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Alcohol abuse! Maker's Mark cutting alcohol in its bourbon to meet high demand.


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#1 TEO

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:51 PM

Alcohol abuse! Maker's Mark cutting alcohol in its bourbon to meet high demand
  • By PEDRO OLIVEIRA JR.
  • Last Updated: 5:59 PM, February 9, 2013
  • Posted: 4:31 PM, February 9, 2013

The distillery behind Maker’s Mark bourbon is reducing the amount of alcohol to meet a rise in global demand, company officials said today.

Maker’s Mark is distilled to 45 percent alcohol by volume — or 90 proof — and, after the change, would go down to about 42 percent ABV or 84 proof.

“Lately we’ve been hearing from many of you that you’ve been having difficulty finding Maker’s Mark in your local stores,” Maker’s Mark executives Rob Samuels and Bill Samuels Jr. wrote in a joint email to clients.

“Fact is, demand for our bourbon is exceeding our ability to make it, which means we’re running very low on supply.”

 

The bourbon brand — which famously used the slogan “It tastes expensive... and is” in the ‘60s and ‘70s — looked at “all possible solutions” and “worked carefully” to reduce the alcohol by volume of the beverage by 3 percent.

Company execs said the move would ensure there is "enough Maker’s Mark to go around" while it boosts production at its distillery, but the move is sure to leave a bitter taste in the mouths of some drinkers.

"Usually you're going to notice that," Williamsburg bartender Erik Lane, 31, said of the lowering in proof. "If I started putting a half shot of water in the bottom of everyone's beer just to make the keg last longer they'd notice."

"I don't think the proof really matters [for a drink to be enjoyable]. But when that's your reason for doing it, I just think that's a cheap business practice," Lane, an occasional Maker's Mark imbiber, added.

It is unclear when the watered-down beverages will hit the market.

A spokesman for Maker’s Mark did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

 

 

http://www.nypost.co...ULxevDXLlE6uRRO



#2 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:54 PM

WTF?

 

So you have a product in high demand, so to meet demand you will diminish the quality of your product?

Wouldn't the proper response to be to add additional production abilities and keep the product integrity intact?



#3 CTMuleman

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:55 PM

It's gonna be a rough season!  I pity your clients! :lol:



#4 deadheadskier

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:11 PM

Eager to try it.  I typically don't enjoy Bourbons under 100 proof with Makers being an exception.  I'm not sure why, but I find the higher proof bourbons to be much smoother.   For example, I love Wild Turkey 101, but can't stand the 80 proof version.  

 

Seems like a dumb move to me.......



#5 TEO

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:14 PM

It's gonna be a rough season!  I pity your clients! :lol:

 

 

Found an outlet for reasonably priced Blanton's.     :crazy:



#6 Lemireacle

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:23 PM

Seems like a dumb move to me.......

 

So dumb!!



#7 TEO

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:37 PM

Hey Spel Chek Jimy   :kiss:  :moon:

 

 

:grin:  :heart:



#8 u.s.blues

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:40 PM

i call bullshit!  sounds like a poor explanation for cutting corners to me.  i have yet to have a problem finding makers mark. 

 

blantons ftw.



#9 Feck

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:42 PM

WTF?

 

So you have a product in high demand, so to meet demand you will diminish the quality of your product?

Wouldn't the proper response to be to add additional production abilities and keep the product integrity intact?

 

If the doubled production today, how long until the first sip is ready ?

before or after the "american whisky boom" is over ?



#10 u.s.blues

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:49 PM

If the doubled production today, how long until the first sip is ready ?

before or after the "american whisky boom" is over ?

 

good point.  6-7 years i believe. 



#11 August West

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:51 PM

they wont have any trouble meeting demand with all the sales they are going to lose.



#12 Feck

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:52 PM

Aged to Taste

Five years, seven years or eight years – they’re just numbers to us. At Maker’s Mark, we’ve never aged our whisky for any specified amount of time. Instead, our tasting panel, including our master distiller, tastes each batch no less than five times during the maturation process. It’s ready only when they say it’s ready. And we haven’t been wrong yet.



#13 August West

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:55 PM

. And we haven’t been wrong yet.

 

 

then why are they diluting it?  they have either been wrong till now or they are wrong now. which is it?



#14 Feck

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:55 PM

i doubt any of my friends that are heavy MM drinkers will stop or switch because of this.



#15 August West

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:58 PM

what about the customers that arent heavy or loyal MM drinkers that will go elsewhere 



#16 Feck

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:59 PM

then why are they diluting it?  they have either been wrong till now or they are wrong now. which is it?

 

adding what % of water - is that really going to change the flavor profile that much ?

i'd bet adding the water doesn't do as much as not letting it get up to flavor first.

 

taste test.

add a splash of water to a 5 year old whisky

add a splash and a few drops to a 15 year old whisky

 

would the 5 year old taste betterer , than the 15, if the 15 tasted better at bottle strength?

 

most whiskey is shipped over proof anyway.



#17 Feck

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:00 PM

what about the customers that arent heavy or loyal MM drinkers that will go elsewhere 

 

the ones that mix it with diet coke, ?



#18 Eco

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:01 PM

I remember back just several years ago when they were giving shots upon shots away for free to push buying at FOP fund raising events.  Lol, I guess a good marketing move getting the cops hooked on it for free.  Not saying to blame the police....rather blame them putting more effort into marketing than production.

 

For those who like the taste of Makers Mark, check out http://www.solspirits.com/home  it's a local distillery in southern RI that makes some kick ass whiskey IMHO. I took a tour a week or so ago and their whiskey is smooooooth.  No burn....just great flavor, same with their vodka.  Who would think some random people from RI could go after the American whiskey market.....with a little help from the old staff at Makers Mark..... 



#19 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:02 PM

If the doubled production today, how long until the first sip is ready ?

before or after the "american whisky boom" is over ?

 

According to the article, it's a global market, not a US based demand market. So what is the answer? Increase production and raise prices on the currently available amount to off-set for new production. It sounds to me like they weren't on the ball and making good business decisions about production when signs pointed to the beverage being popular. So now that they are in a pinch, the plan is to compromise the integrty of tyhe product?

 

:dunno:



#20 Feck

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:04 PM

it's a conspiracy to stop people from drinking, i know a guy that has inside info, but i can't tell you thier name since he signed somethign that says he can;t talk to anyone about it. it has to be true - he won't even write it down.



#21 TEO

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:08 PM

adding what % of water - is that really going to change the flavor profile that much ?

i'd bet adding the water doesn't do as much as not letting it get up to flavor first.

 

taste test.

add a splash of water to a 5 year old whisky

add a splash and a few drops to a 15 year old whisky

 

would the 5 year old taste betterer , than the 15, if the 15 tasted better at bottle strength?

 

most whiskey is shipped over proof anyway.

 

 

What are you doing putting water in at all?    :crazy:



#22 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:08 PM

What?



#23 Feck

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:08 PM

most whiskey is shipped over proof



#24 TEO

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:10 PM

For those who like the taste of Makers Mark, check out http://www.solspirits.com/home  it's a local distillery in southern RI that makes some kick ass whiskey IMHO. I took a tour a week or so ago and their whiskey is smooooooth.  No burn....just great flavor, same with their vodka.  Who would think some random people from RI could go after the American whiskey market.....with a little help from the old staff at Makers Mark..... 

 

 

Nothing local, yet.



#25 TEO

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:12 PM

most whiskey is shipped over proof

 

What is the water to product ratio to bring down the proof, which I am guessing would smooth it out, without watering it down?



#26 TEO

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:13 PM

What is the water to product ratio to bring down the proof, which I am guessing would smooth it out, without watering it down?

 

For example I have decided that I do not care for Knob Creek straight up from the bottle.



#27 Feck

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:14 PM

http://www.whiskyfor...ter_or_ice.html

 

Adding nothing
Many whisky drinkers believe that you should not add any water to your whisky under any circumstance. This is because you are tasting the whisky in its true natural form with all of the original distillery characteristics and flavours from the cask in which it has been maturing. This view is now seen as out of date. However, we recommend always trying a whisky as it comes from the bottle in the first instance - then you can make up your own mind and take it from there.



#28 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:15 PM

I used to drink Dewars scotch on the rocks with water. :dunno:



#29 Feck

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:16 PM

It is really up to you
Ultimately, what you add to your whisky is all down to your own personal taste and the situation that you are drinking in. For instance, there is nothing better than enjoying a whisky cocktail or whisky 'on the rocks' on a hot Summer's day. There are no right or wrong answers - if you have spent money on a shot of whisky or a bottle, then you can drink it how you like.



#30 TEO

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:17 PM

I used to drink Dewars scotch on the rocks with water. :dunno:

 

 

Yeah, that stuff needs it.



#31 roo

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:18 PM

I have a hard time believing they are doing this to meet "global demand" where everywhere else in the world Makers Mark is considered piss because their local beers and hard liqours are higher alcohol content anyway.

#32 TEO

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:18 PM

Thanks for the link.  Looks like lots of trial and tweaking in my future.

 

"Adding water
By adding a few drops of water to a whisky, you can open up different, new and subtle flavours that you previously had not experienced. This is especially true when drinking cask strength whiskies that have higher alcohol levels (these can be up to and over 60% ABV in some cases). With cask strength whisky the alcohol and resulting burning in your mouth can overpower even the most prominent flavours. By adding some water, this dilutes the alcohol and reduces its effect, giving both the prominent and more subtle flavours a chance to shine. Imagine drinking a fruit cordial or concentrate without any water and then with water - it is essentially the same idea. How much water you then add is entirely dependent on your taste."



#33 roo

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:20 PM

No where in the US is it hard to find Makers. The rest of the world probably but thats because noone wants it.

This is simply a money making move to keep profit up and investors / stock holders happy.

#34 Eco

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:20 PM

An easy solution would be for them to buy up or start up a few distilleries and add some lesser whiskey to make up the 3%.  It's not like they are making a VSOP product like Natural Ice....people will never know.....



#35 TheDHJ

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:25 PM

Turkey is the same as it ever was.

#36 Feck

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:27 PM

a non "fox news" response from the source

 

Since we’re a one-brand company that’s never purchased bourbon from other distillers when supplies are short, forecasting is very difficult. Over the years, our one variable that helps us avoid market shortages has been the age of the whisky in the Maker’s bottle. That range is between five years nine months and seven years. Because Maker’s Mark is aged to taste, Dad never put a specific age statement on the bottle. It wasn’t the age that mattered; it was the taste, the quality and the consistency.

Some people are asking why we didn’t just raise the price if demand is an issue. We don’t want to price Maker’s Mark out of reach. Dad’s intention when he created this brand was to make good-tasting bourbon accessible and to bring more fans into the fold, not to make it exclusive. And, with regard to the price, the value of Maker’s Mark isn’t set by alcohol volume. It’s about the quality of the recipe and ingredients that go into it, all the handcrafting that goes into the production and how it tastes.

Some of you have questioned how we reduce the alcohol content. The fact is, other than barrel-strength bourbons, all bourbons are cut with water to achieve the desired proof for bottling. This is a natural step in the bourbon-making process. Maker’s Mark has always been made this way and will continue to be made this way.

As we looked at potential solutions to address the shortage, we agreed again that the most important thing was whether it tastes the same. The distillery made up different batches that Rob and I tested every evening over the course of a month. Every batch at 42% ABV had the same taste profile that we’ve always had. Then, we validated our own tastings with structured consumer research and the Tasting Panel at the distillery, who all agreed: there’s no difference in the taste.

For those of you who have questioned if the supply problem is real, I can assure you that it is. While not every part of the country has seen shortages yet, many have, and the demand is continuing to grow at a pace we’ve never before experienced. While we are investing today to expand capacity for the future, by producing 42% ABV Maker’s Mark we’ll be able to better meet our ongoing supply issues without compromising the taste.

Ultimately, all I can ask is that you reserve judgment until you actually taste the whisky, like I did. If you can make it down to the distillery, we’re doing tastings every day with the 42% ABV whisky to give you a first-hand opportunity to try it for yourself. If you can’t make it to the distillery, please give it a try when it gets to your city. And please write me back at that point. I want to hear what you think.

In the meantime, I'd like to thank everyone who took the time to write us a note. It shows that you care about Maker’s Mark, and that’s what we’ve been striving for over the past 50 years. I hope you’ll give us the chance to continue earning that devotion and allow us to prove that we didn’t screw up your whisky. All the best.

 



#37 cassady

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:37 PM

"watering down" WILL change the flavor, trust me, i know this guy.............;)



#38 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:39 PM

Or fill the bottle 3% less full.



#39 cassady

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:41 PM

i think the issue is keeping it small "single barrel" style, that and aging. the last thing we need is another jack daniels



#40 TEO

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:43 PM

Perhaps they could use beaver to water it down?    :crazy:



#41 Feck

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:43 PM

you all realize this is adding less than one liq. ounce of water per quart of whisky right ?



#42 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:45 PM

I'm pouring water in fecks hurricane at Vibes.



#43 TEO

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:52 PM

I'm pouring water in fecks hurricane at Vibes.

 

 

I hear he prefers grain alcohol.



#44 Feck

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:52 PM

I'm pouring water in fecks hurricane at Vibes.

 

 

in addtion to what Tony adds already - i can live with that



#45 Feck

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:53 PM

I hear he prefers grain alcohol.

 

 

yes please - i've been told to stop doing that to the jug .



#46 TEO

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:54 PM

:lol:   I bet you have!



#47 cassady

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:55 PM

oopsie....:lol:



#48 August West

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:58 PM

i just cant understand that if you have a top shelf product with a great reputation, why water it down.  i'm sure i couldnt tell the difference, but where do you draw the line? 



#49 August West

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 07:01 PM

why dont they just make their bottles a little bit smaller?

 

 

remember the nickle candy bar?

 

 

would you like to talk about all the ways to cheat on the size of toilet paper?

 

yummy water in the ground beef cause the regulations say it is allowed to have x moisture content



#50 Feck

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 07:03 PM

i just cant understand that if you have a top shelf product with a great reputation, why water it down.  i'm sure i couldnt tell the difference, but where do you draw the line? 

 

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