Edrington, the spirits group behind brands including The Macallan, Famous Grouse and Cutty Sark, has bought a minority stake in a US distiller in a move which takes it into the fast growing American whiskey category.
The Glasgow-headquartered group has announced the tie-up with Wyoming Whiskey which will see the brand join Edrington’s Americas distribution network that will also handle the sales and marketing of the US firm’s products.
The deal, for an undisclosed sum, will see Wyoming Whiskey sold alongside Edrington’s other key brands in the US, Canada and Mexico initially.
Wyoming Whiskey was founded and is run by fourth generation cattle ranchers Brad and Kate Mead and their son Sam.
All of its whiskey production will continue in Kirby, Wyoming.
Ian Curle, chief executive of Edrington which is also behind Highland Park, The Glenrothes, Brugal, Snow Leopard vodka and Tequila Partida, said: “This deal is a further step towards becoming the world’s leading premium spirits company and adds to a brilliant year in which we opened our award-winning distillery and brand home for The Macallan.”
Edrington said American whiskey is one of the fastest growing premium spirit categories in the US, itself the largest premium spirits market in the world.
Chris Spalding, president and chief executive of Edrington Americas, said Wyoming Whiskey “holds its own against the nation’s finest”.
“The brand has been acclaimed by national spirits experts who can attest that world class whiskey is being made out on the Wyoming frontier. We are proud to be playing our part in helping more consumers discover the quality of this outstanding American whiskey,” he said.
Brad Mead of Wyoming Whiskey said: “To see us alongside The Macallan, Highland Park, and the entire line-up at Edrington Americas’ headquarters in New York is just fantastic, but I know we’ve earned it. With Edrington, Wyoming Whiskey will be offered opportunities that we could not have achieved on our own. This partnership will allow our brand to grow without the practical limitations that we faced as a standalone distiller. It’s an exciting time for us.”
Edrington employs around 3,000 people worldwide, with more than 70 per cent of its staff employed overseas. Earlier this year it took the wraps off its new £140 million distillery and visitor experience centre for The Macallan in Speyside.