In the past seven years, sales for Maker’s Mark bourbon — known for the red-wax seal and a Kentucky twang — have more than doubled. With the company unable to supply the demand for the bourbon boom, bars, restaurants, and package stores are increasingly left with empty shelves where Maker’s Mark once stood.What to do? How to satisfy the whiskey-thirsty masses? Just add water, of course, which is what the makers of Maker’s Mark have decided to do. It will mark the first time in the brand’s 50-year history that its proof or alcohol volume has been altered.Generally, water is added before whiskey goes into the aging barrel (where it soaks up its charred white oak magic for six years) and again after it comes out for bottling. With the new formula, the recipe and production process will stay the same, except "a touch more water" will be added when the whiskey comes out after aging, said Rob Samuels, chief operating officer for Maker's Mark and grandson of the bourbon's founder."We have both tasted it extensively, and it's completely consistent with the taste profile our founder/dad/grandfather, Bill Samuels Sr., created nearly 60 years ago," two of the company's bourbon heirs wrote in an email to customers. "We've also done extensive testing with Maker's Mark drinkers, and they couldn't tell a difference."The dilution will result in the alcohol volume being lowered from 45 percent to 42 percent — or 90 proof to 84 proof, and will increase available volume by about 6 percent.
Why is this relevant to Env-Econ readers? Let me count the ways:
1) John is from Kentucky. Maker's Mark is from Kentucky.
2) My non-beer drink of choice is bourbon.
3) I found this story on the Mother Nature Network.
4) Maker's Mark is known as the 'greenest' of the bourbon makers.