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

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

Maker’s Mark

NoseCaramel, vanilla, fruity notes
PalateSweet, nutty, baking spice, bread-like flavor
FinishHoneyed, smooth and a bit of spice
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water, rocks
Similar toBulleit, Jim Beam, Jack Daniel’s

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.

Maker’s Mark (Similar Bourbons) 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 Winkle, Weller 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 a rye whiskey to make a tasty cocktail.

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

  • 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.

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 toWeller Antique 107, Larceny Barrel Proof

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 vs Cask Strength: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Maker’s Mark$32
Maker’s Mark Cask Strength$53

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

Maker’s Mark Cask Strength is the same just that much better

WhiskeyMaker’s MarkCask Strength
  • If you like the traditional Maker’s Mark you are gonna like the Cask Strength as it preserves most of its flavors but this is a massive upgrade as it emboldens it in every way.
  • 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 where I rank every bottle!

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