Bourbon Reviews, Distillery News and Information
The CommUNITY Batch Bourbon (2021 release)
Maker’s Mark / The LEE Initiative
$70 (but also available via various events which may have additional charges)
I hope you enjoy my Maker’s Mark CommUNITY Batch Review!
Maker’s Mark Distillery and The LEE Initiative
This will be the second year that The LEE Initiative and Maker’s Mark have released the CommUNITY Batch. Maker’s Mark has donated all of the bourbon, so the proceeds go entirely to support the cause! The first CommUNITY Batch Bourbon was released last year, and raised over $500K from 34 blended barrels of whiskey! The money provided assistance to many hospitality industry employees who were affected by the pandemic.
What is the LEE Initiative?
Chef Edward Lee and Lindsey Ofcacek founded The LEE (which stands for Let’s Empower Employment) Initiative in 2017. It creates and implements programs to address issues of diversity and equality in the restaurant industry. So far they have distributed over 2 million meals, invested over $1.5 million in small farms, and have given over $1 million in grants to Black-owned food businesses across the country.
One of their programs is The Women Culinary & Spirits Program whose mission is to address the void in women’s leadership in the restaurant and spirit industry. On a personal note, many years ago my wife was the bar manager at the first brewpub in Colorado, and I’m absolutely certain that there was no better person for the job! But I digress, yet in a somewhat relevant way….
The Maker’s Mark CommUNITY Batch Bourbon
Oh, the bourbon! Just like last year, it is a melding of multiple Private Select barrels, this time based on “more than 20 Maker’s Mark Private Selection expressions developed by whisky clubs working in collaboration across the country”. 28 different barrels of fully aged Maker’s Mark were then each aged another 9 weeks with their unique stave combinations. Then, they were mixed together and re-barreled to “vat” another 6 weeks to allow their flavors to mingle together. To me this one is spicier than last year’s. It has noticeable cinnamon and spices, but also ample apple, vanilla, oak and caramel.
So what is Maker’s Mark Private Select Bourbon?
For those not familiar with Maker’s Mark Private Select Bourbons, the process is as follows: According to Maker’s Mark “Beginning as fully matured Maker’s Mark® at cask strength, Private Select is created by adding 10 custom wood finishing staves to each barrel. It’s then aged in our limestone cellar to extract a unique, flavorful taste profile.” For the typical Private Select, one can choose 10 staves in any combination from the following choices: Baked American Pure, Seared French Cuvée, Maker’s Mark 46 (the seared French Oak Staves used in Maker’s 46), Roasted French Mendiant (which replaced Roasted French Mocha in 2021) and Toasted French Spice.
Since the CommUNITY Batch Bourbon was created by mingling multiple different Maker’s Mark Private Selections, it once again has an unusual stave profile. Since the standard Maker’s Mark Private Select Bourbon has 10 staves, the percentages of each are in 10% increments. However in a large mingling such as this, that is not the case and it results in a very interesting blend.
STAVE PROFILE PERCENTAGES
18% Baked American Pure 2 stave
22% Seared French Cuvée stave
17% Maker’s Mark 46® stave
28% Roasted French Mendiant stave
15% Toasted French Spice stave
I love the whole CommUNITY batch idea and the LEE Initiative philosophy. Starting on giving Tuesday the bottles should become available at some regional events and maybe elsewhere. Information is available via the LEE Initiative website at https://www.leeinitiative.org/makers-community-batch. Have you had this year’s or last year’s batch? I hope you had a happy and safe Thanksgiving! Cheers!??
I hope you enjoyed my Maker’s Mark CommUNITY Batch Review! Learn more when you read our full Maker’s Mark Distillery review and write up at BourbonObsessed.com!
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