Gordon’s DTX, my friendly neighborhood liquor store, has the good fortune to be able to create Private Select Maker’s Mark bourbon…and it’s tasty!
A universal holiday
Yesterday was Thanksgiving in America. It’s one of my favorite holidays, and not just because of the traditional dishes (turkey, cranberries, pecan pie, pumpkin pie…ok, I’ll stop because I’m drooling now), all of which are my favorites. No, it’s because everyone, regardless of race, religion, color, or creed, has something for which they can be thankful. It’s truly a universal holiday. I won’t go into all the things I’m personally thankful for (oh, good!), save one (oh…well, go on then). If you’re reading this, then I’m thankful for you, Dear Reader. It’s nice that I have a place to record my notes, thoughts, and experiences “in a glass and in the oven” (as my tagline says), but the fact that you’re reading this means I can share the experience with you, and that makes me glad. (Ah, you’re makin’ me blush…)
(sniff, sniff…) Let’s move on then…
Your friendly neighborhood store
One of the truly nice things about going to a neighborhood liquor store is the personalized service you receive from people who are experts in the field, and Gordon’s Fine Wine and Spirits is one such store. That’s not to say you can’t get help in big-box retail stores, but knowing that you can ask a question, request an item, or attend fun whisky tastings and meet new people (see Sips with friends for more on that subject) is a real perk. Another perk is that at said tastings you can sample products that have been specially created just for that store. That’s right, the owners and/or whisky specialists can go visit a distillery and choose how a specific barrel will be cask aged, thus creating something unique and special. Ken Gordon (owner and manager of the Gordon’s DTX location) and Holly Seidenwand (Gordon’s whisky specialist) have done just that many times, and their latest release was their Maker’s Mark Private Select bourbon. Here’s how Gordon’s invited us to their launch party:
Join the Gordon’s Whisky Team for an official launch party of our Cask Strength Maker’s Mark Private Select! Earlier this spring the Gordon’s Whisky Team spent a few days down at Maker’s Mark Distillery in Kentucky carefully curating and blending the exact make-up of our Maker’s Mark Private Select Barrel. By using a combination of staves we created a unique flavor profile specific to Gordon’s. We welcome Tim Heuisler, Beam Suntory East Coast Brand Ambassador, to help us with the launch party. A range of Maker’s Mark will be poured along with appetizers and snacks to make this release party one to remember.
(Sounds like quite the party!)
Ken & Holly chose a specific Maker’s Mark barrel, then included their selected staves to finish the bourbon into something completely unique. Here are their selections:
Gordon’s Stave Choices
- X 3 Baked American Pure 2
- X 4 Seared French Cuvee
- X 1 Maker’s 46
- X 1 Roasted French Mocha
- X 1 Toasted French Spice
An interesting mix, no? Let’s see how it came out…
Gordon’s Maker’s Mark tasting event
At Gordon’s DTX, November 1, 2017
Maker’s Mark Original
- Nose: bright, oak, burnt sugar
- Taste: starts with sweetness, warm spice cinnamon,
- Finish: a little astringent, lingers long with the soft spices
- Comments: MM Original was one of the first bourbons I ever tried, and it’s a solid favorite.
Maker’s Mark Cask Strength
- Nose: sharp cinnamon, corn more pronounced, slightly lemon
- Taste: thick in body, heavier spiciness, more pine, the sweetness is balanced with the cloves
- Finish: the burn on the back of the throat lingers with caramel & cloves
- Comments: a more complex version of MM, character is present, the thick body stays in the mouth; my favorite of this pour list
Gordon’s Private Select of Maker’s Mark Cask Strength
- Nose: roses, vanilla, slight raisins, thick
- Taste: the high proof dominates, but the body is thick, the sweet corn dissolves into a myriad cinnamon & oak
- Finish: the finish goes up the nose, the warm spice lingers into a bit of darkness mocha & tobacco
- Comments: it’s got character & body…the rose scent was a nice surprise, a real treat; with water, get evergreen on the nose, softens it to a peppermints & sweetness, finishing piney and soft; I enjoyed this sample very much
Maker’s Mark 46
- Nose: vanilla & burnt sugar, not much else
- Taste: vanilla & caramel, thick body, cloves
- Finish: the taste doesn’t last long, it’s more a feeling in the roof of the mouth
- Comments: not as impressed, doesn’t have a lot of character so I was a bit let down
The catch about Private Select barrels is that the supply is quite limited…once they’re gone, they’re gone. Usually there is a price premium to them as well that keeps me from purchasing as many as I would like, but I sometimes splurge on a bottle that really intrigues me. And because these bottlings are so unique, they make really interesting gifts for the whisky lover in your life (to my family…hint, hint). If you have a local store that offers private bottlings, I highly encourage you to try them. You’ll be thankful, too!
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!