Maker's Mark: A Watered Down Mess

I've been watching the Maker's Mark story unfold since February 9th when they announced to their ambassador's that they were going to lower the alcohol content in their signature bourbon. I thought everyone would enjoy a recap of some of the top stories, tweets and comments over the past week+.


  1. February 9, 2013

    Dear Maker’s Mark® Ambassador,

    Lately we’ve been hearing from many of you that you’ve been having difficulty finding Maker’s Mark in your local stores.  Fact is, demand for our bourbon is exceeding our ability to make it, which means we’re running very low on supply. We never imagined that the entire bourbon category would explode as it has over the past few years, nor that demand for Maker’s Mark would grow even faster.

    We wanted you to be the first to know that, after looking at all possible solutions, we’ve worked carefully to reduce the alcohol by volume (ABV) by just 3%. This will enable us to maintain the same taste profile and increase our limited supply so there is enough Maker’s Mark to go around, while we continue to expand the distillery and increase our production capacity.

    We have both tasted it extensively, and it’s completely consistent with the taste profile our founder/dad/grandfather, Bill Samuels, Sr., created nearly 60 years ago.  We’ve also done extensive testing with Maker’s Mark drinkers, and they couldn’t tell a difference.

    Nothing about how we handcraft Maker’s Mark has changed, from the use of locally sourced soft red winter wheat as the flavor grain, to aging the whisky to taste in air-dried American white oak barrels, to rotating our barrels during maturation, to hand-dipping every bottle in our signature red wax.

    In other words, we’ve made sure we didn’t screw up your whisky.

    By the way, if you have any comments or questions, as always, we invite you to drop us a line at or  Thanks for your support.  And if you’ve got a little time on your hands, come down and see us at the distillery.


    Rob Samuels
    Chief Operating Officer

    Bill Samuels, Jr.
    Chairman Emeritus
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