Sun February 17, 2013
Maker's Mark Not Lowering Alcohol by Volume After All
In response to criticism, Maker's Mark has decided not to reduce the alcohol by volume of its bourbon after all.
The distillery had recently moved to 42-percent alcohol by volume; the switch back to the traditional 45-percent alcohol by volume is immediate. The Loretto, Ky., distillery has posted this statement to its website—which Sunday afternoon wasn't loading properly—and Facebook page.
"We’re humbled by your overwhelming response and passion for Maker’s Mark. While we thought we were doing what’s right, this is your brand – and you told us in large numbers to change our decision,"said the message co-signed by Rob Samuels and Bill Samuels Jr., the chief operating officer and chairman emeritus, respectively. "You spoke. We listened. And we’re sincerely sorry we let you down.
"So effective immediately, we are reversing our decision to lower the ABV of Maker’s Mark, and resuming production at 45% alcohol by volume (90 proof). Just like we’ve made it since the very beginning."
The decision announced last week led to a torrent of criticism on social media and beyond. Rob Samuels told WFPL last week that the move was to meet demand issues; in recent months bottles of the bourbon were unavailable for sale across the country, including in Kentucky. He said the taste of the bourbon was unaltered.
Here's the statement in full from Maker's Mark's Facebook page:
Since we announced our decision last week to reduce the alcohol content (ABV) of Maker’s Mark in response to supply constraints, we have heard many concerns and questions from our ambassadors and brand fans. We’re humbled by your overwhelming response and passion for Maker’s Mark. While we thought we were doing what’s right, this is your brand – and you told us in large numbers to change our decision.
You spoke. We listened. And we’re sincerely sorry we let you down.
So effective immediately, we are reversing our decision to lower the ABV of Maker’s Mark, and resuming production at 45% alcohol by volume (90 proof). Just like we’ve made it since the very beginning.
The unanticipated dramatic growth rate of Maker’s Mark is a good problem to have, and we appreciate some of you telling us you’d even put up with occasional shortages. We promise we'll deal with them as best we can, as we work to expand capacity at the distillery.
Your trust, loyalty and passion are what’s most important. We realize we can’t lose sight of that. Thanks for your honesty and for reminding us what makes Maker’s Mark, and its fans, so special.
We’ll set about getting back to bottling the handcrafted bourbon that our father/grandfather, Bill Samuels, Sr. created. Same recipe. Same production process. Same product.
As always, we will continue to let you know first about developments at the distillery. In the meantime please keep telling us what’s on your mind and come down and visit us at the distillery. It means a lot to us.
Rob Samuels Bill Samuels, Jr
Chief Operating Officer Chairman Emeritus