The fifth and finale chapter of the current Limited Edition Wood Finishing Series (WFS) by Maker’s Mark has just been announced, no official debut time as of this moment. The finale is titled “BEP” (Barrel Entry Proof), clocking in at 110.7 proof (55.35% abv) and has the addition of 10 virgin toasted oak staves per the finishing process. The brand will continue forward with new WFS expressions.
Each of the five WFS releases, going back to the 2019 inaugural “RC6”, has a proprietary wood stave profile, each with a mission to demonstrate and focus on a procedural area that effects flavor profiling. For the upcoming “BEP”, Maker’s Mark intends to demonstrate the enhanced flavor quality achieved in using a lower BEP (their standard being 110), vs the industry norm of 125 BEP.
Per economics, it’s more cost effective at a higher BEP. Essentially, it saves money vs a lower BEP. In 1962, congress raised the BEP from 110 to 125. However, Maker’s Mark has kept their BEP at 110 as many years later, never raising it over over the passing decades. And per their claim, they are the only continually operating distillery to not raise their BEP since ’62.
PER THE BRAND WEBSITE:
Lower barrel entry proof. Bigger flavor. This limited-release bourbon showcases the influence of Maker’s® unique, 110 barrel entry proof (also known as BEP). It was crafted to amplify the balanced wood sugars, softer tannins and lasting finish achieved with our low 110 BEP. Special finishing staves were used to amplify notes of vanilla and sweet spice that naturally occur from lower BEPs.
It will be interesting to see the progression of experimental releases moving forward in wake of the departure of Jane Bowie (Master of Maturation) and Denny Potter (Master Distiller) late last year. The long term MM employees are embarking on a new conjoint distilling business. If we had to bet, our money is on the red wax darlings continuing with strong market innovation.
More info, visit https://www.makersmark.com/wood-finishing-series-2023-release