Score: 94 points
This one-time 2020 release was part of the partnership between Maker’s Mark and The Lee Initiative, and saw 37 different casks of Private Selection recipes produced for bars, restaurants, and retailers blended to create a unique Bourbon. Sales of each bottle benefit The Lee Initiative’s projects to help hospitality industry workers affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and to be honest, this may be one of the best-tasting Maker’s Mark bourbons ever.
The nose has notes of toasted oak, caramel, vanilla, subtle spices, and pencil shavings. The taste has rich spicy notes of black pepper, clove, allspice, and a hint of chili powder complemented by dark chocolate fudge, vanilla, toasted oak, and a hint of honey. Adding a few drops of water opens up a touch of fruity character as well, while the finish is long and complex with an excellent balance. An outstanding whisky for an outstanding cause! (December, 2020)