Stoli Group Gets its Talons into the US Whiskey Market with Acquisition of Kentucky Owl Bourbon
Kentucky Owl Sour Mash Whiskey is one of those new old Kentucky bourbons. The brand was founded back in 1879 by C.M. Dedman but like hundreds of distilleries at the time, it didn’t survive Prohibition and shut down in 1916. Several generations later the brand still sat dormant until fifth generation Dixon Dedman decided the time was right to resurrect the family’s name in bourbon.
Stay Informed: Sign up here for the Distillery Trail free email newsletter and be the first to get all the latest news, trends, job listings and events in your inbox.
Though the family was not in the bourbon making business for nearly a century, they were in the bar business as a part of their family run Beaumont Inn located in Harrodsburg, Ky. The Inn is within an hour’s drive of many of the states large distilleries. In 2014 Dixon Deadman relaunched the Kentucky Owl Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – The Wise Man’s Bourbon with the help of some other Innkeeper friends Mark and Sherri Carter who had experience in the winemaker business. The three partners worked with Strong Spirits in Bardstown to bring Kentucky Owl back to market.
Fast forward two years later and now this new old bourbon has a new owner, Stoli Group® USA, LLC. Stoli has announced that it will take over the national distribution, sales and marketing, as well as the global roll out, for the Kentucky Owl brand, effective immediately. This news comes on the heels of parent company, S.P.I. Group, acquiring the rights for “The Wise Man’s Bourbon,”™ adding a whiskey brand with a rich history to its burgeoning wine & spirits portfolio.
“When we began considering American whiskies, we were attracted to Kentucky Owl because of its complex, yet very smooth taste profile,” imparted Dmitry Efimov, CEO of S.P.I. Group. “Upon sitting down with the owners and hearing the story, we became really enthusiastic about revitalizing the brand and concluded that this would be the bourbon to anchor a whiskey line for S.P.I. Our USA team is poised to bring this to market.”
Patrick Piana, President of Stoli Group USA, said, “Kentucky Owl is a great next step for our portfolio of premium and luxury brands. Bourbons have been experiencing impressive growth recently and we see a strong opportunity in the super-premium sub-category, in particular.” Piana added, “I’m looking forward to working together with Dixon Dedman to accelerate the trusted product his family built into the cult bourbon brand for the North American brown spirits consumer.”
Dixon will continue to play a critical role as Kentucky Owl is introduced in more markets nationwide and globally as Brand Ambassador. As a small-batch, super-premium bourbon, the brand adds a new and varied call to the Stoli Group portfolio for consumers and will be well-represented by Stoli Group’s team of spirits experts. Stoli Group USA will begin by expanding Kentucky Owl’s presence in the South, where its talons first took root, and it will also take flight to major US cities.
Formed in 2013, Stoli Group USA, LLC is a U.S. importer and marketer of alcoholic beverages, headquartered in New York City. Stoli Group USA is a subsidiary of SPI Group based out of Luxemburg.