Whisky Advocate

Tom Moore Distillery, Ridgemont Reserve Bourbon sold to Sazerac

January 12th, 2009

Constellation Brands is selling a bunch of its brands (called their “Value Spirits Brands”) to the Sazerac Company, Inc. (the parent company of the Buffalo Trace distillery). A lot of it is low-end whisky (and whiskey) brands and non-whiskey spirits. But the most significant thing, from a whiskey perspective, is that the Tom Moore Distillery, and the whiskeys made there (Barton, Ridgemont Reserve) are part of the deal.

The Constellation Brands press release, which they have posted on their website, is here.

Balblair, Old Pulteney and Speyburn single malt scotch whiskies, along with Black Velvet Canadian whisky, remain with Constellation Brands.

12 Responses to “Tom Moore Distillery, Ridgemont Reserve Bourbon sold to Sazerac”

  1. Don Mowat says:

    John, any updated word on the operation of the distillery itself?

  2. John Hansell says:

    Not sure Don. If I hear anything, I’ll post it up here.

  3. sam k says:

    Hey Don, my question exactly! Does BT intend to operate two distilleries, or do they have enough excess capacity in Frankfort to close or sell Barton? When other concerns are expanding their facilities, does this represent an expansion of capacity for BT, or just more brands?

    If they sell the distillery, who (if anyone) might be in the market, especially without any established brands to work with? I’d hate to lose a distillery!

  4. Constellation doesn’t specify this in the press release, but it’s only keeping the US distribution rights for Balblair, Old Pulteney, and Speyburn. The distilleries are owned by Inver House…but it’s interesting that Sazerac/BT is getting the rights for Inver House’s blended scotch while Constellation keeps the single malt brands.


  5. Hello John,
    And happy new year to you! Glad to hear Ridgemont Reserve has been sold to a company that’s imported to Norway, now perhaps we’ll get the 1792, awesome stuff!
    All the best to you and yours in 2009!!!

  6. John Hansell says:

    Mark, yes I’m glad you clarified that. Constellation only distributed Inver House whiskies, which they will continue to do.

    Jonathan, maybe you’ll finally get to have access to this nice bourbon. We’ll see.

  7. Greg Gilbert says:

    While BT has done a good job with their various bourbon offerings, this still means there’s potentially one less distillery in the future. One of my favorite value bourbons is Very Old Barton Bottled in Bond. If BT takes over, will that flavor profile go away for one of their house recipes? I hope not.

  8. Brian says:

    …wait a minute. Ridgemont is considered a downmarket “value spirits brand”, but Black Velvet is not? No disrespect to Black Velvet intended, but… seriously?

    This is just an outsider’s guess, but reading between the lines of the press release they’re cutting what they think of as chaff and will probably sell off the other brands for a higher return. Constellation has been positioning itself to be purely in the wine category since they bought up Fortune’s wine assets. So Sazerac gets some choice brands and Constellation has less spirits volume to push. Everybody wins.

  9. John Hansell says:

    Shortly before 9pm this evening (Monday), President and CEO Mark Brown had these words to say to me:

    “I am pleased to report that Tom Moore will become part of our family.”

    He also assured me that they have no plans on shutting down the distillery. Good news, indeed!

  10. Mike Dereszynski says:

    Hi John,
    Time n History marching on.
    It seemed like yesterday,the news of Tom Moore being added to the Boubon Trail and opening up for tours with plans for a visitors center.I had hoped to get an inside look last September during Bourbon Fest .It wasnt possible,but hopes were high talking to Pam Grover that exciting things were in the pipeline.Although I picked up on the less than enthusiastic reply of “Constellation” from a competitive barrel rollers,when asked whos team he was on.
    Come next September I wonder who will be on the “Trail” and if there will be one less team rolling the barrels and another set of historical pictures in the Oscar Getz Museum .

  11. John Hansell says:

    Mike: yes, it certainly is a dynamic industry, isn’t it?

  12. Ashley says:

    It is definitely up and running and has a great tour. You have to have reservations with Pam but it is worth it. Very cool tour, very industrial. They are going to keep operating and most likely will be builing a visitors center so they can do sampling!

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