Maker's Mark Waters Down Bourbon to Stretch Low Supply
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

makers markThe bourbon producer, Maker’s Mark, known for its signature red wax-sealed bottles, is watering down its whiskey in an effort to meet rising global demand.

In a letter from company executives to customers, Rob Samuels, the company COO, said, “Fact is, demand for our bourbon is exceeding our ability to make it, which means we’re running very low on supply. We’ve worked carefully to reduce the alcohol by volume (ABV) by just 3%,” the email said.

Many industry analysts and customers have expressed their displeasure at the risky move the company is taking. Adding water to their drink is an easy way to make a profit but it comes with the chance of upsetting loyal customers, as well as diluting the high end image of the bourbon.

The email from Rob Samuels continues: “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.”

Read More at Quartz

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