Maker’s Mark’s Newest “Wood Finishing” 2 Bottle Experimental Release: Top Floor vs Bottom Floor Barrel Aging

2022 Maker's Mark Wood Finishing Series

Trivia time – how much does a full 53 gallon barrel of whiskey weigh? Per, each oak vessel of amber liquid comes in at an admirably stout 525 lbs. Aside from satisfying human curiosity, why would Maker’s be interested in displaying such knowledge?

That’s because they rotate each and every barrel of Bourbon. Per the brand, a barrel will spend at least 3 summers in the top section of a rickhouse. Then pending it’s maturity, it will be moved to a lower section.


Why Rotate Your Barrels While Aging?

Now Maker’s is not a small brand, obviously. They have lots and lots (literally) of barrels aging at any given moment. Why would they maintain an old fashioned tradition requiring a heap load of additional labor intensive work (and labor costs subsequently)? We’re not aware of another mid level and above sized Bourbon company that rotates its barrel inventory.

It’s their way of maintaining taste profile consistency. As MM affectionately calls it, “purposeful inefficiency”.

Barrels aging at the higher levels within a Rickhouse will be exposed to significantly higher temperatures in the warmer seasons. Barometric pressure is enhanced. Ultimately, the liquid interacts more with the wood versus the lower level. Leave a barrel upstairs too long, you’ll start to get some undesirable taste things. Leave it exclusively on the lower level, it may go “undercooked” if not aged for the right length of time.

Wood Finishing Series 2022 Release: BRT-01 & BRT-02

Which brings now to the main event…BRT-01 and BRT-02, the 2 bottle series of MM’s newest Wood Finishing Series.

BRT stands for “Hand Barrel Rotation”. BRT-01 is symbolic of barrels aging in the upper hotter levels of a rickhouse. BRT-02, the lower cooler levels.

BRT-01 (upper levels) uses American oak staves to dial up the flavors developed over the first three years of aging. BRT-02 (lower levels) is uses French oak staves to dial up the flavors developed over its final years of aging.

Bother are at identical barrel strength of 109.4 proof.

TASTING NOTES (Brand Provided):

BRT-01 Tasting Notes
AROMA: Caramel and butterscotch mixed with a sweet spice
TASTE: Bright, brown sugar and stone fruit
FINISH: Warm and toasty, paired with hints of honey
PROOF: Cask Strength (109.4)

BRT-02 Tasting Notes
AROMA: A seasoned oak nuttiness combined with molasses
TASTE: Prevalent dark fruit and chocolate with baking spices
FINISH: Long, viscous and round
PROOF: Cask Strength (109.4)

AVAILABAILITY & PRICE:              

Fine spirits retailers nationwide. SRP $59.99 per 750ml bottle.

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