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Proposed bourbon sale gets backlash via Internet


MGN Online

MGN Online

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – News that Maker's Mark and other Beam products could be sold overseas is getting a lot of its loyal fans talking.

Beam, the maker of Jim Beam and Maker's Mark, has agreed to be acquired by Japan's Suntory Holdings for approximately $13.62 billion.

"They're known for high quality whiskey," said Seth Thompson, co-publisher of Bourbon Review Magazine.

The Bourbon Review's Facebook page has received overwhelmingly negative posts with users unhappy about the sale.

"That was definitely our audiences tone, a little bit of panic," said Thompson. "Another great American company is going to lose its foothold."

But, Thompson sees things in a more positive light when it comes to Suntory's likely approach with the brand.

"They're smart," he said. "They're going to know these brands have a very loyal following. So, if you go in and try to change the recipe, you upset the loyal fans."

If the sale goes through, Makers Mark could soon join a group of other Kentucky spirits that have gone global, including Four Roses, Blanton's and Wild Turkey.

Maker's Mark, in particular, is no stranger to being challenged with regards to public perception.

Last year, the Bourbon maker entertained the idea of reducing the proof of its product.

The company reversed its decision following public backlash.

Suntory and Beams' boards unanimously approved the transaction, which is targeted to close in the second quarter.

It needs approval from Beam Inc. stockholders.


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