Beam says Markers Mark tastes the same

Beam says Marker's Mark tastes the same

Beam Inc is reducing the alcohol content of Maker's Mark to help keep pace with a spike in demand.

The US company told just-drinks today (11 February) the Bourbon will fall from 45 to 42% abv, with the lower-alcohol bottles on shelves "in the coming weeks". Asked if there will be a price change, a spokesperson said Beam does not discuss its pricing strategy for competitive reasons.

The company said the decision was made after demand outstripped Beam's production capacity. “We never imagined that the entire Bourbon category would explode as it has over the past few years, nor that demand for Maker’s Mark would grow even faster,” Beam COO Rob Samuels wrote in a letter to the company's customer community on Saturday.

Samuels said the new formula is “completely consistent with the taste profile” of Maker's Mark's original recipe and the rest of the production process remains unchanged.

In full-year results released last week, Beam said Maker's Mark posted a 15% year-on-year sales growth in 2012. The company has been trying since at least 2009 to reduce Maker's Mark's reliance on the US market. “We believe America's native spirit has a bright future around the world,” Beam said.

The Beam spokesperson said today that the US is "by far the largest market for Maker’s Mark and demand has been tremendous".