Makers Mark Private Select
This past winter, Longman & Eagle was invited down to Maker’s Mark to participate in their Private Select program. Our team was able to select some non-traditional types of wood to add to a barrel of Maker’s, creating a whiskey exclusive to Longman & Eagle. This was one of the most amazing tasting and selection processes we’ve ever participated in, and we’re incredibly excited to be able to share this exclusive bourbon with our L&E friends and family. We will be launching this exclusive bourbon on June 29 in the OSB at L&E starting at 7:30pm. Please join us to try our signature Longman & Eagle Private Select bourbon!
The Maker’s Mark Private Select program is unlike any other barrel selection we’ve participated in. In most barrel selections, you are just choosing from samples of existing bourbons. This program allowed us to manipulate the flavor of the whiskey beforehand to control the final flavor profile of the whiskey.
Makers 46 is essentially Maker’s Mark that has been “finished,” or aged, slightly longer. French oak staves (a wood post used in whiskey aging) are inserted into the barrel and left to age for an extra nine weeks. This adds a whole new layer of flavor to the original whiskey. The Maker’s Private Select program is similar in process, however, there are a variety of different type of wood staves to choose from. There are French and American Oak, toasted and charred to different levels. We went through a full tasting of bourbons finished with each different stave, then the fun began. We were able to choose a combination of those different staves and blend those whiskies back together hoping to get an idea for what our finished whisky will taste like.
We broke into two teams in order to have a lot of variety of options. One team wanted to find a combination that would emphasize the existing flavors already in Maker’s, while the other wanted to contrast those flavors and add a layer of complexity. But when we both started working on our first blend, both teams chose the same combinatioin of staves. After tasting through nine different blends, we eliminated a few, and then tasted through them again – this time, blindly. After eliminating a few other options in the blind test, we finally selected our signature Longman & Eagle Private Select. Ironically, the one we chose was that first combination of staves that both teams came up with!
We inserted the staves in our barrel, filled it, then rolled it to its new home in the rickhouse where it would sit for another nine weeks.
We have been impatiently waiting those whole nine weeks – this is one of the most exciting programs we’ve been lucky enough to participate in, and we’re thrilled to share this bourbon with our friends and family at L&E. Come by and try a pour – and check out this behind the scenes video (made by L&E bartender extraordinaire Eric Abert) of the process below: