And they meant what they said!
As many of the faithful know, I'm a huge fan of Maker's Mark bourbon. I'm an official Maker's Mark Ambassador and have even had my name engraved on a barrel as it aged in the Loretto, Kentucky rack house. I bought the first bottle of it sold in Rhome, Bridgeport, Chico and Alvord when they went on sale. I'll also buy the first bottle sold elsewhere in Wise County when they go on sale. I know it's a weird hobby, but it's mine.
Then I got a disturbing email from Rob Samuels, they didn't make enough to cover increased demand (I swear it's not because of me) and now they are lowering the proof to stretch the supply!
Git a rope!
More from USA Today:
In an interview Monday, Bill Samuels Jr. said he failed to foresee a worldwide surge in demand for premium bourbon when he was still in charge of the brand about six years ago. As a result, Maker's Mark is being diluted to 42 percent alcohol by volume, from 45 percent, so more of the whiskey can be bottled to meet demand. That's a cut from 90 proof to 84 proof.
"I was the forecaster in chief around here. ... I must have been asleep at the wheel," Samuels said.
Samuels and his son, Maker's Mark CEO Rob Samuels, insist consumers won't notice the change when the slightly weaker bourbon hits shelves in the next few weeks. Even Maker's Mark's professional taste testers couldn't tell the difference, Rob Samuels said.
Rob Samuels, who succeeded his father in 2011, said Maker's Mark's growth over the last 1.5 to 2 years, along with the broader bourbon industry, was "significantly greater than we had ever experienced as a brand."
Citing statistics from a market research firm, Samuels said sales of Maker's to consumers grew about 18 percent in 2012.
Rob Samuels said the change will be permanent, and it should address any future supply shortages as the company works to make more bourbon.
In the last two years, Maker's Mark has invested $54.3 million in the Loretto facility to increase distillation and warehouse capacity, as well as make it more of a tourist attraction, according to the Kentucky Distillers Association.
Side note: Lower proof will not mean lower price for consumers, but it will mean lower federal taxes for Maker's Mark. Alcohol is taxed on proof, not volume.