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Pernod Ricard Expands Premium Craft Spirits Portfolio With Majority Stake in Smooth Ambler Spirits

Absolut vodka and Jameson whiskey are two of the company’s international brands

Leszek Czerwonka / Shutterstock

The deal is expected to close in early 2017.

The world’s second-largest spirits group, Pernod Ricard, has acquired a majority stake in Smooth Ambler Spirits, expanding the company’s portfolio to include the group’s line of American whiskey and other premium craft spirits.

The investment of an undisclosed amount was made by Pernod Ricard’s North America subsidiary NBV Investments Inc., Business Insider reported.

The West Virginia distiller, home to brands such as Contradiction Bourbon and Old Scout Single Barrel Bourbon, has recently been awarded “Best Single Barrel Bourbon in the World” at Whisky Magazine’s 2016 World Whiskies Awards, according to a press release.

“Smooth Ambler is committed to making great spirits, using the best American ingredients,” John Little, Smooth Ambler’s co-founder and head distiller, said in a statement. “The investment from NBVI will enable us to introduce our premium craft spirits to many more consumers.”

The acquisition will not only allow Smooth Ambler to increase production capacity, but also give the French spirits company an opportunity to compete with smaller craft distillers.


"This investment illustrates perfectly our strategy of partnering with rising entrepreneurs sharing the same passion for authentic, high-quality brands," Pernod Ricard CEO Alexandre Ricard said in a statement.