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Maker’s Mark 46 vs Maker’s Mark 101: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Maker’s Mark 46 vs Maker’s Mark 101 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Bourbon is better for You!

Maker’s Mark 46

makers-mark-46-french-oaked
NoseOak, cherry, vanilla, fruity notes
PalateOak, cherry, vanilla, caramel
FinishMedium-length, oak, cherry, spice
Alcohol content94 proof (47% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water, rocks
Similar toWeller Special Reserve, Cask Strength

Maker’s Mark 46 has many of the flavors of the regular Maker’s Mark which should not come as a surprise as they are the same bourbon.

The 46 is made by taking fully aged traditional Maker’s Mark at cask strength and inserting specially seared French oak staves into the barrels.

This process added a notorious oaky hint to the bourbon that goes from the nose to the finish, while adding more vanilla and a more refined and tasty version of the old good Maker’s Mark.

The bourbon finishes aging for around 6 months before bottling.

Nose of oak, caramel, vanilla and subtle fruity notes.

Taste is rich in oak at first but the vanilla comes in quick and delivers a really nice taste to it. It stays creamy and moves into a cherry flavor with some caramel.

The finish is long with very little warmth, with oaky notes, cherry and a tad of spice.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Maker’s Mark 46:

  • Aged for around 6 and a half years.
  • Made using the traditional Maker’s Mark corn, red winter wheat and barley mash bill.
  • Maker’s bottles stand out from the rest due to the red wax seal that is still made by hand nowadays.

Maker’s Mark 101

makers-mark-101
NoseToasted bread, caramel, orange peel
PalateRipe fruit, mint, caramel, vanilla, oak
FinishMedium to long, ripe fruit, oak
Alcohol content101 proof (50.5% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water, rocks
Similar toWild Turkey 101, MM Cask Strength

Maker’s Mark 101 is the same whiskey as the original just that bottled at 101 proof, meaning that it went through less water dilution before bottling.

As a result you get most of the tasting notes, but emboldened in flavor, along a creamier texture.

The nose is subtle, with hints of toasted bread, caramel and citrus peel with very little ethanol.

On the palate, the Maker’s Mark 101 displays a good texture, fruity notes with a bit of mint at first, followed by caramel, vanilla and oak.

The finish is medium to long, fruity with hints of oak and just a whiff of pepper.

Adding water brings nutty notes, along more caramel and a leathery note.

What I find remarkable about this bourbon is how little warmth is felt despite being bottled at 101 proof. There is no noticeable heat making it a very good sipper.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Maker’s Mark 101:

  • Same whiskey as the original Maker’s Mark but bottled at higher proof.
  • Aged for 6 years.
  • Made using the same wheated mash of Maker’s Mark.
  • 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 Mark is owned by Beam Suntory, a Japanese drinks giant who also owns Jim Beam and is headquartered in Osaka.

Maker’s Mark 46 vs 101: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPrice
Maker’s Mark 46$42
Maker’s Mark 101$44

Maker’s Mark 46 vs Maker’s Mark 101: Which is better?

The 101 is more robust and tasty

Whiskey46101
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • This comes down to your personal preference towards oak.
  • If you are fond of a rich oaky note from start to finish the Maker’s Mark 46 is a better deal as the additional aging using those French staves produced a more refined of the traditional Maker’s but with more oak.
  • Personally, I prefer the 101 as it feels quite fruity, with nice caramel and vanilla notes, along oak and very little heat despite the high proof.
  • The 101 becomes way better when adding a dash of water making it entirely satisfying.

We can summarize by saying that both drams are upgrades over the old good Maker’s Mark, you get most of the tasting notes, but the 46 has more oak while the 101 is a bolder version.

Learn more about this brand by reading my post: Discover the Best Maker’s Mark Bottle where I rank every offering.

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