First they were watering it down and people freaked out. Shockwaves were sent across whiskey-drinking America: beginning immediately Marker's Mark distillery was proofing their whiskey to 84 instead of 90. A sales frenzy was born. "Get your bottle of 45% Maker's Mark before it's gone forever!" Loyal consumers ran out and stocked up, thinking it would be their last chance to purchase the iconic 90 proof whiskey. But then, less than a week later, the boys at the distillery changed their minds. Due to the high volume of complaints, they would keep the whiskey at 45% to satisfy their loyal fanbase. But what happened then? Maker's Mark had already begun production on the 42% formula and shipped these bottles out for distribution. Whoops! What a "mistake." Suddenly, anyone who stocked up on the 45% bottle was now a sucker. The 45% formula would remain the standard - it would not be collectable. Too bad you wasted your money! Meanwhile, the 42% booze everyone had been complaining about, the bottle that no one wanted, the whiskey that caused all the uproar was now the collector's item! The joke was on you - the paying customer! Last week I watched retailer after retailer buy into this agenda, using this angle to spark a run on their Maker's inventory. "Come and get your 42% collector's item! Never to be made again! Last chance to own a piece of history!" It was a good way to sell some extra hooch, crafty retailers, but at whose expense?
We say: no thank you.
Want to know how limited this whiskey is? The last time we checked with the distributor there were tons of cases in Southern California alone. Literally thousands upon thousands of bottles just in the southern half of this one state. Not just standard 750ml-sized bottles, but the big 1.75L bottles as well. Turning a mistake into a collector's item is a brilliant idea - especially when you can do it twice! But how rare is the 42% Maker's Mark really when there are pallets sitting nearby in local distribution? It sure makes for clever marketing, this whole "limited run" angle, but what about all those customers who have now bought in twice, thinking this time they were surely getting something collectable? We don't want to be a part of spreading this false message.
We happily sell Maker's Mark whiskey. We have for years. We needed more Maker's Mark in Hollywood this week so David OG ordered another few cases. Unfortunately, they shipped us the "limited edition" 42% whiskey instead of the 45% Bourbon we want to be selling. If Maker's Mark is going to stay at 45% then we'd rather just sell the 45% version and stay out of this retailing monkey business. If you want the Maker's Mark 42% Bourbon, you can have it. For five bucks. That's right. We'd rather lose money on this whiskey and blow it out of here than play into this hand. We love Maker's Mark. We're happy we can continue selling the same old product we've been selling for years. We'd prefer to keep selling it, however, rather than confuse our customers with a weaker version that is not nearly as collectable as it some people are saying it is.
We want it out of here. While supplies last (one bottle limit per person):
Help us get rid of this imposter so we can get back to selling the real thing. The more things change, the more we stay the same – K&L, that is. We'll dump the 42% bottles for the die-hard collectors and keep the 45% bottles for the die-hard Bourbon fans. That's keeping it real.