Maker’s Mark Leaving Alcohol Content Alone After Social-Media Flogging

Bourbon maker is 'sincerely sorry'

Cheers! Following a social-media protest from its customers, Maker's Mark has reversed its decision to lower the alcohol content of its bourbon to 84 proof. The dilution solution was designed to increase supply in the U.S. and foreign markets, where demand has soared, owing no doubt to the rising need of the masses to drown their shame and sorrow since the Harlem Shake caught on. Most of the complaints were about how cutting the alcohol content from 45 percent to 42 percent would ruin the Maker's Mark taste. C'mon, at those levels, who could possibly taste anything, or walk in a straight line, for very long? "It was an overwhelming response," Maker's Mark COO Rob Samuels says of the Twitter-based backlash. "What we've learned is that this is the customers' brand." Great, now the social-media set will be drunk with power—or actually, at 90 proof, profoundly shitfaced. Full apology letter after the jump.



Dear Friends,

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   

Chief Operating Officer

Bill Samuels, Jr

Chairman Emeritus