Maker’s Mark announce that it would reduce the alcohol content of its whisky by 3 percent in order to keep up with the demand but its customers were unhappy with the change. Thousands of drinkers complained about the change and the company said that it is now reversing its action. The bourbon maker said that it would not extend its supplies by diluting its flagship spirit.
Maker’s Mark announced via social media and email that it was a wrong move to decrease the bourbon’s alcohol content from 45 percent to 42 percent. Its Chief Operating Officer Rob Samuels said that the company was humbled by the response from its customers.
Samuels added that starting Monday, every bottle from Maker’s Mark will be back to its 90-proof strength. In recent years, the company has seen increasing demand for its product at record level rate. He said that the company decided to use extra water to stretch its supply. The company estimated that making the alcohol content from 45 percent to 42 percent would increase supplies by up to 6 percent.
Maker’s Mark assured its customers that the change in alcohol content would not affect the taste of the whisky but customers said that they would rather deal with supply shortages than changing the whisky. Some bourbon fans wondered whether it was just a marketing strategy.
Maker’s Mark chairman emeritus Bill Samuels Jr. said that the company never want to cause this type of disruption on purpose. He said that it was the worst four or five days of his life. He pointed out that his company changed the alcohol content within a week while Coca-Cola took four months to react with regards to its infamous new Coke blunder.
Maker’s Mark was also criticized by other bourbon brands. Wild Turkey posted in Twitter that it distill its bourbons at a lower proof than competitors that allows them to add less water and preserve more flavor.