Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series 2021 Limited Release FAE-01 Review

About – “Our third limited release from the Maker’s Mark® Wood Finishing Series joins our previous years’ expressions in honoring our signature bourbon – this time, amplifying the naturally present dried fruit and woody richness in a distinctively Maker’s® way. We like to say it tastes exactly how our barrel warehouse smells, with rich figgy notes complemented by tobacco undertones and a pleasantly dank woodiness.” For 2021 Maker’s has made the decision to do two limited releases in the wood finishing series. This is the first of those two releases. FAE-01 clocks in at 110.3 proof and retails for $60.

Nose – First whiff gives off a bit of darker profile than most Maker’s. Second take brings a deeply toasted vanilla and milk chocolate notes. This is giving me a real s’mores vibe. I’m not really picking up the tobacco from the label, but there is some coffee hiding there if you keep digging.

Palate – The toast hits first, but is quickly pushed aside by those cherry and cinnamon notes that are familiar to any fan of wheaters. After that the toast comes back in with the chocolate note creating some that is like a chocolate covered cherry smashed in the middle of a s’more. The finish starts off with that deeply toasted vanilla that shifts over to milk chocolate and back to vanilla and cherry for a nice medium-long finish.

Score – A

Verdict – I am a sucker for both wheated bourbons and toasted barrel finishes when they are done correctly, and this is one is done correctly. A lot of times with these toasted barrel finishes they overpower the softer notes in the bourbon, but in this case you get all of those great vanilla and chocolate toasty notes without overpowering that cherry that comes through in the mid palate. That makes for an excellent combination and an early bourbon of the year contender for me.

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