Score: 9.0 / 10
Distillery: Maker's Mark
Type: Kentucky Straight Wheated Bourbon
Maker's Mark RC6 was one of my favorite bourbons from 2019 period. I stopped into a local store and noticed that they had ONE bottle left so I quickly bought it for $59. On the way out of the store the owner stopped me and asked me if I saw that he had the RC6 so I pulled it out of the bag and showed him that I bought the last bottle. He said that he only got two cases and they sold out almost instantly (except for the bottle that I was lucky enough to snag). Then he asked me if I wanted to try it and cracked his own bottle right there so we could both enjoy a pour. I actually got chills from it and was amazed at first sip. I expected it to be good, but this caught me off guard and I was thoroughly impressed.
Flash forward to August of 2020 and Maker's Mark announced their newest bottle in their Wood Finishing Series: SE4 x PR5 (doesn't quite roll off the tongue as easily as RC6). I was so excited to get a bottle, but being in Colorado I knew they wouldn't hit shelves for a while. Well a while passed and on 10/23 I was lucky enough to grab a bottle from the same store for $59. This time around it was less dumb luck and more calculated as I spent the last year continuing to build a relationship with this store and the owner.
As we have said on the podcast. You need to drink this one! However, put one aside, because 20 years from now this series is going to be collectable when people catch on to how good the top shelf Maker's products are getting. Also....... people open these! they don't sit on a shelf for no reason for that one flex photo.
If you want to hear us make fun of the crazy name of these staves and talk about other Maker's Mark, check out episode 18 of the Po It Up whiskey podcast right here.
Nose: With my nose near the bottom of glass I get huge notes of Crème Brûlée, mocha, vanilla, caramel and brown sugar. Moving the nose to the top of the glass yields robust banana pudding notes (Nilla wafers, banana and cream).
Palate: So creamy and simultaneously effervescent. Giant vanilla and caramel flavors. Almost chocolate at points and feels chew-able like a liquid Milky Way candy bar. Back-end gives you the perfect "Kentucky Hug" that ramps up into an incredible cinnamon and oak spice. At the very end of the drinking experience a banana pudding pops up again and disappears.
Finish: A long lingering and moderately tannic finish. Chocolate and burnt caramel sit in the spotlight surrounded by toasted oak and sugar. After all the intense flavors fade, dark fruit (blackberries, raisin, cherry) remains and reminds me of the finish on a dry red wine.
S+ Sensational - The Pinnacle (9.5+)
A - AXEceptional (astounding) (9-9.5)
B - bravo (step aBove average) (8-8.9)
C - competent (7-7.9)
D - disappointing (6-6.9)
F - flush it down the toilet (fail) (5.9 below)
Notes: Availability? Rare. Limited edition. It's not clear how many bottles are available in this release. but if it's anything like 2019's release of RC6 it's around 50,000 (or 250 barrels). If you see only under $80, I would pick it up.