Maker's Mark Decides Not to Water Its Bourbon

Bourbon will remain 90 proof while distillery works to expand capacity


Last week Maker's Mark announced that it would begin lowering the alcohol percentage of its bourbon in an effort to keep up with growing demand without increasing prices. The Internet responded with predictable rage, and today the company says it has reversed its decision and Maker's Mark will remain 90 proof.

"While we thought we were doing what’s right, this is your brand – and you told us in large numbers to change our decision," said chief operating officer Rob Samuels and chairman emeritus Bill Samuels Jr. in an announcement on the bourbon'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 (90 proof). Just like we’ve made it since the very beginning."

The decision to water down the bourbon was made in an attempt to keep demand for the spirit from outstripping its supply, but some customers had said they would be willing to even put up with occasional shortages rather than have the recipe changed.

The company says it is working to expand capacity at the distillery to keep up with the new demand, and the Samuels point out that a sudden demand boom is a pretty good problem for a company to have.

"We’ll set about getting back to bottling the handcrafted bourbon that our father/grandfather, Bill Samuels, Sr. created," they said. "Same recipe. Same production process. Same product."


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