As many of you may know, Makers Mark announced a little over a week ago they were dropping the proof of their bourbon from 90 to 84. I don't think Makers could have anticipated the firestorm that developed from that decision. Initially the negative feedback on their Facebook page didn't seem to phase them. Well, that quickly changed as days progressed.
Well, this evening I received an e-mail from Rob Samuels as I'm sure many of you did stating this:
"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.
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.
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.
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
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."
My opinion of this about face is Makers saw the potential fall out of this decision and did the smart thing; eat a little crow, apologize and seek other solutions to meet market demand. As Rob said in his note, growth is a good problem to have. I applaud Makers for keeping the proof at 90. I believe this in turn, will make their growth problem even worse attracting more drinkers of Makers Mark. For all those that ran out day one of the announcement snatching up bottles of 90 proof Makers.....I hope you kept your receipt.