The Whisky M&A space is heating up. Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits bolstered its commitment to grow its spirits portfolio with the acquisition of Redemption Whiskey. Among the Deutsch Family many brands is Yellow Tail which according to The Drinks Business is the number five selling wine brand of 2014.
The Redemption portfolio includes,
- Redemption Straight Rye Whiskey
- Redemption High Rye Bourbon
- Redemption Bourbon
- Riverboat Rye
- White Whiskey
- and Limited Edition Barrel Selections
Redemption is distilled in Lawrenceburg, Indiana and bottled in small batches in Bardstown, KY with each batch and bottle number hand written on every label.
Whiskey is the largest spirits category in dollar volume and continues its strong growth led by products priced above $25 for a 750ml. Bourbon is the largest segment within the Whiskey category, growing at more than 10% (Nielsen 52 weeks ending 4-25-15), and while Rye is a smaller segment it is growing even faster.
Redemption Whiskey was created serendipitously when industry veterans Dave Schmier and Michael Kanbar uncovered a cache of Rye Whiskey barrels they believed to be the perfect expression of this classic American spirit just as Rye was beginning to capture the interest of consumers. Dave explains, “Michael and I both have a passion for Rye, as the inspiration for so many classic cocktails, it is natural that Rye is experiencing a resurgence in interest from the mixology community given today’s cocktail culture. For us, the renewed popularity of Rye represents a ‘Redemption’ of sorts, for this segment.”
“Six years ago we entered the spirits business after almost three decades as a wine company and we have been very selective about what brands we brought into our portfolio. The addition of Redemption provides a high quality entry into the most dynamic segment of the spirits business: American Whiskey,” said Peter Deutsch, CEO, Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits. “The premium and ultra-premium segments within the Whiskey category remind me a lot of premium wine, with consumers being open to experiment, focused more on quality than slick marketing and interested in learning more about the product itself.”
Once the Redemption Rye was launched successfully the brand’s offerings expanded to include Bourbons, and several Barrel Proof Selections of Rye aged between 6 and 10 years. These special, limited releases have consistently garnered accolades in prestigious competitions including achieving Gold and Double Gold medals in the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The brand has tripled in size in the last two years despite demand consistently exceeding supply. “We knew the product quality was outstanding, and it is gratifying to see the brand embraced by mixologists and consumers alike,” said Michael. “We are very excited to see what Redemption can achieve in the future under the stewardship of the Deutsch Family. We know the brand is in good hands and that they will build on the strong foundation we created.”
Tom Steffanci, President of Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits added, “Dave and Mike can be very proud of what they created with Redemption. The quality of the products are superb and the brand is easy to relate to. I am grateful that both Dave and Mike will remain on board with us for a period of time to help our team and our distributor partners understand the brand as we build scale.” The brand will be available in limited states over the next two years due to supply constraints but will eventually be available nationally.
The Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits portfolio includes award-winning wines from Australia: [ yellow tail ], [ yellow tail ] The Reserve, [ yellow tail ] Bubbles; California: Cigar Zin, Eppa SupraFruta Sangria, Girard Winery, Kunde Family Estate, Joseph Carr, Josh Cellars, Flirt, The Calling; France: Andre Lurton, Georges Duboeuf, Hob Nob Vineyards, Sauvion et Fils, Vidal- Fleury; Italy: Barone Fini,, Villa Pozzi; New Zealand: The Crossings; Portugal: Quinta Do Vale Meao; Spain: Mar De Frades, Cruz de Alba, and Ramon Bilbao Vinos Y Vinedo; Argentina: Ruta 22, and award-winning spirits from LUKSUSOWA Vodka (Poland), VILLA MASSA® Limoncello (Italy) and LICOR 43® (Spain).
Demeter Group, a San Francisco-based investment bank for beverage alcohol companies, acted as Bardstown Barrel Selections exclusive financial adviser on the transaction.