I have struggled to get this far through this bottle after receiving it as a gift. To say I was reluctant to give it a full review is an understatement. I shook off all my preconceived notions and tried to give this a final fair shake before tossing the empty bottle out.
Company on Label: Maker's Mark
Whiskey Type: Wheated Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: 70% Corn, 16% Wheat, 14% Barley
Age: NAS (~6 Years)
Further identification: 2020 Release
Nose: Overly proofy dry spice that stings the nose. Dark caramel / funk that makes this rather unapproachable. Amazing how the 109.6 cask strength can nose way lighter than this. Metallic, herbal and spicy; quite the departure from a sweet wheat profile. Some light paper, oak and copper that has formed a patina. Nose really starts to develop late, but I've never been floored by a pour of this. Some vanilla laced stone fruit finally starts to come together around ~40 minutes into the pour. A bit of citrus zest continues to add to the spice/sting factor.
Palate: Oh! Way sweeter than the nose suggested. Starts like an allspice coated walnut, but immediately evolves into a molasses and cinnamon spice. Completely lacking in sweetness, but also in dark complexity, this feels forced & un-ready. Well into the tasting experience, the metallic spice is still the dominant profile, really disallowing anything else to shine. I've loved a lot of Maker's offerings, but I'm just not a fan of this particular one. Good news is @AmongstTheFernsCo likes it and is going to be finishing the bottle for me! Maybe this is one for someone new to bourbon and/or the bigger proofs.