Maker's Mark 46: Line Up, Bourbon Fans

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Balcones Distilling's True Blue corn whiskey, which City of Ate told you about yesterday, is not bourbon.

"I accept that criticism," says head distiller Chip Tate, who's proud that he uses copious amounts of blue corn in his mash bill and uncharred oak barrels for aging. Bourbon, of course, sloshes up against staves that have been gently burnt.

"There's a certain masking effect in the way true bourbon is barreled," Tate says. "It's like smoking meat."

Tate's had to tell authorities a few "white lies" in order to dodge a bourbon classification, a stratagem that confounds sworn bourbon hounds. But for those bourbon-only drinkers who aren't rushing out to find a bottle of True Blue, there's an interesting bit of news out of Kentucky concerning 46, a new Maker's Mark product we chronicled earlier this year.

"The response has been overwhelming catching us pretty much off guard," distillery President Bill Samuels, Jr. writes without pausing to reach for the comma key. "The initial release of 46 was gobbled up quickly. Our second release is already pre-sold."

Samuels continues to say a third release has been scheduled for late fall, but it's "being watched over and guarded closely."

Samuels recommends folks interested in sampling 46 ask their liquor dealers to start wait lists and put their names at the top. Maker's is also posting shipments on its Facebook page, so Dallasites can track when a delivery's headed this way.

According to Samuels, more than 50,000 frustrated drinkers have already contacted his distillery, seeking a coveted bottle of 46. Perhaps not surprisingly, Samuels advises against pursuing that particular method.

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