Maker’s Mark’s FAE-01 launch, which arrived this spring, was at all times envisioned as the primary of a two-part sequence. Now FAE-02 is right here to finish the duo.
Word that FAE-02 is a considerably totally different animal than its forebear as a result of, whereas it’s made with identical “fatty acid esters” enhancement course of, the staves used are produced from French oak as an alternative of American oak. I’ll let Maker’s clarify:
2021 Restricted Launch: FAE-02 is produced utilizing double-heat-treated virgin French oak barrel staves that bear an infrared publicity previous to a flame toast end. The method yields a Maker’s Mark bourbon that displays a distinctly luscious mouthfeel. Not like FAE-01, which used American oak staves to amplify notes of darkish leathery tobacco and barrel-aged fruit, FAE-02 is characterised by a gentler, mouthcoating palate of sunshine caramel and deep oak.
Should you don’t recall how the system labored, it revolves round utilizing 10 additional oak ending staves dropped into the barrel — very like Maker’s Private Selection system — that are seared on one aspect and uncooked on the opposite.
We obtained a pattern of FAE-02 to overview, and though I don’t have any FAE-01 left to check it to, my reminiscence (and prior notes) say that these are wildly totally different spirits, and, spoiler alert, FAE-02 is the much better choice.
Whereas FAE-01 is certainly a leathery, overly woody monster, the shift to French oak in FAE-02 makes for a a lot softer, extra expressive whiskey, regardless of the looks of uncooked wooden within the combine. Instantly likeable, the nostril is wealthy with contemporary caramel notes, a contact of apple fruit, and a few of that cardamom spice I discovered within the authentic bottling. It’s positively a fall-friendly whiskey, and it is smart why this one was saved for the cooler months.
The palate follows in line, a wealthy caramel character laced with vanilla, extra contemporary fruit, and a lighter spice part. What’s superb is how creamy and wealthy the bourbon is, an extremely lush and seductive whiskey that feels downright gentle — regardless of a near-55% abv. Hints of orange peel and touches of cloves are current on the lasting, balanced end, instantly demanding the drinker to pour one other glass.
I’d, however my pattern is lengthy since emptied. Within the three years because it started, I feel that is the most effective of Maker’s Mark’s annual particular releases to this point. Purchase it.
109.1 proof as reviewed. (Bottles will fluctuate.)
A / $60 / makersmark.com