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The Chicago Sun Times reports that "Maker’s Mark bourbon is being watered down slightly to stretch supplies of the liquor," and now will be "distributed at 42 percent alcohol by volume, down from 45 percent alcohol, or 90 proof."

Chairman emeritus Bill Samuels Jr. says in a letter posted on the company's website that the decision has been made because of a national bourbon shortage, but that "every batch at 42 percent ABV had the same taste profile that we’ve always had... there’s no difference in the taste."
KC's View:
Not being a bourbon drinker, I'm reasonably sure I could not tell the difference. But I will say that I thought that Samuels made an important point at the conclusion of his posted letter...

"I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to write. It shows that you care about Maker’s Mark, and that’s what we’ve been striving for over the past 50 years. I hope you’ll give us the chance to continue earning that devotion and allow us to prove that we didn’t screw up your whisky. All the best.”

In the end, this is as much about brand equity as brand purity. I'm going to work on the assumption that the Maker's Mark folks believe that the taste actually is the same, or they would not be watering down the booze. But it is critical to recognize that when people express complaints and/or reservations, it is because they are passionate about the brand. You can't buy that kind of devotion. But you do have to nurture it.