For those who don't know, Maker's Mark is a bourbon that can be found almost anywhere. It carries it's own classic taste and takes its place among other great bourbons. Nothing ever goes wrong with a cheeky Maker's and coke when you're out.
There's a certain golden amber look to Maker's Mark which gives it a classy facade that you would expect from a premium drink; however, this wouldn't often be classified as a premium drink per se. Smelling this straight will immediately sting the nostrils and not in a good way. Upon trying the straight bourbon I suddenly wondered why I remembered enjoying it in a previous life as it had mostly just tasted of alcohol. What little flavour that was present did have a bit of sweetness but was overall just watery.
I would not ever recommend a shot of Maker's unless you're looking for something easy to punch down and want to get 'down and dirty' for a big night.
The Bar Test
Attempting the bar test instantly redeemed Maker's Mark for me. Adding coke and ice seems to work perfectly for Maker's as it really brings out a smokey oak flavour. It just tastes better with coke. That's it. This is how Maker's is meant to be done. Having just the right combination of ice and coke, which you should be receiving at a bar, is necessary to hit that optimal chilled taste.
Now this is great and all, however not every bottle of your basic Maker's Mark is going to taste the same as it's created and distributed in large batches. So the great taste might be slightly different every time you have it. But hey, this just makes it something you can continue trying every now and again in order to fully identify that distinctive Maker's flavour.
Maker's is something you could actually have on a big or classy night. It's not often considered a 'house' spirit unless you are somewhere classy (in which case touché my good sir) but it is also not considered to be a premium drink. Either way, big or classy, it is something you could drink all night. Personally, I think there are many other spirits that more fitting for a big night and with the pleasant Maker's flavour I would prefer this for a classy night.
1. There's a sweet smell and taste present. Not nearly as aggressive as it is straight. Almost smells like a honey bourbon. It's strong but not overwhelming so if that's what you like then this'll work for you.
2. This smells like what you'd expect from a standard mixed bourbon. It's easy to drink so I wouldn't be unhappy using this for any drinking games that might be on the go.
3. The smell is just coke without any upfront taste. Everything you get here will be in the aftertaste. It's obvious that the coke is beginning to dilute the bourbon.
4. It's just coke at this point until it hits the back of your throat. If you're concentrating that is. And hey if you're pouring this much coke in you clearly are not concentrating.
$44 per 700ml bottle
Standard price at Dan Murphy's Australia, prices may vary.