94 Wine Enthusiast
The nose finds supersweet deep caramel candy and almond extract, but don’t be fooled. On the tongue, it’s punch-in-the-nose dry and biting. Best served on ice, which takes down the burn and lets the pronounced woody flavors come through: lots of oak, strong tea and cigar tobacco. — K.N. (9/1/2010)
90 Malt Advocate
This is original “red wax” Maker’s Mark that received additional aging in barrels containing internal “seared” French oak staves. The original Maker’s Mark, being a wheated bourbon (instead of rye, which is typically used), is rather mellow and easy-to-drink. The French oak staves in “46” add firm, complex dry spices (led by warming cinnamon, followed by nutmeg and clove), herb (a suggestion of Green Chartreuse, perhaps?), and some polished leather “grip”, which dovetails well with Maker’s trademark layered sweetness (caramel, vanilla, a hint of honey). I’m also picking up some dried fruit in the background. The seared oak stave influence is somewhat aggressive, but never to the point of being excessive.