American Whiskey - Bourbon

Maker's Mark Handmade Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Rating Information

  • Proof66 Rating
    454 / 904
    Rabble Rating
    3.9 / 5.0
    Price (USD)
    $30
    Proof
    90.0

Rating Description

Tier 2
This is a Tier 2 score in the Whiskey category. It means critics have highly recommended the spirit as a benchmark in the category.

Notes

Maker's Mark bourbon is necessarily made from a primarily corn mash (all bourbons are required to be at least 50% corn among other requirements). But Maker's has an unusually high ratio of wheat as opposed to more typical rye or barley and is sometimes called a "wheated bourbon" as a result. The wheat is believed to create a much smoother flavor profile than some of its competitors.

The bourbon is made from a lake on the distillery grounds fed by limestone springs and said to be free of iron (which can turn whiskey green in the barrel). Their grain is purchased from small-farm cooperatives; they also are proud of using their own yeast. The whiskey is fermented in cypress wood tanks as opposed to stainless steel, again to reduce the taste of impurities in the final product.

In February of 2013, Beam, Inc (brand owner) announced that due to capacity issues it was lowering the proof from 90 to 84. At the time they promised the consumer would see no difference in the taste, a statement we found hard to believe. (And indeed, we put it to the test in a throwdown of the two proofs, concluding "there is a palpable difference in taste. There’s no denying it and Beam or Maker’s Mark would be foolish to insist otherwise.") After a public storm, Beam quickly reverted to the 90 proof version. All scores reflected here are the 90 proof expression (the 84 bafflingly becoming somewhat of a collector's item).

San Francisco World Spirits Competition

  • 2010

Beverage Testing Institute

  • This bottle has not been rated by this competition.

Wine Enthusiast

  • 2007
BDanner (21) (2014-08-12)
This is $32 in my neck of the woods, which is the top of my price range. Of the bourbons I've tried so far, this and Knob Creek are 1 and 1a. Very mellow. A great corn sweetness without being cloying. Vanilla & Caramel present first and then the char definitely comes through. Great sipper neat and a couple ice cubes smooths out what few rough notes are there. Made a very good mint julep on Derby Day (that's the only cocktail I've made with Maker's Mark). Readily available as the top or middle shelf bourbon at most restaurants and bars, and always a safe bet. The only thing that keeps me from giving it 5 stars is the availability of several near equals at a lower price point. Solid 4.5 stars...
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tigertankii (4) (2014-05-01)
TL-DR the reviews, Good bourbon with a strong flavor. Nothing to emaciate on. Mixes well with both Dr. pepper and coke. Good back up or go to when it comes to whiskey.
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Robbie(AMDG) (1) (2014-05-01)
One of the best, if not the best, typical shelf brand bourbons. Worth every penny of $22-$25 in my opinion.
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Muncher (101) (2014-04-27)
This is like the wheated version of Woodford Reserve. Not a bad whiskey, but there's nothing memorable about it. Now I don't know what I'm going to do with the rest of my bottles of Maker's and Woodford as I don't drink any whiskey cocktails. Might have to have a "whisk(e)y tasting party" to whittle down my stock in order to make room for more.
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Quetzal (85) (2014-04-22)
(3 out of 5). This is all right. It's a wheated bourbon, which, depending on your taste, will make it or break it. Personally, I'm generally not a fan of wheated bourbons- I prefer more aggressive profiles. However, it really all comes down to personal taste. If you want a smoother, more approachable bourbon, this could be perfect, I just don't find it that interesting. In its approximate price range I would prefer Buffalo Trace or Eagle Rare. Still, it's a respectable product. $25 or so where I live.
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DakotaGuy (54) (2014-03-28)
Maker's Mark isn't a world beater but at the same time it is a nice step up from a lot of things on the typical liquor store bourbon shelf. The finish has a distinct woodiness that some people may not like, but is one of the things I enjoy about MM.
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Storcke (23) (2014-02-19)
Nothing especially bad about MM, but it has a bitter woodiness throughout that negates the sweet smoothness you go to a wheater to find. I guarantee if people who say it's their favorite would try WL Weller Special Reserve, they will switch. The Weller has all the flavor of MM plus more sublte fruitiness, and it lacks the bitterness. Plus it's available for $20 per handle, where MM is up near $30 per fifth now. And Weller 12-year, a truly fine whisky, is $25 per fifth.
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derkerderr (70) (2014-01-27)
I like (don't love) this bourbon. It probably actually deserves 3.5 stars. I like Larceny just as much, if not better, and it is much more affordable. Despite that, Makers Mark is smooth and drinkable. It's not going to WOW you with flavor, but it's a respectable everyday drink.
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Edith MaGoo (56) (2014-01-26)
I'm not a "brand hater" at all, but this is highly overrated. A lot of people act like this is the best bourbon, and its far from it. It's bland, theres nothing that sets it apart from other, cheaper bourbons. It has that same Jim Beam bitter aftertaste, but milder than the cheaper stuff. Its not bad, just not special.
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voiceofsticks (11) (2014-01-20)
Meh! Wheaty, smooth and sweet...
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kclarksville (5) (2013-08-26)
I know that we all have a different pallets so after that being said. This bourbon is sweet yes, smooth yes, complex and flavorful No. I just cant get over the nose, touch of burnt sugar with dried plums and a generous portion of Acetone. Its a good mixer and looks good in my whisky cabin but as far as "My Opinion" goes this whisky does not appeal to my taste buds. I would prefer having Buffalo Trace, Evan Williams single barrel or Four Roses single barrel or even a small batch. Makers did not ring my bell at all. If it works for your taste buds by all means rock on and enjoy it .
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StevenSauce (43) (2013-08-20)
4.2 stars for someone like me, who is more into gin & rum, this is the right bourbon. sweet & mellow, easy to drink with good flavors, great in an old fashioned, mint julep or simply with an ice cube.
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NeatPour (169) (2013-08-09)
This is the one to order at your typical bar where the options are limited... way better options at liquor store in comparable price range
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Phatz1960 (4) (2013-08-02)
Everything else I have consumed at this price point is superior to Maker's Mark. The last bottle I had tasted like very cheap anything. No distinct flavor except for the alcohol itself. I even wrote a letter to the company with the lot # and barcode info, asking if I had gotten a bad batch or something. No response except to say that their product is a superior product and I didn't know what I was talking about. I have drank enough bourbon to know what I am talking about. I'll never purchase again. Too many alternatives.
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Dakota (136) (2013-07-24)
Very impressed a Vodka drinkers whiskey
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dontheduck (8) (2013-07-05)
Benchmark
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Paulie (9) (2013-04-20)
Great bourbon!
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joelbarrett (58) (2013-03-22)
Its a good alternative when theres no other tastier bourbons to choose from.
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adsmith482 (1) (2013-02-17)
Good for the price - and youll find it everywhere.
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midlantic1 (5) (2012-12-24)
I consider this a starter bourbon for those who are just learning to appreciate these old wonderful spirits. This one uses wheat in place of rye to smooth it out. I find it really too smooth and too simple. Plus I notice anything with a wheat base give me a slight headache. Also this is a pretty pricey bourbon. For the begining bourbon drinker I'd recommend Gentleman Jack over this one.
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bdehoog (73) (2012-11-20)
Well made but I am not a very big wheated bourbon fan. Over priced in my opinon at $25. A mixer for sure in my mind because leaves a lot to desire straight. Four Roses is seven bucks cheaper and much more enjoyable.
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tequilaguy (15) (2012-11-16)
Really good bourbon, that is a little over-rated... Good flavor, good mixed.. and great on the rocks... Just missing the flavor neat that Buffalo Trace or Woodford Reserve is straight..
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mclarkwvu (5) (2012-10-27)
One of my very favorites! Smooth, and sweet; overtones of rich caramel, taste lingers leaving your taste buds begging for more. Very warm.
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ProfessorCocktail (49) (2012-10-01)
Maker's Mark takes its knocks for being dull and uncomplicated, but I think that has a lot more to do with perceptions than reality. During a recent tasting, our panel noted that this bourbon actually had a complex composition with a lot of flavor. The flavors of corn and grain really blossom on the tongue, leading to a long, enjoyable finish. If you haven't tried it in a while, it's worth picking up a bottle and seeing what you think. You might just be surprised.

For more reviews, including the results of our bourbon taste tests, please visit ProfessorCocktail.com.

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ProfessorCocktail (49) (2012-10-01)
Maker's Mark takes its knocks for being dull and uncomplicated, but I think that has a lot more to do with perceptions than reality. During a recent tasting, our panel noted that this bourbon actually had a complex composition with a lot of flavor. The flavors of corn and grain really blossom on the tongue, leading to a long, enjoyable finish. If you haven't tried it in a while, it's worth picking up a bottle and seeing what you think. You might just be surprised.

For more reviews, including the results of our bourbon taste tests, please visit ProfessorCocktail.com.

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StanMemTn (81) (2012-09-09)
This has consistenly been my favorite bourbon. It has that round, sweet flavor profile that I prefer. It's high enough proof to get your attention. I may try more different bourbons now than I used to but a bottle of Maker's always seems like coming home.
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TimeToGoHome (32) (2012-08-21)
Smooth with some complexities.  Just fine neat.  Adding water makes it taste thin.
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nathanbruley (7) (2012-06-26)
Really great for the price, sweet smooth, overall one of the best at this price point!
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magezi (56) (2012-03-08)
I liked this on very much! Maybe it's because this is my first wheat bourbon, so smooth and pleasant. 90 proof makes it bigger and love the cinnamon/gingerbread finish! This was my first "better" bourbon and I think this was perfect start!
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br8veheart (2) (2012-03-03)

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11Johnathan11 (12) (2011-11-26)
For sipping Woodford Reserve is my favorite. However if I feel like a little more sweetness. Then it's Makers Mark. Maker's Mark is also my choice for mixing. This is a great bourbon.
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Kentuckeeh (2) (2011-11-17)
Great all-purpose boubon; works well with a mixer or as a base for a Manhatten. Its smoother and sweeter than most. The history is interesting and it has the best tour on the Bourbon Trail.
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Alchemist (50) (2011-09-10)
The Maker's Mark has an excellent nose dominated by rich fruity raisins and sweet sherry. The body arrives sweet and develops spices and a balanced amount of pepper - very nice. The finish is long and bittersweet towards the end leaving you with a good medium sweet aftertaste. This is a bargain at its price point!
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bigdaddyb (8) (2011-07-29)
Good first sip, but fell apart by the end of the glass. There are far better for the price.
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evantate09 (7) (2011-07-13)
I have never really understood the praise that Maker's Mark gets. It certainly is not a bad bourbon, but I think it is quite overrated. For the longest time, I have thought that it was entirely too harsh compared to other bourbons that I've tried. I tasted it again today and noted pretty much the same thing. I have had smoother bourbons for the same price, namely Knob Creek. The flavor profile is just fairly standard and doesn't throw any kind of exciting complexity at me. I will say that if this is the best bourbon at a bar, I will certainly order it if I am really in the mood for a Manhattan, but I love to drink bourbon neat and this bourbon just does not do it for me. This is a good middle-of-the-road standard bourbon, but if you ask me, there are better bourbons at the same or lower price that you should be looking into.
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dschafer (17) (2011-03-29)
Great standard bourbon for any bar or home enthusiast
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TheSippingLife (111) (2011-03-15)
I have tried MM at various times over the last 18 months, and had a different impression every time. It seems to have gotten smoother, while possessing less burn; these are good developments. But I can really get over what others call the peculiar finish or aftertaste, which I can only classify as rubbery in flavor. This unfortunate aspect reminds me of that Christian Brothers swill called "brandy". MM is fine if its available, but I say try something else if there are other options.
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iamdr007 (1) (2010-10-07)
I tried Maker's Mark recently for the first time and thought it was an excelent spirit. This whisky is smooth, drinkable and a great product for the price.
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ChrisCarlsson (326) (2010-08-28)
A very civilized bourbon if a bit light for my personal taste. A easy-to-find, predictable, bourbon that appeals to someone seeking a good quality lighter style of bourbon. A good value for the money.
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jfatt340 (15) (2010-08-05)
There are better options at or below this price point.
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TheLibrarian (54) (2009-07-19)
My favorite bourbon by far. Slightly oakey and slightly sweet. Makes a great base for cocktails like an Old Fashioned or fine on the rocks. The flavor is just complex enough for you to be able pick out several different tastes, but not enough to be overwhelming. And then there's the cool bottle design. How can you not like this bourbon?
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Doug (1) (2009-05-11)
Recently tried this for the first time. It is an exceptionally smooth Kentucky Bourbonwith a great flavor and good finish. I would highly recommend to anyone wanting to try out a good Bourbon.
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We have been busy tagging every bottle on our site with keywords. If you are interested in a particular keyword, you can click on a tag to search on that keyword and find other bottles with that same characteristic.

Here are the barcodes we have collected from various sizes of this bottle. If you have additional barcodes please submit them to us!
  • 085246139462
  • 085246139417
  • 085246139424
  • 085246185001
  • 085246171561
  • 085246139431
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