For the last 52 years... Makers Mark has had exactly 1 product. By contrast... Jim Beam has a whole catalog of fine small batch bourbons that prove they actually do know how to make good bourbon... but continue to produce crap in large quantity out of sheer spite.
Several years ago... Bill Samuels decided it was time to offer something new. He was particular though... he didn't want to just... leave something in the barrel longer... or change the amount of water added... That's fine for everyone else... but it doesn't advance the state of the art.
So they started the process by taking the Makers Mark finished product... and deciding how they wanted this new batch to be different.
After much stress and experimentation... They settled on a method. They would take some of their standard Makers... that was almost ready for bottling... then rebarrel in... placing charred oak staves in the barrels with it.
Bill describes the result as a cousin to Makers.
Its more complex... and the flavors that you love in Makers... the caramel and vanilla... they are brighter in 46. There is a spiciness here to that's not found in the original.
This is damned good bourbon. Damned good.