US drinks distributor Prestige Beverage Group has acquired Canadian whisky brand Windsor from Beam Suntory for an undisclosed sum.
Windsor is described as one of the top-selling Canadian whiskies in the US. The blended whisky is made from grains grown near Calgary and water from western Canada. The range includes the original Windsor and a black cherry-flavoured blended whisky.
Founded in 1974, Minnesota-based Prestige Beverage Group is an importer and brand owner of more than 70 wine and spirits brands.
Windsor will join Prestige Beverage Group’s portfolio of spirits, including Snoop Dogg’s Indoggo Gin, Kinky Beverages, ready-to-drink cocktail brand Joia Spirit and The Whistler Irish whiskey.
“Windsor is a historic and beloved brand with deep roots and loyal consumers, which makes it the perfect addition to our growing wine and spirits portfolio,” said Scott Schilling, general manager and chief marketing officer of Prestige Beverage Group. “Windsor has an incredible track record, and our team is excited for continued growth.”
Windsor will continue to be produced at Beam Suntory’s Alberta Distillers site in Calgary. Alberta Distillers is said to one of the few remaining 100% Canadian rye whisky producers in North America.
Beam Suntory said in a statement: “Beam Suntory has completed the sale of the Windsor Canadian whisky brand to Prestige Beverage Group, which we believe is the right partner to build this brand in the future. We are excited about continuing to grow our award-winning Canadian whisky portfolio by retaining full ownership of our operations at Alberta Distillers.”
Beam Suntory was awarded World Whisky of the Year in the Whisky Bible 2021 for its Alberta Premium Cask Strength rye whisky earlier this year. However, following backlash surrounding “sexist and vulgar” language used to describe whiskies in the book, Beam Suntory said it was “re-evaluating all planned programming that references this recognition”.
Beam Suntory also owns Canadian Club, the world’s second biggest-selling Canadian whisky brand. In 2019, the brand reported 0.2% growth to two million nine-litre cases, according to Brand Champions data.
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Author: Nicola Carruthers