Maker’s Mark Reduces ABV

by Ernie Ayres on February 9, 2013

I just received an email from Maker’s Mark stating that they are reducing the Alcohol By Volume (ABV) by 3% so there will be more Maker’s to go around.

Maker's Mark Assembly Line

Here is the email:

Dear Maker’s Mark® Ambassador,

Lately we’ve been hearing from many of you that you’ve been having difficulty finding Maker’s Mark in your local stores. Fact is, demand for our bourbon is exceeding our ability to make it, which means we’re running

very low on supply. We never imagined that the entire bourbon category would explode as it has over the past few years, nor that demand for Maker’s Mark would grow even faster.

We wanted you to be the first to know that, after looking at all possible solutions, we’ve worked carefully to reduce the alcohol by volume (ABV) by just 3%. This will enable us to maintain the same taste profile and increase our limited supply so there is enough Maker’s Mark to go around, while we continue to expand the distillery and increase our production capacity.

We have both tasted it extensively, and it’s completely consistent with the taste profile our founder/dad/grandfather, Bill Samuels, Sr., created nearly 60 years ago. We’ve also done extensive testing with Maker’s Mark drinkers, and they couldn’t tell a difference.

Nothing about how we handcraft Maker’s Mark has changed, from the use of locally sourced soft red winter wheat as the flavor grain, to aging the whisky to taste in air-dried American white oak barrels, to rotating our barrels during maturation, to hand-dipping every bottle in our signature red wax.

In other words, we’ve made sure we didn’t screw up your whisky.

By the way, if you have any comments or questions, as always, we invite you to drop us a line at or Thanks for your support. And if you’ve got a little time on your hands, come down and see us at the distillery.


Rob Samuels
Chief Operating Officer

Bill Samuels, Jr.
Chairman Emeritus

Only time will tell if this is a good move. I have to say that I’m impressed that this announcement was even made. I can’t help but thinking that some other distilleries may not have said anything and just see what happens. Kudos to Maker’s Mark for talking about it!

Do you think this will make a difference in the quality or the taste? How do you think this will be accepted by bourbon drinkers?

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