Tasting Notes: Maker’s Mark 46 Cask Strength and Hokus Pokus Private Select “Dead Man’s Hand II”

This past week, Hokus Pokus released the second in the Dead Man’s Hand series, this one with 5 seared french staves, 1 Maker’s 46, 3 roasted french mocha, and 1 toasted french spice, at 111.3 proof. They also have on the shelf for the askimng a limited edition of Maker’s 46 Cask Strength, at 110.3 proof. With wheated bourbon favorites like Weller, Pappy, and Old Fitzgerald becoming difficult to find, the cask strength and stave finished wheaters from Maker’s are a most welcome addition to my bar.

Maker’s Mark Limited Edition Stave Profile 46 Cask Strength ($58.99) – color is a nice amber; thin film with a couple of legs on the swirl. Very nice bourbony nose – brown sugar, some floral notes, and oak. On the palate is a lot of baking spice, some sweetness, and oak, but the oak is a hair bitter and drying. On the medium long finish, cinnamon becomes dominant.

Maker’s Mark Hokus Pokus Private Selection – Dead Man’s Hand II ($72.99) – color is darker than the 46 cask strength, with some mahogany. Lots of thick legs on the swirl. Nose is incredibly complex – creme brulee, freshly baked fruit pie, and lovely oak. On the palate, cherry pie with baking spices and a rich crust, which then turns to layered flavors of cherries, baking spice, a hint of clove, and wonderful oak tannin on the long and lingering finish. If the mouthfeel had been a little thicker, this could be best described as William LaRue Weller Jr. Really really good stuff.

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