Ultra-premium spirits producer Edrington has increased its stake in Kirby-based distiller Wyoming Whiskey from 35% to 80% as it seeks to capitalise on the growth of high-end American whiskey.
The bourbon and rye producer first joined Edrington’s Partnership Brands business unit in 2018. Since then its volume and value sales have grown ahead of the ultra-premium American whiskey category in the US.
Edrington owns brands including The Macallan, Highland Park and The Glenrothes single malt Scotch whiskies, Naked Malt blended malt whisky, and The Famous Grouse blended Scotch. It also owns Noble Oak American whiskey, Brugal rum, and has a strategic partnership with No. 3 London Dry Gin.
Its core revenue climbed 45% to £821.2m for its 2022 full year, with the reopening of travel retail cited as a key driver.
Wyoming Whiskey ‘a great fit’
Wyoming Whiskey will continue to be made at its ranch-based home, with all 37 employees joining the wider Edrington business.
Kate and Brad Mead and David DeFazio founded Wyoming Whiskey in 2012. Since then they’ve released a range of expressions made using corn, wheat, barley, rye and water from the Big Horn Basin.
“With a compelling brand story, natural ultra-premium credentials stemming from its origins, and its inherent scarcity, Wyoming Whiskey is a great fit for Edrington’s ultra-premium strategy,” said Jane Graham, Director of Partnership Brands.
“Our majority shareholding gives Edrington the opportunity to get closer than ever to every aspect of Wyoming Whiskey and increase investment behind the brand.”
Founding shareholder Brad Mead added: “Our partnership with Edrington over the past five years has been extraordinarily productive.
“Edrington’s track record of creating iconic ultra-premium whiskeys and building authentic brands makes the company the perfect partner going forward.
“We’re excited about the future of Wyoming Whiskey and our continued association with Edrington.”
Continuing a ‘premiumisation journey’
Suzy Smith, MD of Estate Brands at Edrington, commented: “After five years of growth and success as part of our Partnership Brands team, we are excited at the potential of Wyoming Whiskey and believe it will contribute to Edrington’s strategic vision and become a prestige American Whiskey brand under our stewardship.
“Wyoming Whiskey is a unique American Whiskey thanks to its craft and quality, born and bred on the Mead family ranch in Kirby, Wyoming.
Edrington CEO Scott McCroskie described the acquisition as a “logical” step for both parties. “The ultra-premium American Whiskey category is going through a period of rapid growth.
“This is an exciting opportunity to apply Edrington’s skills in crafting exceptional ultra-premium spirit brands to continue Wyoming Whiskey’s premiumisation journey.”
In February, Edrington Global Travel Retail (GTR) bolstered its senior leadership team in the channel, with Alessandro Felicani appointed Marketing Director and Wilcy Wong named as Commercial Director.