Makers Mark To Stop Watering Down Its Whiskey
After backlash from customers, the producer of Makers Mark bourbon is reversing a decision to cut the amount of alcohol in bottles of its famous whiskey.
Rob Samuels, Makers Marks chief operating officer, said Sunday that it is restoring the alcohol volume of its product to its historic level of 45 percent, or 90 proof. Last week, it said it was lowering the amount to 42 percent, or 84 proof, because of a supply shortage.
Weve been tremendously humbled over the last week or so, Samuels, grandson of the brands founder, said of customers reactions.
The brand known for its square bottles sealed in red wax has struggled to keep up with demand. Distribution has been squeezed, and the brand had to curtail shipments to some overseas markets.
In a tweet Sunday, the company said to its followers: You spoke. We listened.
The change in recipe started with a shortage of the bourbon amid an ongoing expansion of the companys operations that cost tens of millions of dollars.
Makers Mark President Bill Samuels, the founders son, said the company focused almost exclusively on not altering the taste of the bourbon while stretching the available product and didnt consider the emotional attachment that customers have to the brand and its composition.
Our focus was on the supply problem. That led to us focusing on a solution, he said. We got it totally wrong.
When production restarts Monday, those plans are off the table, Bill Samuels said.
Makers Mark: Empty Bottle Reflections : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
Whelllp here we are. The last glass of this tasty little bottle. I know it seems a little weird to be doing this for such a small bottle, but Ive killed more than my fair share of Makers bottles in my time so I feel like on some level its not the size of the bottle that matters, but the journey you have been through in drinking it.
This being the first whiskey I truly sipped on it has a very special place in my personal pantheon of whiskeys. Im a big fan of it and its older brother the Makers 46. Both are great whiskeys that I enjoy fully and, most importantly, are whiskeys that I enjoy sharing with my friends.
This standard offering is a stalwart in the whiskey world and its dependable in its quality from first sip to last. Sure there was that whole messy business about them considering dropping the proof for a bit, but thats the past and whats important is whats happening right now. Which, at this moment is that Im killing the last of this bottle and enjoying every sip.
There is no score change here, because like I said earlier. Its a dependable whiskey and that means it stays much the same through the whole bottle. Unless it takes you 3 years to drink it and its been quietly oxidizing, then it might change but thats your fault not Makers.
So cheers to them, cheers to you and cheers to life. Another great whiskey down and its on to the next one!
Alternatives To Makers Mark Bourbon Whiskey
- Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey- $19: Jim Beam is the oldest brand of Bourbon there is, and the flavor is emblematic of Bourbon itself. In fact, most of the requirements around Bourbon today are founded upon this recipe, so its a great introduction into the style of Bourbon.
- 1792 Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey- $35: This one will put hair on your chest. In contrast to the winter wheat utilized in Makers Mark, this Bourbon uses mostly rye besides the 51% corn required in a Bourbon mash. So its spicy, sour, and hot.
- Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey $42: Buffalo Trace has been in production, using the same recipe, for 200 years. It tastes rugged as an homage to the buffalo trails that paved the way for settlers to find the first Wild West: Kentucky.
- Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bourbon Whiskey- $60: This bourbon, like Makers Mark, is smooth and supple. But what makes Woodford Reserve so unique is that its aged twice, each time in a separate charred oak barrel. This extracts extra soft, sweet oak flavors.
- Blantons Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey- $250: If youve tried some of these other Bourbons and have found yourself to be a real fan of the style, dont pass up a pour of Blantons when you get the chance. Its rare, carefully crafted, and straight from single barrels.
Don’t Miss: Good Things To Mix With Tito’s
How Is Makers Mark 46 Bourbon Whiskey Made
This sumptuous distillate was born in 2010, as a new edition, after years of production of the simple Makers Mark, but basically, the differences concern aging in wood and alcohol content.
On a practical level of mash bill, fermentation and distillation are identical. In terms of flavors and aromas, they are similar but of different intensity and thickness.
The proportions of cereals are the same, but the distillate is aged in American oak barrels made with a mixture of different woods, characterized by the presence of 10 staves of French oak, used to amplify the symphony of caramel, banana chocolate bread, and vanilla.
Take the base and pump it up with an exaggerated make-up: this is the juice of the story. The declared alcohol content is 47 degrees alcohol.
About Makers Mark Whiskey
Makers Mark is a classic premium bourbon, produced in Kentucky and adhering to traditional practice. Its distinctive appearance is instantly recognizable, as well as its iconic red wax seal. This is a bourbon made using wheat instead of rye as the main secondary grain. Wheat whiskey, while not as spicy as rye whiskey, has a sweeter, less-pungent flavor that makes it taste more like wheat bread than pumpernickel bread. The regular non-cask strength version of Makers Mark is a product that doesnt have batch numbers. Makers releases the recipes they use to craft their product, but they dont release the mash bill either, so it can mean that there are different products sold under the same name. It might be fair to say that this was done to prevent counterfeiters from selling fake Makers Mark products.
Recommended Reading: Guillermo Del Toro Patron Price
Why The Pros Like Each
Richardson sees value in both brands flagship expressions and admits that picking a clear winner is a difficult task. These are some of the first bottles that I reach for when a guest tells me that theyre new to bourbon and ask what they should try. On the other hand, both are going to be bourbons that whiskey enthusiasts wont ever turn down, he says. Both distilleries have had a huge impact on the explosive growth of bourbon weve seen in the last 10 to 15 years. Whether in your favorite cocktail, over ice, or neat, you cant go wrong with either of these two.
For Eric Vanderveen, bartender at The Empire in Louisville, Colo., the choice is easier. While I enjoy both of these bourbons very much and both are high-quality products, Woodford tends to be my go-to for taste and value, he says. Nice heat, well-balanced, and delicious. Comparable to much higher-priced bourbons.
And as Dill-Dascoli notes, it all comes down to personal taste. Makers Mark was one of the first of this generation of premium bourbons, he says. It has become synonymous with approachable, delicious, modern bourbon. The intention behind Woodford was to make a broad-based whiskey that appealed to many different styles of drinkers. It is designed to be a premium workhorse a delicious addition to any occasion. He adds, Both have mass appeal and ardent fans, both have premium versions, and both have histories of being important whiskey companies and important brands.
Already This Brand Was Pretty Unique
Clearly, the abysmal quality of the Samuels family whisky offended Bill Samuels Sr to the point of no return. In 1953, the year he and his wife Margie decided to make a go of it with whisky distillation, Bill did something, um, rather controversial.
He tossed the 170-year-old family legacy the only copy of the Samuels family whisky recipe into the fire.
No longer weighed down by family tradition, Bill Samuels Sr was free to approach whisky distillation with brand new eyes.
Also Check: Member’s Mark Vodka Vs Kirkland Vodka
Pappy Van Winkle Got The Founders 11
In 1951, while still planning his own distillery, Bill Samuels Sr. brought 11-year-old Bill Jr. along on a business lunch with Pappy Van Winkle himself, who had a tradition of starting lunch with two fingers two chubby adult fingers of bourbon. A few follow-up questions: Can you call Child Protective Services 67 years after someone endangered the health of a minor? And, if youre going to make a kid drink two fingers of bourbon before his PB& J, shouldnt they be, well, kid fingers?
Maker’s Mark Straight Bourbon
Tasting Note zu dem Maker’s Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky:NASE: Sauber und klar mit Vanille, Gewürzen und einer zarten floralen Note, die mit leichten Kalk und Kakao Bohnen erscheint. GESCHMACK: In seinem Geschmacksprofil ist der Maker’s Mark Bourbon sehr vielschichtig. Es zeigt sich eine frische Fruchtnote, die mit Gewürzen und Eukalyptus am Gaumen sich breit macht. In der ganzen Struktur sehr gefällig und mit einer schönen Eichen Note, die mit einer Spur von Rauch auffällig erscheint.FINISH: Mittlere Länge, mit einer würzigen Komponente, die leicht süßlich abklingt.
Die offizielle Tasting Note von Beam Suntory über den Maker´s Mark Bourbon Whisky:
FARBE: Die dunkle Bernsteinfarbe mit einem rötlichen Schein lässt schon etwas von der kraftvollen Milde dieses außergewöhnlichen Kentucky Bourbons erahnen.
DUFT: Kraftvoller Honig mit exotischen Früchten, Vanille und Karamell erfüllen die Nase. Im Hintergrund ein Hauch Kakao und florale Noten. Erst später bemerkt man auch die Würze.
GESCHMACK: Hier bestimmt der Charakter von Nüssen mit Toffee und Gebäck den Eindruck. Gefolgt von frischen Früchten und einer angenehmen, lang anhaltenden, sanften Öligkeit.
NACHKLANG: Bestimmt von Früchten und Karamelltönen, denen zum Abschluss sehr spät eine angenehm milde Rauchnote des Holzes folgt.
Recommended Reading: Rue 33 Vodka Price
Makers Mark Vs Jim Beam: Which American Staple Is Superior
- Post category:Bourbon
Theres a lot of family legacies steeped in the history of American bourbon. Two families behind two of the biggest names in the game are the minds behind Makers Mark and Jim Beam.
Husband and wife Bill Samuels Senior and Margie Samuels started Makers Mark in 1953 when they acquired the Burks Distillery and made it their own. The Makers Mark company and Samuels family have been delivering high-quality and consistent bourbon since Bill and Margie started what would become a legacy that year.
Jim Beam is another American staple on the bourbon scene. This brand is a powerhouse company that has been delivering high-volume bourbon around the world since America began taking shape as its own country. Jim Beam has a personal place in my heart, as it was the first bourbon I tried in a cocktail and enjoyed. It became my gateway whiskey, you could say. Jim Beam is the reason I became a whiskey enthusiast!
But I digress it seemed only appropriate to compare these two American staples in their history, their process, and their tasting notes.
Both bourbons have rich American histories with timelines that at times run parallel! So lets talk about the history of each distillery and what each of these two bourbons has to offer.
Makers Mark 101 Proof Review
Once only available if you knew a guy, this dram with the well-worn ABV is now available to the general market: Makers Mark 101 Proof. Sitting in a comfy spot between the standard Makers and the Makers Cask Strength, this could be seen as a middle ground or a stepping stone between the two. Almost perfectly so.
The standard Makers Mark clocks in at 90 proof and the Makers Cask Strength hovers around the 112 proof mark. 90 to 101 is an 11 proof step and 101 to 112 is another 11 proof step. The CS does shift up and down a wee bit, but generally, it comes in close to 56%.
Whether this is just a happy accident or specifically designed, I cant say. What I can say though, is if youre looking for a way to see how proof plays into a whiskey release you and some friends can pick up this, the CS and the regular MM and conduct a boozy experiment. Or, if youre down for doing some math, you could just grab a bottle of the CS and water down to 101 and 90.
Thats enough experiment talk, lets get to drinkin and settle into this bourbon review.
Don’t Miss: Chattanooga Whiskey 1816 Price
What Tools You Need To Make The Makers Mark Manhattan
You wont be needing a cocktail shaker for this one! Grab a jigger, a mixing glass, barspoon, strainer, and an Old Fashioned glass , chilled cocktail glass or martini glass. Just make sure you use fresh ice cubes, because its an ingredient too!
Top Tip: You can find all the tools you need and how to use them in my guide to choosing the best home bar tools!
Its a simple cocktail, but one of the great cocktails of all time, so dont be intimidated.
Woher Hat Der Jim Beam Whisky Seinen Namen
Der Name der Marke Jim Beam bezieht sich auf den Gründer einer alten Destillerie in Kentucky. Interessanterweise handelte es sich dabei jedoch nicht um einen alteingesessenen Amerikaner. Genau genommen haben wir die Marke Jim Beam einem Deutschen zu verdanken. Johannes Jakob Böhm wanderte im 18. Jahrhundert nach Amerika aus und gründete einige Jahre später eine eigene Brennerei und Marke. Seinen Namen hat er der Einfachheit halber etwas abgewandelt und “veramerikanisiert”. So wurde aus Johannes Jakob Böhm zunächst Jacob Beam, dann Jake Beam und viele Jahre später Jim Beam. Seine Destillerie benannte er ursprünglich als Old Tub und verkaufte im Jahr 1795 seinen ersten Whisky als Old Jake Beam.
Erst sein Sohn, sein Enkel und sein Urenkel etablierten die heute auf der ganzen Welt bekannte Whisky-Marke Jim Beam. Sie verlegten den Sitz der Destillerie nach Nelson County an die neu gebaute Eisenbahnstrecke. So entstand im Laufe der Jahrzehnte der berühmte Jim Beam Bourbon Whisky aus Kentucky. Eine Zeit lang geriet man in Vergessenheit, da die Prohibition die Alkoholherstellung in den USA lahmlegte. In den 30er-Jahren errichtete ein weiterer Nachfahre in Bardstown eine neue Destillerie und verhalf dem Jim Beam Whisky damit zu neuem Leben.
Don’t Miss: Jim Beam Drinks Easy
Does Makers Mark Increase In Value
According to the statistics, the quest for American whiskey is on the rise. Between 2016 and 2020, the price of a 750-milliliter bottle of bourbon, Tennessee whiskey, or rye increased by $3.49, according to International Wine & Spirit Research data, an increase of 9 percent. Makers Mark increase in value is one of the most recent enigmas to shake the liquor market. So, there is an absolute certainty that the demand for premium and super-premium American whiskey will continue increasing for at least another 10 years.
A Makers Mark History
Makers Mark came to be in 1953 when Bill Samuels, Jr. and Margie Samuels, a dynamic duo in the history of Bourbon whiskey, embarked on a journey to recreate his familys 170-year-old whiskey recipe and market it in a way that had never before been done. Bill was a fourth generation distiller and Margie had a knack for marketing. Together they became unstoppable.
Once the recipe was destroyed, Bill needed to innovate in order to save time. He didnt have time to experiment with grain mash bills, different recipes that would ferment, distill, and age over the next few years. He needed to settle on a mash bill soon, so he decided to experiment with baking bread. He used a plethora of different mixtures of grain, baked them, and tasted them, imagining them as whiskey.
One thing Bill was committed to was the reinvention of the traditional rye plus 51% corn mash bill that came standard in Bourbon. He wasnt fond of the spicy taste of rye and wanted to create a Bourbon that went down smoother. And as he baked bread after bread using different grains in different proportions, he settled on the addition of winter wheat into his mash bill, replacing rye and creating a Bourbon mash that held a delicate sweetness: the very quality that has propelled Makers Mark to the level of fame it now enjoys.
Don’t Miss: Who Makes Member’s Mark American Vodka
What Is Maker’s Mark Made From
Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whisky is produced, aged, and bottled at the Loretto, Kentucky distillery. They even print the old-fashioned labels and hand-dip each bottle in red wax on-site. It is one of the most picturesque industrial sites you will find, which is why it’s a popular stop for travelers.
The family behind Maker’s Mark has a long whiskey-making heritage and claims the title of the oldest family in the bourbon industry. Not much has changed since 1953 when Bill Samuels Sr. and his wife Margie first developed the bourbon. Though Beam Suntory now owns the brand, it has remained under the watchful eyes of the Samuels family. For years, it was led by Bill Samuels Jr.a legend in the whiskey worldwho has since turned over the reins to his son, Rob Samuels.
Maker’s Mark is a Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. Like all bourbons, it is distilled primarily from corn, with some malted barley thrown into the mix. Adding red winter wheat to the mashbill is the twist that defines this bourbon. That single ingredient imparts a soft, rich sweetness that propelled Maker’s Mark to be one of the most popular bourbons in the world.
The grains are transformed into a mash using limestone-filtered water, which naturally filters out the iron. The mash is then fermented with an heirloom strain of yeast in 100-year-old cypress plank tanks, where sugars are converted into alcohol. Double distillation in copper stills creates a high-alcohol distillate that is ready to be barrel-aged.