Makerís 46 Ė the first-ever new bourbon from the distillery, save for the limited-edition (and now highly rare) Makerís Mark Select Ė differs from the regular Makerís Mark in that it is finished in a barrel containing 10 Ďsearedí French oak staves, for about three months. It will also be bottled at 47% abv (94% proof), compared with the regularís 45% abv (90% proof).
The staves, sourced from the Vosges area of eastern France, are aged for 18 months, then seared Ė a gentler process than full charring. Makerís 46 takes its name from the Missouri-based Independent Stave Company, where the staves are sourced: 46 refers to the number that the firm gave to the staves, which are exclusive to Makerís Mark.
Master distiller Kevin Smith said: "This is new. Weíve had some variations in proof before, but itís always essentially been the same liquid. Makerís 46 is very forward and spicy, with an almost-cinnamon nose. Itíll be all over the US from July. We like to do something new about every 50 years, and shake things up a bit!"
He added that if successful, Makerís 46 will be available in duty-free outlets globally, and then in key export markets, including the UK. Makerís 46 will retail in the US for $33, $10 more than the regular Makerís. Smith also revealed that the Makerís Mark distillery had just begun an expansion Ė its third, following the second in 2002 Ė which when complete, in 2012Ė2013, will treble the distilleryís original capacity.