When Maker’s Mark BLASTED a cave into the side of a bucolic Kentucky hillside on their property in 2016 we all knew something special was about to START, and now with the release of “Cellar Age” we have the finished results of that building. Maker’s ALWAYS said that anything aged over approximately 6 years got too bitter and oaky, but with the advent of the much cooler (47 degrees) cave, they were able to slow down the ageing, allowing for deepening flavor without necessarily the bitterness of the oak. The 2023 release is a blend of 12yr old barrels and 11 year old barrels. They started life as regular Maker’s Mark, a 70% corn, 16% wheat, 14% malted barley mash entered into the barrel at 110 proof. On the nose, a load of piney oak with maple syrup, dark fruit, and molasses. On the palate, bold but measured oak, as if Weller 12 and Weller Full proof had a love child! Softens with ice and regains some creamy, sweeter flavors. Mouth coating, extra aged wheater that’s maybe the perfect LAST drink of the night!