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Redemption Bourbon vs Maker’s Mark: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Redemption Bourbon vs Maker’s Mark in this head to head comparison and decide which Bourbon is better for You!

Redemption Bourbon

NoseCaramel, cinnamon, oak
PalateCinnamon, walnuts, vanilla, oak spice
FinishMedium, vanilla, oak spice
Alcohol content88 proof (44% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, Cocktails
Similar toBuffalo Trace, Knob Creek

The nose has a faint sweet aroma of caramel, along notes cinnamon and oak.

On the palate, the Redemption Bourbon does not have much body as it is a bit thin, mildly sweet and smooth with hints of walnuts, cinnamon, vanilla and oak spice.

The finish is short-lived, with vanilla and some oak spice but nothing offensive.

Redemption Bourbon has a mostly smooth flavor, with sweet and spicy notes and very little to no burn. A light easy drinking bourbon with some oak spice that doesn’t overwhelm.

It drinks OK neat but has nothing memorable or remarkable to talk about as it feels too generic.

It gets better when served on the rocks, though, but don’t let it get watered-down as it becomes quite dull.

I’d rather buy the Redemption Rye that makes a better sipper, while the spicy note makes better cocktails.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Redemption Straight Bourbon:

  • Aged for 2 and a half years on average in new, charred American oak barrels.
  • The mash is comprised of 75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% malted barley.
  • This makes this dram unique among the Redemption line-up as most the specialty of the house is to have a rich rye presence.
  • Sourced at MGP of Indiana Distillery and bottled in Bardstown, KY.
  • Redemption is owned by the Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits company based in White Plains, NY.

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 toJameson, Jim Beam

Maker’s Mark is one of the top-selling whiskeys and one of the few carrying wheat on the mash as secondary grain behind instead of rye.

This is the type of bourbon known as “wheated” and tends to be smoother and sweeter than the classic bourbon.

The nose has a nail polish note that fades into vanilla and cherry as you let it develop in the glass.

On the palate Maker’s Mark delivers vanilla, caramel, cherry and honey providing a pleasant mouthfeel.

The finish has a moderate length, is sweet with very little warmth and just a dash of black 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 is a well-rounded and 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.

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.

I’m not fond of using wheated bourbons as mixers as I feel they lack the punch to deliver tasty cocktails making me prefer a classic rye whiskey for an Old Fashioned.

I have compiled a list of similar bourbons to the Maker’s Mark that you should consider if you want to explore further options.

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.
  • 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 holds Jim Beam, although they are crafted at different distilleries.

Redemption Bourbon vs Maker’s Mark: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Redemption $26
Maker’s Mark$22

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

Maker’s Mark is a better sipper

WhiskeyRedemptionMaker’s Mark
  • Maker’s Mark is a smooth and easier drinker than the Redemption as the moderate wheat content in the mash brings a nice bready touch to it.
  • I still find the Redemption to be a better choice to make cocktails as it’s spicy notes tends to make cocktails more punchy, although I’d rather buy the Redemption Rye which makes a better whiskey than this.