Makers Mark Cask Strength

Many people have made their mark upon my life, whether intentionally through their love, patience and friendship, or unintentionally through their generosity, humour or kindness. This post is a tribute to the lesser celebrated footballers that that changed my life in very small, but very important way.

Chris Waddle – The ultimate in lazy footballers. For years, I watched as an impressionable teen as Mr Waddle refused to warm up, or half heartedly joined in. Then come game time, he would saunter around the pitch, glancing at the game as if biding his time. Then when, everyone was tired or distracted, he would seize the ball, amble forwards and smash a worldie into the top corner, entirely changing the course of the game.

He taught me that when you are an enigma, effort is largely unimportant.

Alexi Lalas – The ultimate footballing style icon. Sometimes you don’t even really need to do anything to have impact on a person. Such was the powerful impact of seeing Alexi Lalas emerge from a half opened packet of USA 94 Panini sticker, that my life was changed. I knew in that moment that my life would not be complete until I had changed my hair colour and grown an unkempt ginger beard. Sadly, to this date I ahem managed neither.

He taught me that no matter what, carve out your own fashion niche.

Francis Benali – Spending most of your career playing left back in an average team, entirely kept afloat by a wonky nosed genius from Guernsey, might not seem like enough for inclusion in this particular hall of fame, but it is. He is now doing incredible charity work and raising lots of money for important causes, whilst Mr Le Tiss, is blathering on about nothing on the tv.

He taught me, that sometimes, just turning up is the most important thing the you can.

Price: £50-70

ABV: 55.8%

Appearance: Deep Red

Aroma: This dram has a massively minty, richly oaken, vanilla laden, cherry hiding nose.

Taste: The start of this dram is deceptively smooth, light and sweet. For me it is like tasting gently warmed vanilla ice cream. For a dram with a big ABV, I expected a punch in the face, but this is much more like being caressed by a fleece lined blanket.

The middle of the dram is where the wood sits, wide and full of maraschino cherry flavours, it is warming, wide and has an appearing cinnamon spice.

The final notes are a developing spice, which is hot, yet somehow minty cool. These notes sit on the top the palate and descend backwards, opening and revealing a really smooth vanilla fudge cream, with a desiccated coconut note that appears only on some sips.

Mouthfeel: Crazy smooth for a dram with a big ABV.

Overall: This dram has confirmed my love of Makers Mark, because this whiskey is subtle, interesting and easy to drink like its lower ABV sibling. However here you get real warmth, a hugely complex middle to end flavour and a vanilla led spice that lasts for as long as you are prepared to give it. I was gifted this sample from Paul Merryman, who is a generous member of The British Bourbon Society on Facebook and he got the bottle from travel retail. My only concern is would I spend the money to buy this instead of the much cheaper sibling? This, I think I will have to leave to you my discerning reader.

Real Dram Factor: 7.8

Source: Sample from BBS Member, Paul Merryman

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