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Maker’s Mark 46 vs Weller Special Reserve: Head to Head!

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

Maker’s Mark 46

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, Maker’s Mark 101

Maker’s Mark and Weller and two of the few bourbons made from a mash using wheat as secondary grain behind corn as opposed to rye.

In general, wheated bourbons tend to be smoother and sweeter.

Maker’s Mark 46 is the same bourbon as the regular Maker’s Mark but better tasting as 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 is owned by Beam Suntory.

Weller Special Reserve

NoseMaple, apple, leather, oak
PalateCaramel, vanilla, chocolate, baking spice
FinishOld leather, cinnamon, oak
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkNeat, add water
Similar toLarceny, Blanton’s, Weller 107

Nose is smooth and mostly sweet, rich in maple honey, apples, with some old leather and oak coming behind.

On the palate, the Special Reserve brings caramel, vanilla and cinnamon at first, followed by dark chocolate and a dash of citrus.

Finish is warming yet pleasant, somewhat dry, with lasting flavors of old leather, spicy cinnamon candy and oak spice.

Drinks nicely neat with very little to no burn, yet adding a drop of water releases sweetness, along more oak making it more tasty.

Weller Special Reserve is smooth and sweet as you would expect from a wheated bourbon. It could use more body as it feels to be lacking a bit, but overall this is a satisfying pour nonetheless.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Weller Special Reserve:

  • Weller uses an undisclosed amount of wheat in the mash but likely to be around 15%.
  • Weller was the first bourbon back in 1849 to add wheat to the mash as a secondary grain behind corn.
  • Weller is aged anywhere from 4 to 7 years.
  • Earned a Gold Medal at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
  • Crafted at the Buffalo Trace Distillery.

Maker’s Mark 46 vs Weller Special Reserve: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Maker’s Mark 46$43
Weller Special Reserve$63

Maker’s Mark 46 vs Weller Special Reserve: Which is better?

Weller is marginally better

WhiskeyMaker’s Mark 46Weller Special Reserve
  • Maker’s Mark 46 is a huge improvement over the classic Maker’s Mark as the additional aging makes it feel polished, while making it more flavorful.
  • It lacks a bit in the finish and doesn’t feel as complex when compared to the Weller but the added proof provides more body.
  • Weller is just a bit better but considering the huge price gap I might pocket the difference and stay with the Maker’s Mark 46 which is a great alternative to Weller.