Closeup of Maker's 46 Bourbon Barrel
Closeup of Maker's 46 Bourbon Barrel

Making Maker's 46®

Expertly finished for bolder character, Maker's 46® is aged longer with special seared French oak staves added later in the process for a uniquely bold and smooth taste. Maker's 46 was the brainchild of Bill Samuels, Jr., son of the Maker's Mark® founders, Bill and Margie. Released in 2010, Maker's 46 was the first new major expression to be created at the Maker's Mark® Distillery since our original bourbon went into production in 1953.

The staves sourceIntroducing French oak.

We tried dozens of different wood staves that were cut, toasted and charred a number of ways. We added these to Maker's Mark at cask strength and eventually discovered the wonderful effects that seared French oak had on our bourbon. These virgin staves are the essential component to the amped-up notes of vanilla and caramel of Maker's 46, without the bitterness that often comes with additional aging.

Name Game So, why “Maker's 46”?

The wood-finishing experiments were largely enacted by Bill Samuels, Jr., and Master Distiller Kevin Smith, with a big assist from the Independent Stave Company, the distillery's longtime cooperage. After finally finding the flavor they were after, Bill, Jr., learned that the perfectly toasted French oak stave was on file as "Stave Profile No. 46."

Taste Maker's 46 for yourself.

The best way to get to know Maker's 46 is with a bottle of your own. Discover where you can find this Maker's expression and learn about our other bourbons below.

Tasting notes