It was a hot night. Sweaty, buggy, hellish. So I started a fire. Now this was not some small little fire for cozy comfort; this was a towering inferno, spewing forth plumes of fragrant, possibly toxic, smoke. To make the most of this sweltering night we needed some tunes, check—Mr. Charlie and I can tackle this—and some relief. Cold, sweet, liquid relief. A random array of beer begins our inebriation, allowing me to forget the burns on my feet from stepping on red hot coals. As these things tend to go, our ragged band decided to push the limits of our consciousness further, and this is where the actual review comes in. Maker’s White Whiskey is Maker’s Mark’s raw product, only available at the distillery; again, Mr. Charlie took care of this. It seems white whiskey has been a bit of a buzz product in the market lately—distilleries realized they could sell un-aged whiskey for more than they sell the real stuff and save some 5 years. I haven’t gone much for this hype, but this promised to be a bit different than your average white whiskey, which I see basically as slightly sweeter vodka. I don’t much care for vodka. Anyways, my thinking was that Maker’s Mark has always been a sweet bourbon, seemingly designed for a kindly welcoming into the bourbon drinking community. Basically it’s good for mixing and good for sipping on the rocks. There’s clearly a massive market for that, because Maker’s is incredibly popular, even at a higher price point than some bourbons that are far more complex. Maker’s White gives an interesting perspective on what makes the aged product so well liked. From the first sniff you get what makes Maker’s so sweet—in its raw form Maker’s smells closer to tequila than whiskey. The taste is rather similar, very sweet, though very smooth. Unfortunately the people at Maker’s were smart enough not to release this at full fire breathing, off the still strength. I want the stuff the way it goes into the barrel, not diluted like it would be when it comes off in half a decade (had it ever met a barrel). Then again, given how I felt when I woke up, perhaps I should have diluted it even further. Maker’s white treated me and my weary band well over the course of the night, and it felt right to be drinking by a late night fire with its misty taste of moonshine thing going on. Memory gets hazy with ne too many whiskies, two too many beers, and one too many mornings and a million miles behind—there’s nothing like waking up in a 90 degree room smelling like a bonfire. In sum, Maker’s White is an experience. It’s not about the flavor, because basically this is a weak moonshine. What you get from this liquor is an understanding of how the Maker’s mash bill of corn and wheat rather than corn and rye makes a pretty radically different whiskey. You also learn a little more love for the barrel (as if I didn’t already love bourbon barrels) because that’s what makes this sweet and smooth liquor into something I actually want to drink.