Kentucky whiskey brand Maker’s Mark has unveiled FAE-01, the first of two limited release expressions from its Wood Finish Series.
Marking the third year of limited releases from Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series, the 2021 release utilises the distillery’s wood stave-finishing technique which emphasizes dark, dried fruit and woody notes and a full-bodied texture.
“Every whisky in our Wood Finishing Series is meant to have a strong point of view; it should tell a story about what we do at the distillery,” says Jane Bowie, director of innovation at Maker’s Mark.
“For 2021 we wanted to use wood to draw out those underlying bold qualities of classic Maker’s that we get from non-chill filtration — heavy oakiness, earthy fig and that creamy, palate-coating mouthfeel. The more we experimented with different stave types, the more we realized one bourbon wouldn’t even scratch the surface of big flavour and texture, so we’re excited to share a pair of releases that tell two sides of a complete story.”
FAE-01, uses an American oak stave seared on one side, and left raw on the other, to amplify dried fruit and oak flavours. Maker’s Mark derives these tasting notes from naturally retained elements of barrel char and organic compounds called fatty acid esters (FAEs), the company says, which are responsible for both fruity tones and texture variations.
“This first release tastes just like a Kentucky barrel warehouse smells,” says Bowie. There’s tons of pleasantly dank wood and tobacco on the nose, and rich, warm raisin and fig on the tongue — it’s literally like sipping on angel’s share.”
Each side of the FAE-01 stave draws out different characteristics of these two flavour components, the company says. The charred side offers dark leathery tobacco notes, while the raw side yields fresh fruit.
The second expression, FAE-02 which will be released later this year, will focus more on a rich, weighty texture.
For more information, go to makersmark.com