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Maker’s Mark adds still in $67m expansion

Maker’s Mark has added a third still to its distillery in Loretto, Kentucky, as part of Beam Suntory’s US$67 million expansion plans for the brand.

Maker's Mark has installed a new still as part of plans to double its distillery capacity
Maker’s Mark has installed a new still as part of plans to double its distillery capacity

The still has been designed in the “mirror image” of the distillery’s two other copper stills, which stand at 45-feet tall.

Also as part of its expansion, plans for which were revealed in February 2014, the distillery has implemented two new boilers, 21 additional fermenters and a new grain roller.

At the time plans were first announced, Maker’s Mark chief operating officer, Rob Samuels, said: “We’re doing this because, as you’re well aware, Maker’s Mark Bourbon takes time to age to perfection, and that’s left us running a bit short of supply in recent years due to the ever-increasing demand from all of you.”

In 2013, Maker’s Mark controversially revealed that in order to stretch dwindling supplies, it intended to lower the abv of its Bourbon by 3%.

However, following backlash from fans who said this would impact the Bourbon’s quality, the company instead decided to use a “barrel-rinse” method to create more stocks.

At the time, Maker’s Mark chairman Bill Samuels Jr. said: “For those of you who have questioned if the supply problem is real, I can assure you that it is. While not every part of the country has seen shortages yet, many have, and the demand is continuing to grow at a pace we’ve never before experienced.

“While we are investing today to expand capacity for the future, by producing 42% abv Maker’s Mark we’ll be able to better meet our ongoing supply issues without compromising the taste.”

This year, Maker’s Mark won a series of lawsuits accusing the brand of misleading consumers by labelling its Bourbon as “handmade”.

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