Time for a blind taste test! We went down to the liquor cabinet and brought out a few distilled favorites to try. We decided to see what we could distinguish between the different whiskeys by pitting two different types against each other in a blind test. The method was that one of us would pour a splash of each into two identical tumblers. The tester would turn around while a coin flip determined which went first. We would then repeat the process with the proctor becoming the tester. I will blend the results.
#1: Jim Beam v. Maker’s Mark 46.
Maker’s: Not a big aroma on the first whiff. Just a hint of oak and alcohol on the first sip. Tastes are highly blended, and smooth. Rich aftertaste. Fairly light.
Jim Beam: An oakey smell on the first whiff. On first taste it had a strong alcohol taste with some fruitiness and that classic burn as it went down.
Comments: Both of these whiskeys are products of Fortune Brands. however, they both have long histories and from what I can tell from other sources, the big corporation has not tinkered too much with the recipe and production method. The “46” is Maker’s first new product in 52 years and is an effort to move the brand to an upscale product. I’ve read that the main change from the standard product is that the barrels are opened up and oak planks are inserted for two to three months. It supposedly takes on stronger hints of caramel, spice, and vanilla. None of those terms were mentioned by either of us testers, so I’ll have to take them at their word. The real taste test, I suppose, would be to compare the “46” to a standard bottle of Maker’s.
Jim Beam is of course a mainstay and needs no introduction. From the taste test, it seemed to be the more potent of the two, with more alcohol, and roughness but with a lot of flavor.
Between the two, I’d personally prefer the “46 over the Jim Beam.