Maker's Mark Private Select Bourbon Barrel
Maker's Mark Private Select Bourbon Barrel

Making Maker's Mark® Private Selection.

A continuation of our wood-finishing series, Maker's Mark® Private Selection is a first-of-its-kind barrel program. It allows our retail or restaurant partners to purchase a barrel and explore their own taste visions of Maker's Mark® – much in the way our past-and-present Maker's® distillers defined theirs. Find your favorite by trying unique expressions of Maker's Mark Private Selection at your favorite establishments.

Not finished finishingPicking up where Maker's Mark 46™ left off.

Maker's Mark Private Selection offers a new take on the Maker's Mark 46 process. It begins with cask-strength Maker's Mark® and is aged for nine additional weeks in barrels specially fitted with 10 wood-finishing staves in our limestone cellar. Where Private Selection separates itself from Maker's Mark 46 is barrel customization using five different stave types. This results in over 1,001 different possible combinations. As a single-barrel bourbons, all expressions of Maker's Mark Private Selection are bottled at cask strength – which ranges from 108-114 proof.

Explore the flavor profilesFive select staves.

How it works

Five staves, 1,001 possibilities

Retail partners purchase a barrel and select 10 finishing staves to create a desired flavor profile. There are five different toasted wood types to choose from and over 1,001 different possible combinations. This results in a uniquely customized finish and bold flavors, yet each barrel is undeniably Maker's. After additional aging, the barrels are dumped, and the Private Selection is bottled and labeled. You can purchase yours through participating retailers.


Virgin American oak and French oak are the woods of choice for Private Selection finishing staves. P2, or Baked American Pure, is made from American oak and is the first stave sampled in the program. It adds notes of brown sugar, vanilla, caramel and spice.


Next in the tasting order is Cu, also known as Seared French Cuvée. Cu is made from French oak that's ridge-cut and seared with infrared heat. It gives off toasty notes of oak and caramel.


The next finishing stave is the one used to finish Maker's Mark 46. It's made from seared French oak and delivers dried fruit, vanilla and spice. A barrel fitted with 10 of these staves would give you a cask-strength version of Maker's Mark 46.


The Roasted French Mendiant stave, or Mn, is French oak cooked on low in a convection oven. It adds pleasant traces of milk chocolate, nuts and dried dark fruit.


Sp, or the Toasted French Spice stave, is also French oak that's toasted in a convection oven, first at high heat and then low heat. Sp has a flavor profile of smoke, coumarin and spice.

Extended aging

Once a consensus is reached on the desired flavor profile, these special barrels of Maker's Mark Private Selection are aged for nine weeks in the cool temperature of our one-of-a-kind limestone cellar.


The Roasted French Mocha stave, or Mo, is French oak toasted at high heat in a convection oven. Mo adds pleasant traces of coffee, maple and cacao.

Any existing participants of the Maker’s Mark® Private Selection who have previously used Mocha in their recipe will be able to recreate that recipe. The Mocha stave is archived as of February 2021 and not used in new recipes.

Made in the cellarBourbon tasting room.

To help meet increased demand for our wood-finishing series bourbons, which need to finish in cooler temperatures, we've created a unique aging cellar, blasting into the limestone shelf on the grounds of our distillery. This has allowed us the room to finish these expressions at a cool 50 degrees, while serving samples of Maker's Mark in a space that's also pretty cool. The Private Selection Tasting Room is located in this cellar and is where the program takes place.

Taste Maker's Mark Private Selection Bourbon for yourself.

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

Tasting notes