Jefferson's Bourbon Maker Acquired By Pernod Ricard - The Whiskey Wash

Jefferson’s Bourbon Maker Acquired By Pernod Ricard

By Nino Marchetti / September 3, 2019

Pernod Ricard, as we wrote about a few weeks ago, is a spirits giant normally known in whisk(e)y circles for ownership of a select group of Scotch, Irish and American whisk(e)y distilleries and brands. This includes a presence in Kentucky through its Rabbit Hole acquisition earlier this year, which was followed in short order by a buyout of Texas-based Firestone & Roberson Distilling Co. Now Pernod has gone and swallowed a much bigger fish, acquiring mid-sized spirits competitor Castle Brands for a healthy sum.

Though the name Castle Brands may not immediately be that well known to many American whiskey drinkers, its associated Kentucky whiskey label Jefferson’s Bourbon likely will be. It is this brand that surfaces as the major piece in this $223 million dollar acquisition, bringing into the Pernod fold bottlings that include Jefferson’s, Jefferson’s Presidential Select, Jefferson’s Reserve, Jefferson’s Ocean Aged at Sea Bourbon, Jefferson’s Wine Finish Collection and Jefferson’s Wood Experiments.

“Through this acquisition we welcome this great brand portfolio, in particular, Jefferson’s bourbon whiskey, to the Pernod Ricard family,” said Alexandre Ricard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pernod Ricard, in a prepared statement. “Bourbon is a key category in the US which is our single most important market. This deal aligns well with our consumer-centric strategy to offer our consumers the broadest line-up of high-quality premium brands.

Jefferson's whiskeys

Some of the offerings in the Jefferson’s portfolio, now owned by Pernod Ricard (image via Jefferson’s)

“As with our American whiskies Smooth Ambler, Rabbit Hole and TX, we would provide Jefferson’s a strong route to market and secure its long-term development, while remaining true to its authentic and innovative character.”

Alongside the Jefferson’s whiskeys, other related brown spirits coming into the Pernod Ricard family include Knappogue Castle Whiskey, Clontarf Irish Whiskey, The Arran Malt Single Malt Scotch Whisky, The Robert Burns Scotch Whisky and Machrie Moor Scotch Whisky. These join Pernod-owned overseas whisk(e)y brands that include Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, Royal Salute, and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies and Jameson Irish whiskey.