Episode 412: February 16, 2013

Maker's Mark Chief Operating Officer Rob Samuels explains the distillery';s decision to reduce its bottling strength during an interview on February 13, 2013. Photo © 2013 by Mark Gillespie.

You have an iconic brand, but not enough supply to meet growing global demand…so you make one change in the product to increase supply, and all hell breaks loose! That’s the situation Rob Samuels of Maker’s Mark found himself in this week after announcing that the Bourbon his family has produced for more than 50 years would be lowered from 45% ABV to 42%. With media outlets from all over the world calling him for interviews, Rob sat down to talk with us this week about the reasons for the change, and why most people shouldn’t notice any difference. In the news, we mourn the passing of Truman Cox, get the first word on an all-new Bourbon from Jim Beam, and discover a new use for whisky glasses.

[whisky-audio src=”http://www.whiskycast.com/files/WhiskyCast_20130216.mp3″]

Links:  Maker’s Mark | A. Smith Bowman | Pernod Ricard | Midleton | Teeling Whiskey Company | Jim Beam | Beam Global | Charlotte Observer

Mark Gillespie

I'm the host and executive producer of WhiskyCast.

Comments 2

  • MaltFisherAugust 20, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Wow listening to this episode nearly 6 months later is still very frustrating. The amount of stock that goes into “46” is “insignificant” how much exactly? More than 6% I bet! I would rather halt production of 46 then water down my flagship and take a serious hit to my brand. Are there any updates on sales of Makers Mark?

    • Mark GillespieAugust 20, 2013 at 12:08 pm

      They went right back to the traditional bottling strength of 45% within a week, and while sales jumped during the first quarter of 2013 as people tried to stockpile the original version, they’ve leveled off now and returned to normal. You’ll still find a few bottles of the 42% ABV Maker’s on some store shelves, though…I saw one earlier this month in Wyoming while I was out there.

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