Maker’s Mark President Bill Samuels, the founder’s son, said the company focused almost exclusively on not altering the taste of the bourbon while stretching the available product and didn’t consider the emotional attachment that customers have to the brand and its composition.
Bill Samuels said the company tinkered with how much water to add and keep the taste the same for about three months before making the announcement about the change Monday. It marked the first time the bourbon brand, more than a half-century old, had altered its proof or alcohol volume.
“Our focus was on the supply problem. That led to us focusing on a solution,” he said. “We got it totally wrong.”
After thousands of customers complained about the change, the company changed its mind about the change. As of Monday, they’re going back to the old model. ”We really made this decision after an enormous amount of thought, and we focused on the wrong things,” Samuels said.