Maker’s Mark forced to reverse abv decision

18th February, 2013 by Gabriel Stone

Maker’s Mark has been forced into a u-turn after a public backlash to the Bourbon brand’s decision to reduce its alcohol content

Maker's MarkOnly last week the brand announced a decision to reduce its abv from 45% to 42% abv. The decision represented an attempt to resolve supply shortages after global sales increased by 15% in the year to December 2012 alone.

Following an initial consumer uproar on Twitter, Maker’s Mark chairman Bill Samuels Jr defended the decision with a message on the brand’s website.

“Every batch at 42% abv had the same taste profile that we’ve always had,” he maintained, asking customers to at least try the Bourbon for themselves “and allow us to prove that we didn’t screw up your whisky.”

Over the weekend however, the brand confirmed that it would be reversing the decision in response to customer feedback.

In a joint statement, Bill Samuels Jr and Maker’s Mark COO Rob Samuels conceded defeat, saying:  “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.”

Although acknowledging that this decision would lead to ongoing supply shortages, the team described it as “a good problem to have” and promised to deal with shortage “as best we can, as we work to expand capacity at the distillery.”

2 Responses to “Maker’s Mark forced to reverse abv decision”

  1. Bernhard Schaefer says:

    I don’t believe a word. I’d say it was very clever viral marketing.
    First the announcement, a lame “it was tested by our staff and there was no difference”
    Then let’s wait and see..if it would go through, fine 42% more Whiskey. But there was a strong reponse..against it…off course this was foreseeable…
    So what was the result? Everything stayed the same, besides all the Drinks Media reported, the social Media spoke about it, Maker’s Mark was in discussion…all for free..no ad campaign could have done that. And they have a good image “We listen to YOU customer, it is your brand”
    Congratulations to the marketing team!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Brand Ambassador – Santa Rita Estates

Santa Rita Estates
London or Hertfordshire but with flexibility to travel, UK

Sales Executive - Wine and Spirits Awards

The Drinks Business
Central London, UK

On-Trade Channel Manager

Delegat Europe Limited (UK)
London / Midlands, GB

Trade Marketing Analyst

Delegat Europe (UK)
London, GB

Key Account Executive

Delegat Europe Limited (UK)
London / Midlands, GB

Senior National Account Manager

Conviviality
London, UK

ON-TRADE Sales Executive

Roberson Wine
London, UK

OFF-TRADE Sales Executive

Roberson Wine
London, UK

Judging Week Runners

Decanter World Wine Awards
ExCel Centre, London E16, UK

Sales Administrator

Les Caves de Pyrène
Guildford, UK

Retail Commercial Executive

Laithwaite's Wine
Theale, Berkshire

Wine Buyer

Conviviality Plc
Crewe, UK

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
Liverpool

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
M3/M4 corridor

Media Sales Manager - Hong Kong

The Drinks Business Hong Kong
Hong Kong

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 31st March 2017

The Prosecco Masters 2017

Deadline : 10th March 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 28th April 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 3rd March 2017

Click to view more

The Global Sparkling Masters

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters

The Global Rosé Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the launch of the Global Rosé Masters 2016.

The Prosecco Masters 2016

Now in its third year, the competition will reflect the growth in popularity of this fresh and exciting sparkling wine from the picturesque regions of Veneto and Friuli.

The Global Pinot Noir Masters 2016

After the success of last year’s competition that judged over 250 wines from no less than 16 countries, the drinks business is proud to announce the third year of the Global Pinot Noir Masters

Click to view more