Beam reduces Maker’s Mark ABV to meet soaring demand

11th February, 2013 by Becky Paskin

Beam Inc reportedly plans to reduce the alcoholic content of Maker’s Mark to meet rising global demand for the Bourbon brand.

Makers Mark Beam

Maker’s Mark is one of Beam Inc’s Power Brands

Maker’s Mark, which is distilled in Loretto, Kentucky, is currently bottled at 45% abv, but according to the New York Post, is expected to change to 42% abv to make the spirit go further.

In an email written to clients, Maker’s Mark executives Rob Samuels and Bill Samuels Jr, said it had looked at “all possible solutions” to address its supply issues, but after global sales of the brand increased by 15% in the year to December 2012, Beam had decided to reduce the abv by 3%.

“Lately we’ve been hearing from many of you that you’ve been having difficulty finding Maker’s Mark in your local stores,” the email read.

“Fact is, demand for our bourbon is exceeding our ability to make it, which means we’re running very low on supply.”

Beam expects to increase distillation and warehousing capacity over the next 12 months to “support long-term growth” of its aged spirits, after identifying the strength of the Bourbon category in areas such as the US, Germany and Australia in particular.

Maker’s Mark was the group’s fastest-growing Bourbon brand during 2012, helping the group achieve record net sales of US$2.5bn.

It is unknown when the altered product will come onto the market.

Bill Samuels hit back at controversy caused by the announcement on 14 February, claiming Maker’s Mark still “tastes the same” at the lower abv, insisting the company hadn’t “screwed up” the whiskey.

2 Responses to “Beam reduces Maker’s Mark ABV to meet soaring demand”

  1. Scott Stevens says:

    I’d rather keep the integrity of the whisky, and sell less, than reduce it to a meagre 42% – typical big co mentality. Let’s hope Beam don’t do this to Laphroaig etc too

    • Peter Marsman says:

      TOTALLY AGREE! WHAT ESPECIALLY GALLED ME WAS THAT THE TWO FAMILY MEMBERS SUPPORTED THE CHANGE. WHAT A SELL OUT? SHAME…..

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