LVMH buys Washington’s Woodinville whiskey

13 July, 2017

LVMH Moët Hennessy has announced that it has bought the Woodinville Whiskey Company in Washington State. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Woodinville was founded in 2010 by lifelong friends Orlin Sorensen and Brett Carlile, who will continue to oversee WWC’s operations. WWC has established itself in the world of craft whiskeys; today focused on the Washington state market only.

Moët Hennessy president and CEO, Christophe Navarre, said: “We are convinced that Woodinville fits very well within the Moët Hennessy portfolio. Orlin and Brett have done a great job to establish Woodinville Whiskey as an iconic brand in Washington State with significant potential for expanded distribution through our US and international networks.

“While we are no strangers to whisky, with our Glenmorangie and Ardbeg single malts, we have much to learn from Orlin and Brett about American distilling and look forward to this important new partnership.”

Orlin Sorensen said: “As we considered the many strategic opportunities before us, it was clear that being part of the Moët Hennessy portfolio and distribution network will allow us to reach our goals much more quickly. Brett and I are thrilled to continue leading the business and to be part of the accelerated growth we expect to achieve as part of Moët Hennessy, and its parent LVMH, the world’s leading luxury goods company.”

Since its founding, WWC has been based in the namesake town of Woodinville, Washington, described as a robust beverage alcohol hub of more than 100 wineries, microbreweries, distilleries, and cideries with more than 300,000 annual visitors.

The new distillery and tasting room were completed in 2014. The company’s barrel warehouses are based in Quincy, Washington, where climatic conditions facilitate the ageing process.

WWC’s rye and bourbon whiskeys are matured for at least five years. Having relied primarily on sales of its Micro Barreled bourbon and rye, the company was able to launch its five-year-old straight bourbon in 2015, which was crowned ‘Whiskey of the Year’ for 2016 by the American Distilling Institute. Its five-year-old straight rye followed in 2016, and that was named as ‘Best Rye Whiskey for 2017’, also by the American Distilling Institute.

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