Rabbit Hole Distillery Sells Majority Stake to Pernod Ricard

Rabbit Hole Bourbon, Rye, and PX Sherry Finish Bourbon. Courtesy Rabbit Hole.
Rabbit Hole Bourbon, Rye, and PX Sherry Finish Bourbon. Courtesy Rabbit Hole.

Rabbit Hole Distillery announced Friday that Pernod Ricard is set to acquire a majority stake in the company.

Pernod, the second largest spirits group in the world behind Diageo, hasn’t had an American Whiskey in its portfolio since 2009 when it sold Wild Turkey to Campari. This acquisition, along with a similar deal at Smooth Ambler, bring it back into bourbon in a big way.

The distillery plans to use the Pernod distribution network to expand Rabbit Hole’s availability. Currently, their bottles can be found on shelves in just 22 states. Under Pernod, they plan to be available nationally by as soon as 2020.

Rabbit Hole, founded in 2012, completed a $15 million distillery in Louisville, Kentucky just last year. Owner Kaveh Zamanian will retain the majority of his shares as well as control of the brand.

“Kaveh and I embrace the same entrepreneurial spirit. Rabbit Hole is a fast-growing brand, strongly rooted in its terroir and very well positioned in the high-end bourbon and Kentucky whiskey categories,” said Alexandre Ricard, CEO of Pernod Ricard, in a press release. “We are excited to take the brand to the next stage of its very promising development.”

“Pernod Ricard and I share the same entrepreneurial values and our ethos and strategic visions are fully aligned. By leveraging Pernod Ricard’s extensive distribution network to reach new consumers, we are able to strengthen Rabbit Hole’s position as a brand and amplify its presence as a new voice in American whiskey,” added Zamanian in a press release.

Link here to read Zamanian’s full letter to fans of his brand.

Caroline Paulus
Caroline Paulus is the Senior Editor for The Bourbon Review. She lives and writes in Lexington, Kentucky. Follow her on Instagram @misswhiskeyhistorian to keep up with her latest in bourbon news - and a few old finds, too.