In my previous post of this past Friday, February 15th, I lamented the decision of Bill Samuels, Jr. (son of distillery founder), his son, Rob, and Beam Inc., to lower the ABV of Maker's Mark from 45% to 42%.
Well, guess what? They changed their mind. Why? I have copied their letter here from their website:
You spoke. We listened.
Since we announced our decision last week to reduce the alcohol content (ABV) of Maker’s Mark in response to supply constraints, we have heard many concerns and questions from our ambassadors and brand fans. We’re humbled by your overwhelming response and passion for Maker’s Mark. While we thought we were doing what’s right, this is your brand – and you told us in large numbers to change our decision.
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 unanticipated dramatic growth rate of Maker’s Mark is a good problem to have, and we appreciate some of you telling us you’d even put up with occasional shortages. We promise we'll deal with them as best we can, as we work to expand capacity at the distillery.
Your trust, loyalty and passion are what’s most important. We realize we can’t lose sight of that. Thanks for your honesty and for reminding us what makes Maker’s Mark, and its fans, so special.
We’ll set about getting back to bottling the handcrafted bourbon that our father/grandfather, Bill Samuels, Sr. created. Same recipe. Same production process. Same product.
As always, we will continue to let you know first about developments at the distillery. In the meantime please keep telling us what’s on your mind and come down and visit us at the distillery. It means a lot to us.
Rob Samuels Bill Samuels, Jr
Chief Operating Officer Chairman Emeritus
. . . .
It is never easy to admit to someone else you have made a mistake. It is even more difficult to do so publicly. Bill and Rob Samuels have done the right thing. They listened to the consumer and probably to their hearts privately and made the right decision. They are to be commended. See! There are good corporate citizens in the spirits industry and to them I raise a toast!