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Maker's Mark Bottled at 42% ABV could become a collector's item

Maker’s Mark Bottled at 42% ABV could become a collector’s item

We’re the first to share with the whiskey community that Maker’s Mark has just decided to switch back to 90 proof effective immediately.  Maker’s Mark just has shared the news with this morning.

A little over a week ago, was the first to bring you the news that Maker’s Mark was “permanently” changing the proof of their Bourbon from 90 to 84 (45% to 42%), in a recipe that dated back to 1953.

What do you think about their fast change of heart and what do you think motivated it? Tell us on this link and check out the official email from Rob Samuels and Bill Samuels, Jr. below.

During the last 7 days, Maker’s Mark has received bad press and negative comments on social media questioning unspoken motivations behind the ABV lowering decision.

Additionally, many other Bourbon brands took the opportunity to poke fun at Maker’s Mark on social media.

Check out the subtle hint in a facebook ad from Wild Turkey and the message that Julian Van Winkle, CEO of Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery Tweeted below! tasted the 42% last night and we could tell a difference from the original 45%, we’ll bring you our full review soon!

There are some bottles of 42% ABV out there, so grab one while you can!

Maker's Mark new labelDear Friends,

Since we announced our decision last week to reduce the alcohol content (ABV) of Maker’s Mark in response to supply constraints, we have heard many concerns and questions from our ambassadors and brand fans. We’re humbled by your overwhelming response and passion for Maker’s Mark. While we thought we were doing what’s right, this is your brand – and you told us in large numbers to change our decision.

You spoke. We listened. And we’re sincerely sorry we let you down.

So effective immediately, we are reversing our decision to lower the ABV of Maker’s Mark, and resuming production at 45% alcohol by volume (90 proof). Just like we’ve made it since the very beginning.

The unanticipated dramatic growth rate of Maker’s Mark is a good problem to have, and we appreciate some of you telling us you’d even put up with occasional shortages. We promise we’ll deal with them as best we can, as we work to expand capacity at the distillery.

Your trust, loyalty and passion are what’s most important. We realize we can’t lose sight of that. Thanks for your honesty and for reminding us what makes Maker’s Mark, and its fans, so special.

We’ll set about getting back to bottling the handcrafted bourbon that our father/grandfather, Bill Samuels, Sr. created. Same recipe. Same production process. Same product.

As always, we will continue to let you know first about developments at the distillery. In the meantime please keep telling us what’s on your mind and come down and visit us at the distillery. It means a lot to us.


Rob Samuels Bill Samuels, Jr
Chief Operating Officer

[email protected]


Bill Samuels, Jr

Chairman Emeritus
[email protected]

Julian Van Winkle

Wild Turkey Less Water More Flavor




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5 Responses to “Maker’s Mark Switches Back to 90 proof, 45% after 1 week they change their minds”

  1. Epic R

    I like Makers, their iconic presence, and the spotlight they bring to the area, but this switch back is too little, too late. I was shocked when they decided to change the blend, even though it was small. Knob creek had a shortage not long ago, and they stuck with their recipe. It payed off. Their loyal fans stuck with them and the raised prices. The blend change, to me, showed they were unfaithful in their long standing products ability to sell. I don’t drink Makers often anymore in my constant pursuit of all things bourbon, but I don’t think I can anymore. You can’t believe in yourself Makers, why should I.

  2. Bill McCauley

    When Makers decided to water down their brand I thought it was about money and not about quality that they have built as a long established company. I thought it was poor judgment on their part but to reverse their decision in a week back to their old standards regains my respect. I would hope this wasn’t all about marketing.

  3. martymankins

    Very happy to see this decision reversed. I shared this news to all of those MM fans that were bummed about the lower ABV version and they are happy they don’t have to get used to even a slightly watered down version of their favorite bourbon.

  4. Stanthewineman

    All could think of was marketing. I remember when Coke changed its’ formula and how it eventually helped their brand. Makers never intended to dilute their bourbon permanently. It got the brand front and center and now the sales WILL cause a shortage. I love their bourbon, I will keep drinking it, and I applaud them for their marketing prowess.

  5. Jonnyray

    I am still disappointed in the brand and owners. If they could have gotten away without everyone causing a fuss it would have been take me to the bank. Either way they get what they want, because now they can talk about the shortage and go up on the price.