Sazerac Company

Sazerac Company, Inc is a privately held American alcoholic beverage company headquartered in Metairie in the metropolitan area of New Orleans, Louisiana, but with its principal office in Louisville, Kentucky.[3] The company is owned by billionaire William Goldring and his family. As of 2017, it operated nine distilleries, had 2,000 employees, and operated in 112 countries. It is one of the two largest spirits companies in the U.S., with annual revenue of about $1 billion made from selling about 300 mostly discount brands.[4][5][6]

Sazerac Company, Inc.
IndustryAlcoholic beverages
Founded1850 (1850)
FounderThomas H. Handy
HeadquartersMetairie, Louisiana, United States
Key people
William Goldring, Chairman[1][2]


The company was founded after the purchase of a bar known as the Sazerac Coffee House in 1869 by Thomas H. Handy.[3] The coffee house itself had been established in 1850.[5] After its purchase, Handy's company began to acquire and market brands of liquor. According to the company, the Sazerac Coffee House had been named after a cocktail called the Sazerac that was created in the mid-1800s by the Creole immigrant Antoine Amédée Peychaud, who operated a pharmacy on Royal Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans in 1838.[3] The company publishes a Sazerac recipe and produces a Peychaud's Bitters named after Peychaud, which is an ingredient in the traditional Sazerac cocktail.[7][8]

William Goldring began buying shares of the company in 1948, and eventually purchased the entire company.[5]

In 2009, the company's principal office was moved to Louisville, Kentucky, reflecting an increased company focus on bourbon whiskey production. However, the Sazerac Company still maintains an active presence in the New Orleans area, and it also has operations in Carson[3] and Loomis,[9] California; Baltimore, Maryland; Chicago, Illinois;[10] Bardstown,[11] Frankfort,[12] and Owensboro, Kentucky;[11] Fredericksburg, Virginia;[13] Montreal, Quebec, Canada;[14] Lewiston, Maine;[15] Londonderry, New Hampshire; Newport, Tennessee;[16] and Sergonzac, France.[17]

In 2016, the company had an estimated revenue of $1 billion per year and a market valuation estimate of $4.5 billion.[5] The valuation placed Goldring in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index with an estimated net worth of $3.9 billion.[5]



In 1989, Sazerac acquired several brands from Seagram: Benchmark, a bourbon, eventually changing its name from "Benchmark" to McAfee's Benchmark; James Foxe Canadian Whisky; Nikolai (vodka); Carstairs Blended Whiskey; Crown Russe, a vodka and gin brand; Dr. McGillicuddy's, a liqueur brand, that included its Fireball Whisky, which was rebranded as Fireball Cinnamon Whisky in 2007; Eagle Rare, a Kentucky straight bourbon whisky.[18]

In 1992, Sazerac acquired the George T. Stagg Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky, at which time the company's primary focus became the production of bourbon whiskey, a product that is primarily distilled, aged, and bottled in Kentucky, later changing its name to The Buffalo Trace Distillery in 1999.[12]

In 1994, Sazerac acquired Monsieur Henri, a wine and specialty spirits company. In 2007, it was announced that they were changing the name Monsieur Henri to Gemini Spirits and Wine, its headquartered in Loomis, California.[9] In 2014, Sazerac announced the creation the Bond & Royal Company, located in Chicago, Illinois, to take over the specialty and craft segment of its brands from the Gemini Spirits and Wine portfolio including: Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal, a "cousin" to the Tequila family of spirits,"[10] Campo de Encanto Pisco, a Peruvian brandy,[19] Banks Rum, Siete Leguas Tequila, Glenfarclas Single Malt Scotch, Dimmi Liquore di Milano, an Italian liqueur,[20] and the Casa San Matias Tequilas.[21]

In 1999, Sazerac acquired the W.L. Weller Bourbon brands.[22]

In 2003, Sazerac acquired the A. Smith Bowman Distillery, located in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Kentucky Gentleman, a bourbon whiskey, is distilled there.[13]

In March 2009, Sazerac completed its acquisition of Constellation Brands value-priced spirit assets. The purchase included Barton Brands[23] and several other bourbon brands, a distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky, and a bottling and warehousing facility in Owensboro, Kentucky.[11]

In June 2009, Sazerac acquired The Old Taylor Bourbon label and barrel inventory from Beam Global Spirits & Wine, now known as Beam Suntory.[24]

In September 2011, Sazerac entered into an agreement with Corby Distilleries Limited, to purchase 17 Corby owned brands including: McGuinness Silk Tassel Canadian Whisky, Red Tassel Vodka, and DeKuyper Geneva Gin and Peachtree Schnapps as part of the agreement made with the other brands acquired from Corby Distilleries Limited.[25] The deal also included shares of Corby's manufacturing and bottling facilities in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and Quebec, Canada.[14] The distillery was eventually renamed as the Old Montreal Distillery.[26]

In October 2011, Sazerac Acquired 32 brands from White Rock Distillery, most notably including: Tortilla triple sec, Desert Island cocktails, Kapali liqueurs, Ryans Irish cream liqueur, Fire Water schnapps liqueur, Ice 101 liqueurs, Barbarossa rum, Ice Box blenders and cocktails, Mount Royal Canadian whisky, and others.[27] In May 2012, Sazerac Acquired several more brands from White Rock Distillery including: Baja Tequila, Tenure Vodka, Epic Vodka, Superia Vodka, Stroyski Vodka, El Charro Tequila, Blackmaker Root beer liqueur, and Chocolate Valley Vines wine.[28]

In October 2012, Sazerac acquired Gran Gala, a liqueur brand, from Stock Spirits.[29]

In October 2013, Sazerac bought a distillery, including land and equipment in Lewiston, Maine, from Beam Inc. (now known as Beam Suntory).[15] By 2017, the name of the distillery was changed to Boston Brands of Maine. The Mr. Boston line of Brandies is distilled there.[30]

In October 2015, Sazerac acquired Michael Collins, an Irish whiskey from the Sidney Frank Importing Company.[31]

Also in 2015, Sazerac added Van Gogh Imports, changing its name to 375 Park Avenue Spirits, as an independent, but fully integrated, division in its portfolio.[32]

In March 2016, Sazerac completed the purchase of the Southern Comfort brand of whiskey-based liqueur, and Tuaca, a brandy liqueur, from Brown-Forman, Inc.[33]

In March 2016, Sazerac acquired Hi-Spirits to take over the distribution of its products in the UK.[34]

In May 2016, it was announced that Sazerac had finalized a deal with Pernod Ricard's Irish Distillers to acquire its Paddy Irish Whiskey brand.[35]

In September 2016 it was announced that Sazerac acquired The Last Drop Distillers, a Scotch Whiskey bottling company.[36]

Also, in September 2016, Sazerac acquired South Trade International, an Australian spirit maker, from Pinnacle Drinks.[37]

In October 2016, Sazerac acquired Frïs Vodka from Pernod Ricard.[38]

In December 2016, Sazerac announced its acquisition of The Popcorn Sutton Distillery in Newport, Tennessee.[16]

Also in December 2016, it was announced that Sazerac had acquired Domaine Breuil de Segonzac Cognac. "The purchase included the cognac distillery, vineyards, and existing buildings" located in near the town of Segonzac, France, near Cognac.[17]

In November 2018, it was announced that Sazerac would acquire 19 lower-end spirits brands from Diageo Plc, including Seagram VO Canadian whisky and Goldschläger cinnamon schnapps.[39][40]

Joint ventures

  • In 2002, Sazerac entered an agreement with the Van Winkle family to produce its Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve and Old Rip Van Winkle bourbon and rye whisky brands at its Buffalo Trace Distillery.[41]
  • In 2014, Sazerac entered into a licensing and distribution agreement with The Wine Group, to market its Big House Bourbon, Concannon Irish Whiskey, and Piedra Azul Tequila.[42]
  • In 2015, Sazerac entered an agreement with La Martiniquaise to be a US distributor of its Saint-Vivant Armagnac brand, produced in France.[43]
  • In 2016, Sazerac entered into an agreement with ArcusGruppen to be their US importer of its Lysholm Linie, Aalborg Taffel, and Aalborg Jubilaeums Aquavit brands produced in Norway.[44]
  • On May 31, 2016, Sazerac entered a long-term Canadian national distribution agreement with Charton Hobbs, Inc. a wine and spirits company.[45]
  • On March 3, 2017, it was announced that Sazerac entered a joint venture with Bittermens.[46]
  • In June 2017, it was announced that Sazerac had entered agreement with Dictador, to have its Rum products be imported into the US through its 375 Spirits division.[47]
  • In October 2017, it was announced that Sazerac entered an agreement with John Distilleries Private Limited (JDPL) to expand into India.[48]


In June 2009, Sazerac sold Effen Vodka to Fortune Brands.[49] After a restructuring of Fortune Brands and an acquisition by Suntory, it has since become a Beam Suntory brand.

See also


  1. Clancy DuBos, New Orleanian of the Year Bill Goldring, Gambit Weekly: Best of New Orleans, January 6, 2004. (Access date December 6, 2010.)
  2. Forman, Jay, Lifting a Glass – Bill Goldring: Recipient of the 2012 Ella Brennan Lifetime Achievement Award, New Orleans Magazine, May 2012.
  3. The Sazerac Company Web Site. (Access date December 6, 2010.)
  4. "Bourbon Dynasty" (PDF). Freeman – The alumni magazine of the A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University. Summer 2017. p. 8. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  5. Coffey, Brendan (December 16, 2016). "Cheap-Liquor Billionaire Looks Abroad as Sales Slow". Bloomberg. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  6. "New Orleans liquor billionaire looks abroad as US market slows". Greater Baton Rouge Business Report. December 16, 2016. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  7. New Orleans Declares Sazerac Its Cocktail of Choice, National Public Radio All Things Considered, June 26, 2008. (Access date December 6, 2010.)
  8. "The Sazerac – Official Cocktail of New Orleans: How the Sazerac Cocktail Came to Be". The Sazerac Company official website. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
  9. "A New Star In The Spirits & Wine Industry – Monsieur Henri becomes Gemini Spirits & Wine Company". June 3, 2007. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  10. "Definition of Mezcal". Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  11. "Sazerac buys Kentucky bourbon brands, distillery". March 26, 2009. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  12. "Bourbon Company, Bourbon Man Buffalo Trace Distillery & Mark Brown". Archived from the original on January 20, 2008. Retrieved April 14, 2018.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  13. "Virginia Gentleman Small Batch Bourbon Review". June 9, 2014. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  14. "Corby Distilleries sells Montreal plant, 17 brands to Sazerac for $32.9-million". September 27, 2011. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  15. "Lewiston liquor bottling facility sold to Sazerac, jobs saved". October 17, 2013. Retrieved April 12, 2014.
  16. "Sazerac Expanding into Tennessee Whiskey with Distillery Purchase". December 22, 2016. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  17. "Sazerac Purchases Domaine Breuil de Segonzac Cognac". December 23, 2016. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  18. "Seagram to Sell Rights to 17 Brands". March 29, 1989. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  19. "Drink of the Week: Campo de Encanto Pisco". October 29, 2010. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  20. "Review: Dimmi Liquore di Milano". May 10, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  21. "Sazerac creates dedicated craft spirits division". The Spirits Business. September 11, 2014. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  22. Emen, Jake (March 14, 2016). "Vintage Whiskey: Getting Hold Of The Really, Really Old Stuff". The Whiskey Wash. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  23. Lawrence, Keith (January 13, 2009), "Constellation Spirits sold in Sazerac deal" (PDF), Messenger-Inquirer, archived from the original (PDF) on March 20, 2009
  24. "Beam Global Spirits & Wine Acquires Effen Vodka". June 23, 2009. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  25. "Sazerac Acquires McGuinness Silk Tassel Canadian Whisky". September 28, 2011. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  26. "Sazerac returns Canadian whisky distilling to Montreal". The Spirits Business. March 1, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  27. "Sazerac Buys 32 Brands Of White Rock Distilleries". September 5, 2011. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  28. "Sazerac buys more spirit brands from White Rock". The Spirits Business. May 18, 2012. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  29. "Stock Spirits sells Gran Gala brand to Sazerac". The Spirits Business. October 22, 2012. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  30. "Sazerac plans US$1 million expansion at Lewiston plant". The Spirits Business. December 9, 2017. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  31. "Sazerac acquires Michael Collins Irish whiskey". The Spirits Business. October 2015. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  32. "Van Gogh Imports Joins Sazerac Co., Changes Name To 375 Park Avenue Spirits". January 27, 2015. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  33. "Brown-Forman finalises Southern Comfort sale". The Spirits Business. March 2, 2016. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  34. "Sazerac Ceo Confirms Hi-Spirits Acquisition". The Spirits Business. October 19, 2016. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  35. "Irish Distillers finalizes Paddy sale to Sazerac". The Spirits Business. May 17, 2016. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  36. "The Sazerac Company has acquired The Last Drop Distillers Limited, a British family-run spirits bottler, for an undisclosed sum". September 6, 2016. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  37. "Sazerac acquires South Trade International". The Spirits Business. September 16, 2016. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  38. "Sazerac buys Frïs Vodka from Pernod". The Spirits Business. October 3, 2016. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  39. "Diageo sells portfolio of brands to Sazerac". November 12, 2018. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  40. "Diageo to sell 19 brands to U.S.-based Sazerac for $550 million". November 12, 2018. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  41. "Liquor Of Legend: The Distillery Behind Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Blanton's--And Pappy Van Winkle". July 30, 2014. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  42. "Sazerac is to begin distribution of Big House Bourbon, Concannon Irish Whiskey and Piedra Azul Tequila following a licensing agreement with The Wine Group". The Spirits Business. February 24, 2014. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  43. "Sazerac to expand Saint-Vivant Armagnac in US". The Spirits Business. December 9, 2015. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  44. "Sazerac Partners with Arcus Gruppen for U.S. Imports". December 22, 2016. Retrieved April 15, 2018.
  45. "Sazerac signs Canada-wide distribution agreement". May 31, 2016. Retrieved April 15, 2018.
  46. "Sazerac buys stake in cocktail bitters company". The Spirits Business. March 6, 2017. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  47. "Dictador Rum Appoints 375 Park Avenue Spirits as U.S. Importer". June 28, 2017. Retrieved April 15, 2018.
  48. "The Sazerac Company Invests in John Distilleries". October 20, 2017. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  49. "Effen vodka to get profile boost with Fortune Brands as owner". April 14, 2018.
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