Maker’s Mark has announced the launch of its 2020 Limited Release, the second bourbon in the Wood Finishing Series.
Following the release of last year’s Stave Profile RC6 — which amplified fruit flavors inspired by the proprietary Maker’s Mark yeast strain — this year’s release showcases the distillery’s pursuit of vanilla and caramel notes, the company says.
The Maker’s Mark 2020 Limited Release joins the Wood Finishing Series as the distillery celebrates the 10th anniversary of Maker’s Mark 46, the first whiskey utilizing the company’s stave-finishing technique to draw out different characteristics.
“Since the introduction of Maker’s Mark 46, wood staves have become our tool of choice for unlocking and amplifying natural flavors already present in our classic Maker’s Mark — always purposefully and with a specific taste vision in mind,” says Jane Bowie, director of innovation at Maker’s Mark. “Where Maker’s Mark 46 was about creating a ‘bolder’ Maker’s, and the 2019 release was all about boosting the notes of baking spice and fruit, our 2020 Limited Release has been a quest to amp up those rich vanilla and buttery-caramel flavors that typically stem from our unique approach to seasoning our barrel wood outside for a full year.”
This year’s limited offering differs from its 2019 predecessor by using two stave styles — one drawing on vanilla, the other on caramel. When married together these yield a “rich Maker’s Mark reminiscent of butter pecan,” the company says.
The multi-stave approach was the result of more than twelve months of experimentation with Maker’s Mark barrel producer, Independent Stave Company. The first stave in the 2020 Limited Release, SE4, is made from virgin French oak, convection cooked at medium heat with a short toast period. It’s responsible for much of the caramel flavor. The second stave, PR5, is made from virgin American oak, convection cooked at low heat slowly over time to bring out vanilla.
As with Maker’s Mark 46 and Maker’s Mark Private Selection, the 2020 Limited Release was made by finishing fully matured, cask-strength Maker’s Mark in secondary barrels containing the proprietary wood staves. The barrels rested in Maker’s Mark’s limestone bourbon cellar, before mixing together to develop the expression’s flavor.
Maker’s Mark 2020 Limited Release is 110.8 proof. The suggested retail price is $59.99 per 750-ml. bottle. Maker’s Mark 2020 Limited Release will be available nationwide beginning in September, while supplies last.