The Talker: Maker`s Mark to lower proof in bourbon - FOX 32 News Chicago

The Talker: Maker`s Mark to lower proof in bourbon

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Global demand for American-made whiskey has been exploding, which is good news for most whiskey-makers, except Maker's Mark.

Maker's Mark produces bourbon -- a specific kind of whiskey – and the demand for it has gotten so high, so quickly, that there is a shortage. Store shelves in some places have been empty.

Maker's Mark is ramping up production, but its recipe calls for aging the bourbon in oak barrels for at least 5 years, 9 months. Instead of raising prices to decrease demand or mixing-in bourbon from other distillers, Maker's Mark is lowering its alcohol level from 90-proof to 84-proof by adding extra water--a 3% decrease.

In terms of real-world effect, the booze will have 6.7% less alcohol. Maker's Mark is taking some flak for the move, but they say extensive testing shows the 84-proof drink will taste exactly the same as the 90-proof drink.

They ruled out buying bourbon from other distillers and mixing it in and say they could have kept demand in-check by raising the price, but said they did not want its drink to be beyond the budgets of its customers.

The parent company of Maker's Mark is Beam, based in Deerfield.

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