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Maker’s Mark 46 vs Maker’s Mark Cask Strength: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Maker’s Mark 46 vs Maker’s Mark Cask Strength in this in-depth comparison and decide which Maker’s 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 toMaker’s Mark 101, Buffalo Trace

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 Cask Strength

NoseCherry, vanilla, oak
PalateOak, vanilla, cherry, baking spice
FinishPleasantly warm, cherry, oak spice
Alcohol content114 proof (57% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water, rocks
Similar toMaker’s Mark, Weller 107

The Cask Strength is the same as the regular but bottled at cask strength, meaning that it was not diluted with water when pulled from the barrel.

Made using the traditional Maker’s Mark corn, red winter wheat and barley mash bill.

The nose is pleasantly sweet, with cherry, vanilla, oak and a bit of tobacco.

On the palate the body feel creamy delivering nice warmth at first, and then you can taste the oak along the vanilla, cherry sweetness and a whiff of baking spice.

The finish has heat that ramps up, is rich in oaky notes and spice.

Maker’s Mark Cask Strength is a satisfying pour, it takes many of the flavors of the traditional Maker’s but gets better in every aspect.

It feels more tasty, while delivering pleasant warmth that can easily be tuned down with a drop or two of water or a large ice ball.

This whisky is rich and full bodied, striking a good balance between spice and sweetness. Cask Strength is the Maker’s Mark turned all the way up!

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

  • Aged for approximately 6 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 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 Cask Strength: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPrice
Maker’s Mark 46$42
Maker’s Mark Cask Strength$53

Maker’s Mark 46 vs Cask Strength: Which is better?

Cask Strength is a champ in terms of value

Whiskey46Cask Strength
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Both bourbons are upgrades over the long-established Maker’s Mark but Cask Strength is a massive overhaul delivering not only a very good bourbon but great value for the money as you are unlikely to find a better bourbon at Cask Strength at this price point.
  • Maker’s Mark is a nice wheated bourbon, not a Weller but not that far away in many ways making it a good option for the price conscious buyer.
  • Cask Strength is not the smoothest pour and has a bit of spice on the tail, but nothing that can’t be tuned down with a dash of water or a large ice cube.
  • Water is a better option as it delivers additional sweetness, more oak, while tuning down the heat and spice.

Consider further options by reading my post: Discover the Best Maker’s Mark Bourbon where I rank every bottle!

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