Maker's Mark defends decision to water down signature bourbon - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Maker's Mark defends decision to water down signature bourbon

Posted: Updated:
Marker's Mark in a store. (Photo by Arun Kristian Das | MyFox New York) Marker's Mark in a store. (Photo by Arun Kristian Das | MyFox New York)
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Bourbon fans are figuratively up in arms because a famous Kentucky distillery will soon dilute its whisky more than usual because of a shortage.

Maker's Mark, which is distilled in Loretto, Ky., will soon be bottled at 84 proof, or 42 percent alcohol by volume, down from 90 proof, or 45 percent alcohol.

It is known for its distinctive rectangular bottle sealed with red wax. 

Rob Samuels, chief operating officer for Maker's Mark and grandson of the brand's founder, said that many bars, restaurants, package stores around the country have run low on the corn-based whisky.

Maker's Mark aficionados took to social media and other online outlets to express outrage over the decision.

But the company countered by pointing out that all whisky is watered down after distillation to achieve a certain proof level.

"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," said Bill Samuels Jr., the distillery's chairman emeritus and son of its founder. "As we looked at potential solutions to address the shortage, we agreed again that the most important thing was whether it tastes the same."

Samuels said that he and his son, Rob Samuels, tasted different batches over the course of a month and they felt the "taste profile" was the same. He also said a tasting panel at the distillery also said the weaker whisky didn't taste difference from the 90-proof batch.

Maker's Mark is owned by Illinois-based Beam Inc., which also makes Jim Beam bourbon and rye.

Kentucky produces 95 percent of the world's bourbon supply, the AP reported. But startup distilleries are popping up around the country, including several in New York, that make small-batch whiskies, including bourbon, rye, and unaged whisky.

"Ultimately, all I can ask is that you reserve judgment until you actually taste the whisky, like I did," Samuels said. "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."

  • Your MoneyMore>>

  • Manhattan West Project

    Skyline of West Side is changing

    Skyline of West Side is changing

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:25 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:25:22 GMT
    The Manhattan West Project is a $4.5 billion development that will change the skyline on the West Side. The five-acre site that will consist of office towers, a residential building, retail, a 5-star hotel, health and fitness facilities, rooftop gardens, restaurants, cafes, and a park is being built on top of active rail yards. Fox 5 got a look at the progress of the project.
    The Manhattan West Project is a $4.5 billion development that will change the skyline on the West Side. The five-acre site that will consist of office towers, a residential building, retail, a 5-star hotel, health and fitness facilities, rooftop gardens, restaurants, cafes, and a park is being built on top of active rail yards. Fox 5 got a look at the progress of the project.
  • Beach fashion

    Long-sleeved swimsuit is latest beach and pool fashion trend

    Long-sleeved swimsuit is latest beach and pool fashion trend

    Monday, July 21 2014 6:13 PM EDT2014-07-21 22:13:49 GMT
    You have lots of ways to look stylish on the beach, from a bikini to a tankini to a one piece. But the newest trend is long-sleeved swimsuits -- modesty takes precedence over a golden glow. The new beachwear is turning up on sites like ASOS and on luxury sites like Neiman Marcus. There are one piece versions and crop top versions.One of the pioneers of the trend is Dallas-based clothing company Cover.
    You have lots of ways to look stylish on the beach, from a bikini to a tankini to a one piece. But the newest trend is long-sleeved swimsuits -- modesty takes precedence over a golden glow. The new beachwear is turning up on sites like ASOS and on luxury sites like Neiman Marcus. There are one piece versions and crop top versions.One of the pioneers of the trend is Dallas-based clothing company Cover.
  • Wawa to close first store opened 50 years ago

    Wawa to close first store opened 50 years ago

    Monday, July 21 2014 3:01 PM EDT2014-07-21 19:01:43 GMT
    Wawa plans to close the first convenience store opened by the chain in the Philadelphia suburbs a half-century ago.  Susan Bratton, Wawa's regional real estate manager, says the old store is just too small.
    Wawa plans to close the first convenience store opened by the chain in the Philadelphia suburbs a half-century ago.  Susan Bratton, Wawa's regional real estate manager, says the old store is just too small.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices