Met with outrage from bourbon drinkers, the producer of Maker's Mark backtracked from the decision to reduce the amount of alcohol in its whiskey.
Imbibers are ecstatic, but economists and strategists are fixated on the company's supply problem and wondering, what now? Will this really turn out to be a win for consumers?
Maker’s Mark’s chief operating officer, Rob Samuels, announced Sunday that the company is restoring the alcohol volume of its bourbon to its historic level of 45%, or 90 proof. Last week, the company said it was reducing the amount to 84 proof because supply couldn't meet demand. Sales of Maker's Mark rose 14% in 2011 and 15% in 2012, part of a broader bourbon trend.
"We’re humbled by your overwhelming response and passion for Maker’s Mark," Samuels said in a letter posted to the company's website. "While we thought we were doing what’s right, this is your brand -- and you told us in large numbers to change our decision."