Review #32 - Maker's Mark Private Select Pick K&L 55.1%

Blind Review time!

CalZeta sent me 4 blind samples as part of a contest. I have the entire week off, so I'm posting one for each day Tuesday through Friday. Thanks again CalZeta, you're kicking off my vacation days. This morning I was awoken at 5AM by giant booms of thunder and rain roaring so hard against the roof I thought it was hail. Guess I won't be doing yardwork. :-D Still, there's whiskey in the morning!

Thanks CalZeta!

Nose: Ethanol is big up front, even after letting this sit for 20 minutes. Smells young and hot, honestly. Lightly spicy vanilla and caramel. Moments of something floral? Like fresh cut chamomile and mown grass.

Palate: Slightly thin seeming, like all the flavor is there but wrapped in gauze. There's nice things underneath it, but the hot thin components up front don't let them shine. Spice, sweetness, a slightly bitter tang that's not unwelcome. Overall this is balanced underneath, but it's like the volume knob on the flavor needs adjusting.

Finish: Bright and thin. The spice shines for a moment before fading behind the heat. Something sweet and fruity pops through at the end, then fades.

Verdict: This is a rye at maybe 110 proof? Honestly I'm not great at the guessing games. My palate is okay, but I'm no supertaster. It's definitely rye forward, and there's a ton of sweetness, but I'd guess either high rye bourbon or a full on rye. It's pretty good, there's a lot of subtle things going on here that I like. None of them are the top notes anywhere, though, and that needs to change.

Would I buy this: Maybe? I think with more time on it whatever this is could be fantastic. As is, if it were under 30 a bottle I'd buy one of this.

Would I order this in a bar: I would. It's certainly one to get me talking, although some of that might be the enigma of what the hell this is.

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Oh yes. It's not bad at all, it just feels like there's a lot of places it could be better.



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