted with French oak staves. It's high proof, but for cask strength, not crazy – 108.9 proof.
The smell is syrupy sweetness and the color deep molasses. It goes down hot but flavorful, with a sweetness that breaks the heat of the proof. A nice butterscotch coating takes over the tongue. By the third sip, the whiskey takes on a softness unexpected for so high a proof.
Just a few drops of water opens up some layers, and I got more citrus and wood with a hint of vanilla. The wood now lingered longer on the tongue than butterscotch.
The longer I sit with the drink, the more it takes on a richness, and I think of vanilla frosting. Dessert for my weekend.