Consolidation continues in the world of whiskey.
Pernod Ricard USA, through its New Brand Ventures division, has signed an agreement for the acquisition of a majority share of Rabbit Hole Whiskey, which is produced and based in Louisville, Kentucky.
A newer entry on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, Rabbit Hole is known for its state-of-the-art distillery and production techniques that have produced some of the better younger whiskeys released in recent time.
The brand was founded by Kaveh Zamanian, a former psychologist and psychoanalyst who left his job to pursue his whiskey passion. As part of the strategic partnership with Pernod Ricard USA, Zamanian will keep the majority of his shares in Rabbit Hole and will continue to operate the company.
“By leveraging Pernod Ricard USA’s extensive distribution network to reach new consumers, we are able to strengthen Rabbit Hole’s position as a brand and amplify its presence as a new voice in American whiskey,” says Zamanian. “In partnership with Pernod Ricard USA, Rabbit Hole is poised to reach new heights. I am very excited about this partnership and our future together.”
With this partnership, Pernod Ricard USA further expands its portfolio of newly created specialty brands with unique value propositions and select distribution, the company says. Rabbit Hole will be part of the New Brand Ventures portfolio along with brands such as Smooth Ambler West Virginian whiskey and Del Maguey mezcal.
“Rabbit Hole has a great sense of place and a great founding team. They have a considerable amount of aging inventory that will come online over the next 18 months, and we are eager to help make it available to U.S. consumers as quickly and widely as possible,” says Jeff Agdern, SVP of New Brand Ventures at Pernod Ricard USA. “We are aiming to expand distribution from 18 to 50 markets by the end of 2020.”
This transaction is expected to close shortly.