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FAE-01: Marker’s Mark 2021 Limited

It’s 2021 and got good news for bourbon fans. Maker’s Mark has recently launched their first 2021 limited release in their Wood Finishing Series. This release is their third overall since they started this series back in 2020. This year, they will be issuing two releases: FAE-01 this spring, and another in the fall.

This release got its robotic name because of the stave used to finish the bourbon. It’s an American Oak stave that is seared on one side, and left raw on the other. The cooked side allows for woody elements, while the raw side gives out dried, fruitier flavours to the bourbon.

FAE could stand for the fatty acid esters (FAEs).

According to Maker’s Mark, “FAEs contributes to the bourbon’s creamy mouthfeel and help preserve and elevate its fruit notes”. Also, Drinkhacker shares “the FAE isn’t a barrel stave; instead, it’s a finishing stave that’s immersed in the barrel after primary aging”.


Maker’s Mark explains it: ‘Each virgin American oak stave is seasoned outside for 18 months – six months longer than usual – and baked in a convection oven. These staves are added to a barrel of fully matured Maker’s Mark at cask strength. The barrel is then aged for an additional period in the limestone cellar. The result is bourbon that is wonderfully unique, yet unmistakably Maker’s Mark’.


Vital stats: Mash bill: 70% corn, 16% wheat, 14% malted barley

Appearance: Light gold, though not pale gold. Granola that is not overbaked. Slightly sepia-toned.

Aroma: According to Carin Moonin in Whiskey Wash

It really does smell like how I imagine walking through a rickhouse might be. They got all the smells down. Also like an old library, not musty, but secret and mysterious, like the lower floors that stay cool in the heat of the day”. Finally: tobacco like an old-timey store, and black cherry.

Palate: Deep and dried dark fruits, big midpalate with strong tobacco and barrel extractives. According to Carin Moonin in Whiskey Wash –

This is, quite frankly, delicious. I wasn’t sure if it would taste young or unfinished or weird. Like not ready for prime time, or somehow muddled, but it is not. Not at all. More fruit comes out on the finish, more cherries and also papaya, as weird as it sounds. But it’s not tropical because I get blackberries, too. All with a wash of brown sugar. It does feel a little -hot on the finish, so if that bothers you, add a small ice cube to your glass. I also like that this is lighter than a lot of whiskies. I can see this as a summer drink, like I would totally sit on the porch and sip this. I think a lot of whiskey can sometimes get the reputation that it’s only for winter, stormy conditions, in front of a fire. This is lovely enough to not need that. I mean, sure, you could and why not, but you don’t have to shelve this when you bring out the seersucker and the white pants, you know?

Finish: Creamy, lingering and round

Proof: Cask Strength (110.6)

Maker’s Mark is a small-batch bourbon whiskey produced in Loretto, Kentucky, by Beam Suntory. Maker’s Mark’s origin began when T. William “Bill” Samuels Sr., purchased the “Burks’ Distillery” in Loretto, Kentucky, for $35,000. It is bottled at 90 U.S. proof (45% alcohol by volume) and sold in squarish bottles sealed with red wax. Maker’s Mark is unusual in that no rye is used as part of the mash. Instead of rye Maker’s Mark uses red winter wheat (16%), along with corn (70%) and malted barley (14%) in the Mash Bill.

So, do try out this 2021 released limited Marker’s Mark FAE-01 bourbon.

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