High West Distillery Scooped Up By Liquor Giant For A Lot Of Cash - The Whiskey Wash

High West Distillery Scooped Up By Liquor Giant For A Lot Of Cash

High West Campfire

High West Campfire (Image copyright The Whiskey Wash)

High West Distillery out of Utah has long been a favorite of ours, and we believe it to be one of the best examples of a non-distilling producer (now turned distiller) in the United States. Constellation Brands, a large beer, wine and spirits conglomerate, apparently liked them a lot too, as they have acquired the brand and their diverse whiskey portfolio for a reported price of $160 million.

The acquisition, according to Constellation, “includes all of High West’s operations and its portfolio of distinctive, award-winning and high-end American straight whiskeys.” This portfolio is said to sell approximately 70,000 cases annually and includes four core High West Whiskey products: American Prairie Bourbon, DoubleRye!, Rendezvous Rye and Campfire, the only blend of Scotch, bourbon and rye whiskeys on the market. In addition, High West Distillery produces several limited-edition whiskeys.

The roughly $160 million figure, though not officially mentioned in the news around this acquisition, was reported by the Wall Street Journal as being the sum that High West founder David Perkins was good to go with. As part of the agreement, High West’s employees will join the Constellation Brands family to ensure continuity in the distinctive styles of the whiskeys. This apparently includes Perkins, who reportedly will remain on as both a brand ambassador and also to continue working on distillery products.

On Constellation’s part, they have acquired a quality entry into the dynamic and profitable high-end craft whiskey segment. High West is said to have experienced double-digit volume growth year over year for the past three years. The transaction is expected to close by the end of this month.

“Our award-winning whiskeys are artfully blended to create unique and complex flavors inspired by the Old West,” said John Esposito, chief executive officer, High West, in a prepared statement. “We craft innovative whiskey blends that reflect our sense of adventure and pioneering spirit. When it came to the next step for High West, we wanted to work with the right partner that will help us grow further while maintaining our culture and core values. With the strength of the Constellation Brands team, we will be able to reach more consumers and continue our track record of innovation.”

Other spirits brands High West joins in the Constellation portfolio include SVEDKA Vodka and Casa Noble Tequila. Constellation also not too long ago acquired Ballast Point, one of the most awarded craft brewers in the United States.

“High West’s whiskeys are high-end, distinctive, and delicious – perfect for today’s knowledgeable consumer who enjoys artfully crafted whiskeys,” added Bill Newlands, president, wine and spirits division, Constellation Brands. “With the addition of High West, Constellation Brands bolsters its position in the dynamic and growing craft spirits category. We look forward to welcoming this creative and talented team to Constellation Brands as we work together to drive growth for High West and build our premium spirits portfolio with brands that consumers love.”