Top 20 Whiskies of 2021

#2 • Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series 2021 Release: FAE-01

  • Rank: 2
  • Year: 2021
  • Score: 93
  • Price: $60
  • ABV: 55.15%
  • Style: Straight bourbon
  • Place of Origin: Kentucky

Maker’s Mark has resisted the rampant experimentation that defines some distilleries, but they appear to be making up for lost time with two 2021 releases in their Wood Finishing Series, which started in 2019. This release is enhanced by an American oak stave that has been toasted on only one side then added to the barrel. This innovation amps up the oak influence without going overboard. Fresh-sawn oak, earthiness, leather, and iced tea are balanced by caramel apple, toffee, and baking spice. A flavor-packed, oak-driven bourbon that wears its proof well. (ABV varies) —Jeffery Lindenmuth