So Owen decided he was entitled to a little vacation, and he left me the keys to the blog. I don’t post much anymore because I’m not allowed to blog about politics, etc., anymore, but here’s a story I found interesting.
We wanted you to be the first to know that, after looking at all possible solutions, we’ve worked carefully to reduce the alcohol by volume (ABV) by just 3%. This will enable us to maintain the same taste profile and increase our limited supply so there is enough Maker’s Mark to go around, while we continue to expand the distillery and increase our production capacity.
We have both tasted it extensively, and it’s completely consistent with the taste profile our founder/dad/grandfather, Bill Samuels, Sr., created nearly 60 years ago. We’ve also done extensive testing with Maker’s Mark drinkers, and they couldn’t tell a difference.
Apparently, they’re dropping it from 45% to 42%.
Dilution is the solution!
Well, given the lag time between distillation and bottling, I can see why they took this route. Let’s hope that once they have expanded their distillation and casking capacity that they go back to the original strength.
Assuming demand doesn’t change, I’ll bet the above doesn’t happen.
Somebody at Makers Mark missed skipped their Econ and Marketing classes. When demand is greater than supply, you raise the price. And even if diluting it with water doesn’t change the flavor (skeptical), many bourbon drinkers will simply move to another brand because they don’t want “watered-down” whiskey. Bad move on their part.
It’s not a 3% reduction in volume - I was going to try to articulate why it’s more than that, but a commenter at the link says it pretty well:
That 3% Maker’s people like to quote is misleading. It’s “3 percentage points”. The drop from 45% abv to 42% abv means there is actually 6.5% less stuff out of the barrel in every bottle…
Like if your tax rate is 42% and it goes up to 45%, you will be paying 7% more ($3/$42).
Dale’s right. Daniel Gross at the Daily Beast makes a good case that this is a very bad move.
Jed, I haven’t been around the blog much lately and so don’t really have any standing to say this, but I think you need to tell Owen you’re going to post about whatever the h*** you want. I mean, your picture’s still right there on the masthead, isn’t it? Go for it, I say.
I suspect the limitations on topics by Jed are for his own professional reasons, not because of anything Owen mandates. Comments are unmoderated, which is a common limitation imposed at other blogs.
A month from now they’ll have Makers Mark Classic, 90 proof and all. The new stuff will become Makers Mark Lite and be marketed to women.
My blogging limitations are self-imposed. I’m a lawyer and an officer in the Air Force, so it would be pretty easy for me to violate numerous ethical rules and/or punitive articles of the UCMJ if I was to opine on most of the topics around here.
Reformulated Schlitz, anyone?
Ah, I see. As usual, my efforts at whimsy are met with serious, factual responses. Carry on.
This seems like a new Coke move.
Bad idea, but then as a bourbon drinker, Makers was never a favorite. Wild Turkey it is.
Really Charlie? Why not just sip some diesel fuel?
Haha… To call Wild Turkey a bourbon would require a loose defn.
Hey, at least he’s not drinking Jack Daniels.
Or Yukon Jack
Clearly we need Owen back in a hurry if this is the burning issue of the day.
You guys either don’t like bourbon, are a bunch of little girls, or don’t get out much.
Down in Kentucky they would disagree.
Wild Turkey is the best. I even go for the 101.
Maker’s is not only my preferred bourbon, but my spirit of choice above all others. I see this is a bad move. I speak from experience when I say that the alcohol content had a mitigating influence on consumption levels. For higher abv bourbons, like Knob Creek, I’ve found that I drink less in one sitting because that slight jump in proof is noticable intoxicating wise. So if MM goes down, I’ll probably end up drinking more. This may be better for their sales volume, but it would seem they already have a problem with demand. Plus, maybe they should cut back on the higher proof MM 46 if supply is an issue for the anchor brand! Now I need a drink.