Maker's Mark has released a limited-edition Cellar Aged Bourbon, making use of a unique on-site maturation resource.
The whisky contains a blend of 11- and 12-year-old bourbons, but has been released as a no-age-statement bottling to emphasise the method and environment of maturation over the time period.
Its maturation began with six years in the distillery's traditional racked warehouses in Loretto, Kentucky. it was then aged for a further five years in its unique limestone whisky cellar where the climate is consistently cool, shielding the whisky from the great temperature swings experienced by barrels stored above ground.
Rob Samuels, an eighth-generation whisky maker and grandson of the founders of Maker's Mark, explained that the distillery had shied away from decade-plus ageing for its whiskies since it was established in 1953. “It’s not that we didn’t believe in it; we simply hadn’t found a way to do it that didn’t compromise on our taste vision – until now,” he said.
“Cellar Aged embodies an older whisky that’s distinctly Maker’s Mark – one rooted in challenging convention, delivering new flavour experiences from the environment that surrounds us, and building on a taste vision that’s been generations in the making.”
Maker's Mark says the maturation period in the cooler cellar means tannins were imparted more slowly from barrel to liquid, which it says has achieved a “deeper, darker” flavour in the bourbon with less bitterness.
Maker's Mark Cellar Aged will be an annual limited release; the maturation approach will remain the same, but the specific blend of aged bourbons will change. The inaugural release comprises 87 per cent 12-year-old bourbon and 13 per cent 11-year-old bourbon and is bottled at cask strength of 115.7 proof (57.85% ABV).
Cellar Aged will be available in the UK from October 2023 at a recommended price of £145 through retailers including Berry Bros & Rudd in London.