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.
94 points, Wine Enthusiast (Sep 2010)
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.
90 points, Whisky Advocate (Vol. 19, #3)
A medium dark amber color and an oaky nose are found in this bottling from Marker’s Mark. It seems to dress up and exaggerate the wood more than I cared for. In the mouth, it reveals some nice sweetness and softness, but again, the wood dominates. It is certainly a good bourbon, but it is not worth the price of admission.
88 points, eRobertParker.com (May 3, 2013)