Maker’s Mark Cask Strength Bourbon Review (2023 Edition)

Last Updated on August 21, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Maker’s Mark wheated bourbons are well known for their smoothness and richness, but do you know that you can taste their purest form with Maker’s Cask Strength? 

Here’s our honest take on Maker’s Mark Cask Strength review. Read on. 

Maker’s Mark Cask Strength Bourbon In-Depth Review 

Bottle of Maker's Mark Cask Strength

Maker’s Mark Cask Strength bourbon is non-chill filtered bottled at barrel proof which ranges from 108 to 114 depending on the barrel batch. 

Bourbon lovers find the regular Maker’s Mark smooth and sweet because it contains red winter wheat instead of rye. 

The sweet bourbon flavors are present in every sip, but it has more pronounced oak, caramel, spice, and vanilla, which are the brand’s signature flavors. 

Quick Facts 

DistilleryMaker’s Mark Distillery
Classification & RegionBourbon, Kentucky
Alcohol Proof108 – 104 (Depending on the barrel)
Mash Bill70% corn, 16% red winter wheat, 14% malted barley
Age StatementNo Age Statement 
ColorBeautiful red amber
Rating3 Stars 
Average PriceRoughly $51.99 (Drizly) 

What’s Maker’s Mark Cask Strength Bourbon Whisky?

Maker’s Mark Cask Strength is the purest form of Maker’s Mark. It is a wheated bourbon whiskey with surprisingly smooth and flavorful tasting notes.

It boasts a complex flavor profile and a decent amount of alcohol burn while amping up the rich oak and vanilla notes of the whiskey. 

“My go-to for a high value [and] high proof is always Maker’s Mark Cask Strength. While some may think Maker’s is too sweet, those feelings are tempered by the heat of this 113-proof bourbon.” 

– Clay Reynolds, Beverage Director

The alcohol proof depends on the barrel but ranges from 108-114 proof (54% – 57% ABV). 

Maker’s Mark Cask Strength has higher proof than the original Maker’s Mark because it is bottled without water dilution after aging in oak barrels [1]. 

Tasting Notes 


As we opened the bottle, the pleasant and light aroma of baked cinnamon, brown sugar, oak, vanilla, dark cherry, candied almonds, and chocolate greeted the nose on our first sniff. 

Breathing deep, we noticed the wallop of alcohol burn, which sets it apart from the 90-proof Maker’s Mark.

The combination of honey, maple syrup, and brown sugar screams pecan pie, and the scent is very prominent as it stays in the Glencairn glasses. 


The warm and soft vanilla and caramel greet the palate and throat with a slight oak woodiness overshadowed by orange blossom honey and sweet caramel corn. 

The baking spices of nutmeg and cinnamon tickle our taste buds with the right balance of sweetness and almond slivers. 

The mouthfeel is excellent, not mouth coating and oily. In addition, it has a pleasant warmth and heat that will make you want another glass. 


Maker’s Mark Cask Strength has a fruity, spicy, and long finish. The complex flavors of the bourbon whiskey [2] linger with a nice hint of sweetness. 

Expect the sour note and spice to subside and leave lasting bitterness and barrel char notes. 

Our Thoughts 

First Sip

On the first sip, the Maker’s Mark Cask Strength bursts with a flavor of spice on the front palate and excellent heat and vanilla at the mid-palate. 

The chocolate, cherry cola, and citrus element with strong alcohol presence makes it more enjoyable to sip.

The aftertaste is less sweet than we expected (which is not a bad thing).  

Second Chance

On our second try, we intentionally left the bourbon in our mouth for about seven seconds, and it developed different flavors of cherry, cinnamon, herbal, orange, corn, and honey. 

It has a moderate brown sugar sweetness and some sweet caramel spice. It is sweet and savory from the corn but is slightly sour from the fermentation. 

Why We Like It

Maker's Mark Cask Strength Bottle on a Table
  • It bursts with complex flavors from sweet to spicy and sour. 
  • It has a soft flavor profile but is packed with a nice punch.
  • It has a competitive price for its flavor profile. 


  • You may need to experiment with the water level to bring out other pleasant notes (nose and palate) from the bottle. 
  • Its alcohol proof is on the low side for a barrel-proof whiskey. 

Maker’s Mark Cask Strength Bourbon Rating 

We will give Maker’s Mark Cask Strength a solid three stars. It is guaranteed a daily sipper, easy to find, and versatile especially compared to their flagship whiskey. 

It has an excellent flavor profile that you can enjoy straight and with a splash of water, but it can also stand out in cocktails. 

In addition, it is an easily accessible and affordable barrel-proof bourbon on the market, so it’s a steal. 

Do We Recommend It? 

Close Up Shot of Maker's Mark Cask Strength Bottle

We absolutely recommend Maker’s Mark Cask Strength, especially to those who enjoy the regular Maker’s Mark, as it is a total upgrade. 

It has the right balance of sweetness, and with more proof and flavor, the brand goes a long way in correcting what is lacking in its flagship bourbon. 

If you are interested in exploring other cask-strength bourbons, some alternatives to the bourbon are the following:

  • Rebel Cask Strength 
  • WL Weller Full Proof
  • Angel’s Envy Cask Strength


Do you add water to Maker’s Mark Cask Strength?

Yes, you can add water to Maker’s Mark Cask Strength. A splash of water can be your friend as it can open up the aroma and taste profile of the drink. 

How long is Maker’s Mark Cask Strength aged?

While there is no age statement for Maker’s Mark Cask Strength, it is approximately aged for six years. It is well-aged, with a decent mouthfeel, and spicy and sweet tension on the mouth. 

How do you drink Maker’s Mark Cask Strength?

You can drink Maker’s Mark Cask Strength neat, on the rocks, with a splash of water, and in cocktails. 

Since it has wheat instead of rye, it is smooth and soft, which makes it a versatile spirit. 

Final Thoughts

If you want to taste the purest form of bourbon, cask strength hails from premium ranges, and while a handful of brands in the market introduce their version, Maker’s Mark did a great job with their own. 

Maker’s Mark Cask Strength is well-balanced bourbon whiskey packed with strong, rich, and fully complex flavors.  



Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.

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