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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    What a Difference 24 Years Makes.

    Twenty-four years ago, American Brands, Inc., through its subsidiary Jim Beam Brands Co. acquired National Distillers. National was the bigger company and it was billed as a merger, but it was Beam's deal all the way.

    At that time, "Jim Beam Brands Co." was a misnomer, suggesting as it did that the company had brands other than Jim Beam Bourbon.

    It didn't.

    Their #2 brand was Kamora Coffee Liqueur.

    In the deal, Beam grudgingly accepted National's bourbons, the biggest of which were Old Grand-Dad, Old Taylor and Old Crow. Beam bought National to get the DeKuyper cordials and schnapps line, in particular DeKuyper Peachtree Schnapps, which at the time was bigger than Kahlua and selling more than 1,000,000 cases a year.

    Whiskey was a dead category. Schnapps, that's where the action was.

    Today, Fortune Brands announced that when it spins off its home and security, and golf businesses to become a pure-play spirits company later this year, the new corporate name will be Beam Inc.

    The name of an American straight whiskey brand will be the corporate name of the world's fourth largest spirits company. Maybe that means nothing, the even larger Pernod is named after a tiny brand, after all.

    More significant than the name is this. The largest American-owned distilled spirits company (and #4 worldwide) will have an American straight whiskey as its flagship product and an American straight whiskey portfolio as its key portfolio, much as Diageo's key portfolio is its scotch whiskeys.

    It's a good day for whiskey when the largest spirits company in the world and the largest American-owned spirits company are both whiskey companies.
    Last edited by cowdery; 04-26-2011 at 17:45.

  2. #2
    Connoisseur
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    Re: What a Difference 24 Years Makes.

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post

    In the deal, Beam grudgingly accepted National's bourbons, the biggest of which were Old Grand-Dad, Old Taylor and Old Crow.
    Chuck, were there any other bourbons, ryes or whiskeys that ND made?

    Is there a place to find out which made the transition and which ones were discontinued?
    There are two ways of getting home; and one of them is to stay there. - GK Chesterton

  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: What a Difference 24 Years Makes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Parkersback View Post
    Chuck, were there any other bourbons, ryes or whiskeys that ND made?

    Is there a place to find out which made the transition and which ones were discontinued?
    I didn't mention Old Overholt Rye. That's another one.

    National had a lot of cats and dogs. Bellows Bourbon is one that always comes to mind. As is typical of cats and dogs, some were regional. Beam discontinued a bunch of them, sold others immediately, and sold or discontinued others as time went on.

    But, no, there is no master list of what Beam acquired from National and what they did with those brands.

  4. #4
    Advanced Taster
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    Apr 2010
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    Re: What a Difference 24 Years Makes.

    A good day indeed for the whiskey industry. A spirits company selling only spirits. Who'd a thunk?
    Of course, 24 years from now the Beam portfolio might find itself part of a Wall Street-driven demand for providing shareholders with "appropriate value" and hence becomes part of the world's biggest whiskey/diapers/French Steel/aspirin bottles cotton conglomerate.
    As company literature will no doubt tout, though, it will be, of course, the best whiskey/diapers/French Steel/aspirin bottles cotton corporation in the world.
    Mark
    "...that we here highly resolve that these empty bottles shall not have been drunk in vain..."

  5. #5
    Virtuoso
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    Jan 2007
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    Re: What a Difference 24 Years Makes.

    While Diageo probably does make more money from Scotch, because it's relatively expensive, Guinness, Smirnoff, and Tanqueray are huge.

 

 

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