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04.2014

Massachusetts Beverage Business

AtPressTime

MAKER’S MARK MAKES GOOD

Three percent may not seem like much but when it comes to the iconic Maker’s Mark and its famous 9O proof status, 3% is a big deal. Earlier in February the bourbon company announced that it would be cutting the ABV in its bourbon by 3% to keep pace with rapidly increasing consumer demand. In an email to customers, representatives said the entire bourbon category is “exploding” and demand for Maker’s Mark is growing even faster. Stating that they were unable to produce their bourbon fast enough, top executives Rob Samuels and Bill Samuels Jr., son of the company’s founder, announced that the bourbon would drop its alcohol content by 3%. However, the company undoubtedly didn’t anticipate the response from outraged fans. There was a swift and strong negative backlash that generated an immense amount of publicity. It didn’t take long for the company to quickly reverse the decision. “We’ve been tremendously humbled over the last week or so,” Rob Samuels said. The full announcement about going back to 45% was posted to the brand’s Facebook page: “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 (9O 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.” And once again, all is right with the world.

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