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Bulleit Bourbon vs Maker’s Mark: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Bulleit Bourbon vs Maker’s Mark in this in-depth comparison and decide which Bourbon is better for You!

Bulleit Bourbon

bulleit-bourbon-marcas-de-whisky
  • Nose: Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, almond
  • Palate: Rye spice, caramel, dried fruit, nuts
  • Finish: Long, caramel, rye spice
  • Alcohol content: 90 proof (45% ABV)
  • How to drink: Rocks, cocktails
  • Similar to: Woodford Reserve, Buffalo Trace

Taste:

The nose provides a blast of rye spice at first, followed by hints of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg.

On the palate, the Bulleit Bourbon has a good texture. Flavor feels spicy on the first sip product of the high rye presence in the mash, but as you let it develop it becomes rich in dried fruit and tasty nutty notes.

There is some warmth on the finish yet pleasant, rich in spice, oak, with some sweet notes coming late to the party.

Is it good?

Bulleit is well balanced, sweet on the palate, with a strong spicy finish due to the large portion of rye used in the mashbill.

Spicier than the typical bourbon but smoother than a rye whiskey, making it a good option for those who want rye spice in moderation.

Bulleit Bourbon makes a good sipper as you can drink it either neat or rocks and also mixes nicely in an Old Fashioned or Whiskey Sour as rye makes cocktails more interesting.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Bulleit Bourbon:

  • Bulleit is aged for 6 years in charred American white oak casks. Whiskeys become oakier as they spend more time in the barrel.
  • Mash bill is made from 68% corn, 28% rye and 4% malted barley making it one of the bourbons with the highest rye content; this grain gives the whiskey a rich spicy note.
  • The brand was created in 1987 by Tom Bulleit, an ex-Four Roses, although he sold it to Diageo, a British drinks giant who owns Johnnie Walker, Casamigos, Don Julio among a zillion others.

Maker’s Mark

makers-mark-marcas-de-whisky
  • Nose: Caramel, vanilla, fruity notes
  • Palate: Sweet, nutty, baking spice, bread-like flavor
  • Finish: Honeyed, smooth with a bit of spice
  • Alcohol content: 90 proof (45% ABV)
  • How to drink: Add water, rocks
  • Similar to: Jim Beam, Jack Daniel’s

Taste:

There is nail polish on the nose at first that fades into vanilla and cherry as you let it develop in the glass.

On the palate there is vanilla, caramel, cherry and honey providing a pleasant mouthfeel.

The finish has a moderate length, is sweet with very little heat and just a tad of pepper.

Adding a drop of water makes it taste like a Tootsie Pop, while tuning down the spicy note making it easier to sip.

Is it good?

Maker’s Mark is a well-rounded enjoyable bourbon without any bold flavors.

Nothing stands-out but there are no off-putting notes as it is nicely balanced, yet with enough body.

This is one of the few bourbons along Pappy Van WinkleWeller and Larceny that use wheat in the mash bill and you can tell by the bread-like hints. 

It makes a good entry-level bottle to those new to bourbon or liquors in general or a nice “everyday whisky” for those looking for a non-challenging sipper.

Not the best mixer though, as its profile does not make cocktails interesting. You better use an affordable rye whiskey to make a tasty cocktail.

Maker’s Mark facts:

  • Maker’s Mark is made from 70% corn, 16% red wheat, and 14% malted barley. 
  • While most whiskeys age for a set amount of time, Maker’s is bottled when the tasters call it to be ready; that is between 6 and 7 years.
  • This one of the few whiskey brands in the United States that uses “whisky” instead of “whiskey” in its name due to the founders Scottish heritage.
  • Maker’s bottles stand out from the rest due to the red wax seal that is still made by hand nowadays.
  • Maker’s Mark is owned by Beam Suntory, a Japanese drinks giant who also owns Jim Beam and is headquartered in Osaka, Japan.

Differences between Bulleit & Maker’s Mark

Bulleit is a bourbon high in rye while Maker’s Mark is a wheated bourbon

  • Rye adds grassy and peppery notes and a noticeable spicy finish. It’s a tad more demanding.
  • Wheated bourbons have a softer and more gentle flavor as compared to bourbons that use rye as their secondary grain, and have a slightly sweeter taste.

Bulleit Bourbon vs Maker’s Mark: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPrice
Bulleit Bourbon$33
Maker’s Mark$32

Bulleit Bourbon vs Maker’s Mark: Which is better?

Bulleit is a more interesting whiskey while Maker’s Mark is smoother

WhiskeyBulleit BourbonMaker’s Mark
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Maker’s is the smoother of the two as wheat makes it easier to drink. Maker’s Mark is an inoffensive pour with any memorable tasting notes but it gets the job done providing a serviceable pour that you can sip neat or rocks.
  • Bulleit is a far more tasty and a bit warmer, it drinks nicely with ice or with just a dash of Coke. If you are exclusively looking for a mixer I’d suggest you use this as its rich spicy flavor will add a nice kick to you favorite homemade cocktail.

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