Meh. I bought a 1.75l last night at my little hole-in-the-wall, opened it, removed all the pesky wax, and am now savoring a small shot as I read this ironic passage in But Always Fine Bourbon:
"The best advice Pappy ever gave my father", Bill (Samuels Jr.) said, "was to make a premium product, and to keep it in short supply. I can thank your grandfather for that as long as I live."
That was then, this is now.
I have no problems with the 46 in and of itself; I just don't think it should have come next in the line (3rd or 4th maybe). 2nd should have been a bonded, 101 or barrel proof Maker's. 3rd could have been a more-aged Makers. Especially with MM dropping proof, a "high-end" version would make good sense.
Personally I think the decision was purely financial, to increase earnings from the brand in the near-term. This would accord with the pricing of MM, which is fairly high IMO for what it is, but clearly they are getting it and haven't melted their wings yet.
I don't mind this move at all. I often call MM the "entry" bourbon, and a lower proof will make it all the more pallatable for the non-whiskey drinker. I keep MM around for the sole purpose of giving people a "drinkable" whiskey when others are drinking the special WT products and BTAC. I think that purpose won't be lost.
Now, if I were a MM fan, I would understandably be upset. "I can provide my own water," is a pretty sound argument.
Sound advise but the Samuels family hasn't been making the decisions at MM for about 30 years now.
Less whiskey going into the bottles of maker's mark, more whiskey they have to age, potentially, for another release other than 46. I can dream.
Always passed up Makers because I always figured it would be around so could grab it any time. May have to grab a bottle before the change shows up here.