just-drinks: In the Spotlight - Beam Lowers Maker's Mark abv

Who would have thought that lowering the abv of a Bourbon would provoke so much reaction? Beam will no doubt have been expecting some kind of response to cutting Maker's Mark alcohol content to 42%, announced this week, but possibly not the scale that has emerged.

Even Time magazine has had its say on the matter, noting that the response has been "lightning fast", thanks to our old friend Twitter. The magazine quoted Alba Huerta, general manager of cocktail bar Anvil in Houston, Texas, as saying: "I spent all day talking about this on Twitter when it exploded. I am afraid they are diluting their brand."

Maker's Mark seemed to sense the debate may be getting out of its control, so on Monday chairman Bill Samuels Jr, son of Maker's Mark founder, took to the company's own website to tackle the twitterers.

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