Makers Mark announced on Monday February 11th that they will be watering down their whisky. This bold (read: weak) move was initiated by founder and son Bill and Rob Samuels. They claim that the company was seeing and could expect more growth than expected, so they need to water down their stock to meet worldwide demand. This will cut the famous wax-sealed spirit from 90 proof down to 84. Moreover, this change will be permanent. To be fair, since their whisky is aged for 5 years and 9 months, it’s not like they can just make more now. Their only other options would be to raise the price (which they were unwilling to do), take the whisky out of the casks early (which would alter the taste more), or buy whisky from other manufacturers and put their label on it (which would be fucking nuts). So they did choose the best road here. Also being fair, America has been in a depression for the past … a lot of years, and, statistically, when is more alcohol consumed? During a depression. That being said, making the change permanent is a ridiculous idea, but it won’t be the end of the company. nor will it stop me from drinking makers. However, it will lead me to question the judgement of the distillers more than I would have. As a side note, Makers 46 (a longer aged, higher proof version flavored with seared french oak staves) will under go no change. Long story short, if you’re a fan of the Mark, get out there and buy a few bottles of the 90 proof while its still around, and keep them stashed away for a rainy day… or the next basho.