Maker's Mark: OK, We Won't Water Down the Bourbon

Because 'thousands' of you people whined about a little less alcohol

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 17, 2013 1:03 PM CST

(Newser) – Maker's Mark has heard your anguished cries, and is backing off its plan to water down its iconic bourbon. "We've been tremendously humbled over the last week or so," says Rob Samuels, the brand's COO and grandson of its founder, in announcing the move today. Faced with a product shortage, Maker's Mark had opted to cut the alcohol volume from 90 proof to 84 proof—prompting a backlash that was unfazed by the company's insistence that the taste was identical. "You spoke," tweeted the company today. "We listened."

Company President Bill Samuels says Maker's heard from "thousands and thousands of consumers," and that the general consensus was quality over quantity. "They would rather put up with the occasional supply shortage than put up with any change in their hand-made bourbon," he says. "We really made this decision after an enormous amount of thought, and we focused on the wrong things." The bourbon has to age in barrels for at least six summers, notes the AP.

A bottle of Maker's Mark in an advertisement.
A bottle of Maker's Mark in an advertisement.   (AP Photo/Marker's Mark Distillery Inc., File)
A bottle of Maker's 46 Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey is displayed.
A bottle of Maker's 46 Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey is displayed.   (AP Photo/Maker's Mark Distillery)
In this photo taken on Wednesday, April 8, 2009 a bottle of Maker's Mark is dipped in the iconic red wax during a tour of the distillery in Loretto, Ky.
In this photo taken on Wednesday, April 8, 2009 a bottle of Maker's Mark is dipped in the iconic red wax during a tour of the distillery in Loretto, Ky.   (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)
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