Refusing to Make a Mark

Posted February 12, 2013 at 7:14pm

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell faced a question before the formal start of his Tuesday stake-out with reporters about a matter on the minds of many of his fellow Kentuckians.

A reporter asked McConnell for his thoughts on Maker’s Mark reducing the proof of its standard bourbon. McConnell offered a laugh but declined to answer, instead noting, “we’re having a tasting tonight” for the State of the Union, which he called “the longest day — every year.”

Maker’s Mark is diluting the alcohol content of its bourbon to meet increased demand.

The news has caused something of an outcry, but the company insists it will not change taste characteristics.

That McConnell would not take sides in a dispute about his home state’s native industry should come as no surprise. Kentucky politicians routinely avoid such issues, politely declining to pick the product of one distillery over another.

Democratic Gov. Steven L. Beshear declined to answer an HOH inquiry about bourbon preferences at the Kentucky Bluegrass Ball last month.

And McConnell steered clear of picking a favorite in a recent interview with Yahoo News, saying, “I’m not going to pick among bourbons. The best way to drink it, in my opinion, is to make a Manhattan.”