Tag Archives: Maker’s Mark

Maker’s Mark backtracks, won’t water down bourbon

Maker’s Mark is backtracking from their plan to lower the proof/alcohol by volume (ABV) from 90/45% to 84/42%.

Here’s an excerpt from the company’s about face:

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.

Social media is credited with helping Maker’s see the error of their ways, Bourbon Blog has details: Maker’s Mark Switches Back to 90 proof, 45% after 1 week they change their minds.

BOURBON BLOG PODCAST

In case you wanted to see what the new label would have looked like: New Maker’s Mark Bottle and label at 42%, 84 ProofBourbon Blog

MORE ANALYSIS

Bourbonomics 101: What the Maker’s Mark dilution debacle says about corporate strategyThe Post

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Watered down Maker’s Mark on the way

A toast to the Big11Ten Champions!
So much for “It tastes expensive … and is”

Bourbon Blog reports that Maker’s Mark bourbon will be bottled sold at 42% alcohol by volume, down from 45%.

The reduction of proof will be permanent for this global brand and will help Maker’s Mark to put their popular Bourbon in the hands of consumers who are having difficulty finding Maker’s on the shelves.

This decrease is apparently to keep supplies from decreasing significantly. I think it is safe to say that the remaining 45% ABV bottles are going to disappear. I suppose I’ll get another big bottle of it, but I almost don’t want to as I feel like I’d be “rewarding bad behavior.” Rob Samuels of Maker’s claims:

“We’ve confirmed the taste of the 84 proof Maker’s is exactly the same as what consumers taste in the 90 proof by our tasting panel,” explains Samuels.

This tasting panel consists of full time Maker’s Mark employees.

My friend, the legendary Joe Riley, brought this to my attention and added:

Call me cynical if you want to, but the untold secret of this is, that parent company Beam Global will save millions of dollars per year in federal excise taxes on alcohol-by-volume, while increasing production JUST BY ADDING MORE WATER! So the price should go down, then, right? (Bwahahahahaha!) Um, no.

If you want a wheated Bourbon that is a proper proof, go with the original; W.L. Weller. Their “Special Reserve” is 90-pf, their “Antique” is 107-pf, and both bottles cost LESS than Maker’s Mark.

Maker’s Mark isn’t the first whiskey, I mean whisky, to water down the product — Jack Daniel’s has done it twice over the years (scroll down), though that isn’t bourbon.

By the way, I’m a “Maker’s Mark ambassador” which means they send me tschotskes from time to time and someday will invite me to Kentucky to get some bourbon out of a barrel with my name on it. I received an email explaining the situation, but I saw Joe’s Facebook update first.

MORE: Maker’s Mark cutting alcohol volume in its bourbonAP/WTOP

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A short history of Maker’s Mark

Maker's Mark
A great post from Chuck Chowdery‘s blog — How Maker’s Mark Was Made. Maker’s was one of, if not, the first premium bourbons. They started small and mostly stayed that way for a few decades. A clever advertising campaign “Maker’s tastes expensive…and it is” helped it along, but mostly a Wall Street Journal article in 1980 made the brand.

I’m a Maker’s Mark ambassador which means they send stuff, invitations to tasting events (which I have not gone to yet) and have my name on a cask down in Kentucky. The idea is I’ll go down there when it is ready. I don’t know if that will happen, but hitting the bourbon trail is on my to do list someday. Oh and happy birthday to fellow ambassador, Tom.

Chowdery is also the author of Bourbon, Straight, the definitive book about bourbon. My copy is currently on loan to the Ombudsman.

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Penn State takes out Ohio State in the horseshoe!

Maker's Mark
I finally found an appropriate occasion to break open this bottle of Maker’s Mark that I got in summer 2007. You may recall that I went to a special event in Northwest D.C. that featured bottles of Maker’s Mark being dipped in blue wax and signing by Washington Senators legend Frank Howard. Ah the symbolism is as delicious as the bourbon in the bottle — blue over scarlet. Adding to that is the fact that Howard is an alumnus of Ohio State. Sweet!

Penn State won a tough, tough football game tonight. Both teams played well and the defenses were stout. The Nittany Lions made true freshman QB Tyrelle Pryor, the one we are suppossed to be crying about not getting, make true freshman mistakes — a fumble in his own territory and an interception to seal the game for the visitors their first in Columbus in thirty years! Navarro Bowman is a beast! They are already celebrating in Beaver Canyon (CDT) too.

I am looking forward to Monday morning when I get to talk to all of those folks in Ohio. Oh and college football fans everywhere, you can thank us for preventing another BCS championship appearance for the Buckeyes — you owe us one.

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Oh great, Sen. Clay is playing bartender again

Last month, dl004d mentioned that he had visited the Old San Juan, Puerto Rico bar that invented in the pina coloda. That reminded that Henry Clay (Whig-Kentucky) introduced the mint julep to Washington (and thus the world outside of Kentucky) at the Willard Hotel. I had been meaning to there for some time as a tribute to one of my favorite historical figures, not too mention my favorite refreshments. Several weeks ago, Erica and I, along with our visiting friend Wiley and his girlfriend Ashley, stopped by the Willard’s Round Robin bar after a attending the Smithsonian Folklife festival.

Just visiting the Willard Hotel is fun because it is such a marvelous building, inside and out. The Round Robin itself is beautiful bar tasteful charactetures of famous guests as well and a black marble bar. There are also tasteful chairs, probably made out of cherry, and tables on the outside of the circular bar.

Once we seated ourselves, we each ordered a mint julep. The second bartender (whose name I wish I could recall) made the drinks with Maker’s Mark, mint, and sugar. I don’t recall if he used branch water (spring water) like the recipe says. I was surprised to see that he put mint in the glass before adding the ice too. There was also a lemon wedge included, which I had not seen with a mint julep previously. Thankfully, it was not squeezed out.

We all enjoyed our mint juleps, though I would have preferred it without the mint in inside because it overpowered the Maker’s Mark a little if my straw was all the way to the bottom. I wouldn’t have minded another one, but at $14 each, that would have been a too steep. I am not complaining though, since the Round Robin is an elegant place to enjoy a cocktail and conversation. The bartender shared some stories about the Round Robin that were quite interesting and “worth the price of admission.” He also let me sample some Bulleit Bourbon on the house. I enjoyed it and may add it to my collection. I certainly enjoyed it more than the Wild Turkey Rare I ordered after my mint julep. At 108.2 proof, the alcohol in Rare Breed overpowers the taste — I much prefer the smooth Wild Turkey 101.

While the Senator Clay’s mint julep recipe is not my favorite, I enjoyed the history and ambiance of the Round Robin enough to want to return. I will certainly do so in the near future.

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