Whisky Connosr
Menu
Shop

Discussions

Maker's Mark will be watering down

0 21

21 replies

@Appadurai
Appadurai replied

That's just sad...

11 years ago 0

@Abunadhman
Abunadhman replied

I really enjoyed Maker's at 45%, here in Aust. For a long time now it has been watered down to 40% abv. and I have chosen another Bourbon as a staple, W/T 101; ditto Buffalo Trace which was a great 'drop' at 45% but noticeably inferior at 40% abv. It really is a very different Whiskey!

I don't like this trend and have for some time 'voted with my wallet'; not that my small stance has made one iota of difference but, if many Whisky /ey drinkers chose to ignore these adulterators, then...

Slainte!

11 years ago 2Who liked this?

@two_bitcowboy

A strange way to respond to high demand.

Economics gurus might suggest a price hike to find equilibrium between supply and demand. If you "cut" a product that's sold well your followers might not appreciate the change. That will decrease demand and let you keep your warehouses full, eh?

Seems counter to everything happening in the Scotch world: higher abv and NCF has led to, in most cases, a better product and certainly higher public approval despite a few higher prices. Doesn't seem it's hurt that industry.

11 years ago 2Who liked this?

@Wills
Wills replied

I am thinking the same @A'bunadhman, we can make a difference! Good whisky hasn't THAT big of a market and compared to other markets the consumers are pretty good informed. That's at least my opinion. So more people could react like you. Maybe companies won't have the problem in selling too much and start watering down then ;)

11 years ago 0

@valuewhisky
valuewhisky replied

@Wills You might not find too many reviews on Connosr, see we won't buy the watered down version!

11 years ago 1Who liked this?

Rigmorole replied

I'm not surprised at all that Maker's is planning to water down its bourbon. Buffalo Trace will remain at 45%. In my estimation, it tastes better and costs $5 less. That's a no brainer, unless you have brand loyalty for more than simply quality and price.

Over the past few years, I've been buying Buffalo Trace. In fact, I haven't purchased a bottle of Marker's Mark in about six or seven years. Maker's certainly spends a great deal of money and time on product placement in motion pictures. To me, it's not a "craft" oriented company, whereas Buffalo Trace is all about craft as well as a good entry level bourbon.

buffalotracedistillery.com/brands/…

11 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Abunadhman
Abunadhman replied

@rigmorole: But in Australia B/T has been reduced to 40% abv. and it's nothing like its' former expression!

11 years ago 0

@lostboyscout
lostboyscout replied

I prefer Knob Creek anyway - which is bottled at 50%, and when they didn't have supply to meet demand, they simply ran out for about a year instead of tarnishing their image (and whiskey).

11 years ago 4Who liked this?

@Pudge72
Pudge72 replied

Here in Ontario, I guess MM will be adopting BOTH approaches to reducing demand/increasing supply!! In the last several months the standard MM has gone from $37 to $42 (I think) and the MM 46 shot up from $50 to $60! To be fair to MM though, it is nearly impossible to tell if the price increases are MM's doing, or the geniuses at the LCBO...

11 years ago 0

@Pudge72
Pudge72 replied

correction...the new regular price for MM is now $43.

11 years ago 0

@CanadianNinja

@Pudge72, even when being sarcastic, I think one should always refrain from using the words 'genius' and 'LCBO' in the same sentence my friend!!

11 years ago 0

@JeffC
JeffC replied

It is interesting to what extent products come at a "normal" ABV in different markets. It sounds like MM had already been at 40% in Australia for awhile even though at 45% in the US for a long time.

When looking at the reviews for various Scotch whiskies in the Whisky Bible, I notice that they frequently have an ABV listed lower than what is offered in the United States, e.g., Isle of Skye 8 is 43% but listed at 40% in the Whisky Bible. Presumably Mr. Murray was tasting a UK expression.

I think producers play around with ABVs in different markets as a test run for what they can get away with like having MM at 40% in Australia for awhile and then pushing it down to 42% in the US eventually. Who knows, that is just my cynical theory.

11 years ago 1Who liked this?

@talexander
talexander replied

I think the danger for Maker's Mark in reducing supply of bottles (as opposed to watering down their bottles) is that their customers, if they can't find their regular Maker's, will switch brands. Watering down their whiskey (let's call it what it is) is their long-term strategy to meet demand while also ensuring their supplies don't run out.

Lew Bryson's comments distill the issue well (pun intended): whiskyadvocateblog.com/2013/02/…

If the Jack Daniel's ABV lowering blew over after the initial fuss, then the same may happen with Maker's - though I think the danger is that because Maker's is a superior product than Jack's, it's consumers may be more discerning and react more negatively to the change than Jack's consumers do. So it's hard for me to say if this is a sound business strategy or not...

I don't believe it for a minute that the taste profile won't change - I will buy a bottle of 45% Maker's today, save it and wait for the 42% to come out, compare and share my notes.

11 years ago 3Who liked this?

@lostboyscout
lostboyscout replied

@talexander Yes, what MM is doing will yield better overall results for the brand I'm sure. While the purists (like those who frequent internet forums...) will be upset that they have chose to compromise their product rather than take the moral high road of waiting it out and producing the same product - the masses probably won't even realize the ABV has changed. The masses would certainly notice when the shelf is empty, though.

I can appreciate why they want to do so, but it is my opinion that if you change the product, you should market it as a different product. Market it as a 'Signature' bottle or something, that way you're not selling two different products as if they are the same. Maybe they've already done that and I'm just not up to speed.

11 years ago 2Who liked this?

@MCM
MCM replied

Maker's Mark has always been "bottled when ready." Regardless of time spent in cask, their tasting panel determines when the spirit is 'ready' for the bottle.

That being said, is the panel now being told to taste at 42%? Not that I could tell the difference. I'll be waiting for the comparison @talexander

@rigmorole Also agreed, Buffalo Trace is THE go-to mid-range value-for-money bourbon.

11 years ago 0

@PMessinger
PMessinger replied

@Wills I'm not sure that it will matter for me I don't like MM, and have many other options like Forty Creek to choose from. :)

11 years ago 0

@Wills
Wills replied

@PMessinger Yes we still have lots of options but if their strategy works out and they start a trend... let's hope I am just wrong.

@talexander I am looking forward to read your comparisons, please link them here.

I never tried MM so far but I got a bottle the last months. I am waiting for summer to open it. I will taste it pure and I will go to make some Mint Juleps. Maybe this will be my first and last bottle of MM, at least I try to have a good time with it ;)

11 years ago 0

@MCM
MCM replied

Yes, other brands following suit would be the real tragedy.

11 years ago 0

Rigmorole replied

I'm sorry to hear that Buffalo Trace has also been watered down in Australia. That's terrible. Well, I stand corrected. It' still 45% here in Oregon, so far as I know. I don't have a bottle in the house at present to check. Knob Creek is still much higher ABV, but it's more spendy and not as good as the old BT. I guess the other BT expressions will still be higher ABV.

11 years ago 0

@YakLord
YakLord replied

It looks like Aberlour has started to do the same thing with its standard 10yr and 12yr expressions. The bottlings released to North America have been reduced to 40% ABV from 43%, although in the case of the 10yr, the bottlings released to other parts of the world have long been at 40%, Canada appears to have been an exception.

The LCBO has informed me that "...the distillery decided to slightly change the ABV to help maintain their stock of aged products, without altering the taste." I guess time will tell...

10 years ago 0