Maker’s Mark vs Maker’s Mark Cast Strength – a review



Here we are again – more Maker’s Mark!  It’s my favorite bourbon, despite all of the harrumphing (more on that in a sec), and now, there are three options, all of which are lovely – but the question is, are they worth digging through the couch cushions for extra change?  Last time, I took a look at Maker’s 46 and this time, I’m digging into Cask Strength. 

Let’s quickly talk about harrumphing:

In 2013, Maker’s Mark announced that they’d water down their bourbon from 45% to 42%.  They never actually did it because the planet earth FREAKED RIGHT THE F@CK OUT in a, “This is bull shiz, I’m never drinking Maker’s Mark again!  Buffalo Trace all the way!  Harrumph, harrumph, harrumph!” sort of way.

(Just to be clear, I like Buffalo Trace a lot, I just like Maker’s Mark more.)

I bring this up now because I want to point out that Cask Strength chimes in at 56% alcohol… which means exactly jack shiz to me.  I’m sure there are folks who were worried about that missing 3% and could actually tell (although we never got the chance to do a test) and I’m sure there are people who will be aware of the 10% jump here in Cask Strength, but don’t count me amongst them.

(If you’re keeping score at home, Maker’s 46… is 46%.)

“Then it’s not just a clever name.”

The point of all these numbers is I’m trying to arrive at what you’re paying for, because when it comes to taste, Maker’s 46 and Cask Strength do sorta taste better than the original Maker’s Mark, but I’d say it’s only a marginal improvement.  They’re not trying to reinvent the wheel here; they’re just giving you a higher percentage booze.

I will say that Cask Strength does have a delicacy to it; it’s certainly has a smoother finish (and it’s a bit darker in color), but basically, it’s the same shiz.  I’m also not sure why it’s called “Cask Strength,” because it’s not as though it’s bourbon from one cask; it’s from a variety of casks that are different ages, so… in this case, I think it IS a clever name.  Or something.

I’d say Maker’s 46 and Cask Strength are worth checking out once just for the novelty – that is, if you’re a Maker’s Mark lover.  Unless you feel the need to be fancy, I recommend sticking with the original.


~Just in case you’re curious, I did all of my tasting straight – no ice, no nothing.

~I kept writing “Cast” Strength instead of “Cask” Strength… I think I need to find out how much the cast of my movie can bench in a combined effort…

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on May 1, 2015, in Beer, Booze and Wine and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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