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  1. #1
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    Lawrenceburg, Indiana Distillery Sold

    It looks like Pernod has managed to unload its Lawrenceburg, Indiana, distillery and related facilities, which it perviously announced it was going to close.

    Someone probably will post the whole thing in Industry News, but here are the parts we care about.

    Pernod moved Wild Turkey bottling from the distillery site outside Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, to the Lawrenceburg, Indiana, facility a couple of years ago and now will move it again, to the Fort Smith, Arkansas, plant that is principally known for making Hiram Walker liqueurs.

    The 177-acre Indiana site includes "what is believed to be the nation's largest whiskey distillery." (Yes, the press releases specifically say "whiskey.") The complex also includes a bottling operation and warehouses, plus a grain elevator in Rushville.

    The only other bidder in the final round was Sazerac, i.e., Buffalo Trace.

    The buyer is CL Financial, parent company of Angostura, which is based in Trinidad. It makes Angostura bitters and some rums and vodkas. CL Financial also owns Burn Stewart Distillers, maker of Bunnahabhain single-malt and Thomas Hine cognacs.

    What is not clear is exactly what the Lawrenceburg distillery (as opposed to the bottling operation) makes now and what Angostura intends to make there. At one time, and perhaps still, Lawrenceburg, Indiana, made the corn whiskey and bourbon-mash green whiskey that went into Seagram's Seven, but not the straight bourbon component, which came from Four Roses in the Kentucky Lawrenceburg. It also blended and bottled the product there, but Seagram's Seven went to Diageo, not Pernod.

    Seagram's Gin is a Pernod brand, a big one, and some news stories mention it as being "made" at Lawrenceburg, IN. Maybe it is -- it's hard to know exactly what they mean by "made" with a gin -- but at any event it's not a whiskey, although it is "mellowed" in used barrels for about three months, which may account for some of the warehouses.

    The news stories say Seagram's Gin will continue to be made there, but its bottling will shift to Fort Smith too.

    The press releases from the two companies make it clear that CL feels it is acquiring a whiskey distillery. Quote: "(CL Chairman) Duprey added that the planned asset acquisition of one of the largest American whiskey distilleries significantly adds to his firm’s international spirits portfolio and overall prowess in the market."

    Another shoe is undoubtedly going to drop.

  2. #2
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    Re: Lawrenceburg, Indiana Distillery Sold

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post



    Another shoe is undoubtedly going to drop.
    So what do you mean by that?
    Do you think this new company will make bourbon, or expand their other spirits' production there?

    BTW, I was at the Wild Turkey distillery in April of last year and the tour guide told us then that they were going to start bottling in Arkansas. I don't understand how it is cost effect to ship barrels or dumped barrels that far away to bottle them.

  3. #3
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    Re: Lawrenceburg, Indiana Distillery Sold

    What I mean is that I can't really figure out a good explanation for what Angostura is going to do with this plant. They can make bourbon there, they can make straight bourbon there, but they can't make Kentucky Straight Bourbon there because it isn't in Kentucky, and I think that matters to a lot of people.

    They also don't have any American whiskey brands. Are they going to start some, buy some? One possibility is that they have seen an opportunity in the bulk whiskey business, which I think does exist, but that gets back to the first point. Aren't you hobbling yourself by buying a distillery that is not in Kentucky?

    As for the economies of transporting a semi-finished product to another facility for additional work, it goes on all the time in a lot of businesses and I'm sure it's a complicated calculation. I'm sure they crunched the numbers and decided this would be more profitable.

    Nice little town, Fort Smith.

  4. #4
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    Re: Lawrenceburg, Indiana Distillery Sold

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    What is not clear is exactly what the Lawrenceburg distillery (as opposed to the bottling operation) makes now
    Isnīt Sam Cougar distilled in Lawrenceburg?
    Delighted to see you if you can find me!

  5. #5
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    Re: Lawrenceburg, Indiana Distillery Sold

    Yes, it does say L'burg on the label.

    Scott
    "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day" - Frank Sinatra

  6. #6
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    Re: Lawrenceburg, Indiana Distillery Sold

    Is it a blend? My information is that they don't make any straight whiskey there but they do mix up blends using straight whiskey from Four Roses and blending (i.e., unaged) whiskey and GNS made at the Indiana plant. Since the label typically only tells you where bottled, that would be consistent.

    Could someone look at a recent Wild Turkey label and see what it says? Does it still say Lawrenceburg, Kentucky only? It will be weird if Wild Turkey labels say "Fort Smith, Arkansas."

  7. #7
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    Re: Lawrenceburg, Indiana Distillery Sold

    I did a little calculating using mapquest today. The trip from Lawrenceburg, Ky to Lawrenceburg, IN is 117 miles and a little over 2 hours. The trip from Lawrenceburg, KY to Ft. Smith, AR is 692 miles and 10+ hours. I think maybe someone may have goofed in there cost calculations. The wages of the people driving the tankers alone would be astronomical. If they are paid by the hour, every trip would end up costing 2 hours of overtime one way. WT should have just updated the bottling line in Lawrenceburg,KY and left it alone. I can't believe this won't cause the price of a bottle of WT to go up!

    Thomas

  8. #8
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    Re: Lawrenceburg, Indiana Distillery Sold

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    Is it a blend? My information is that they don't make any straight whiskey there but they do mix up blends using straight whiskey from Four Roses and blending (i.e., unaged) whiskey and GNS made at the Indiana plant.
    Iīve only ever managed to find one bottle of Sam Cougar Black. On the label it claims to be "Authentic Kentucky style bourbon whiskey".

    They donīt use the words 'distilled' or 'bottled'. What it says is "produced by Cougar Distilling Co, Lawrenceburg, Indiana".

    Maybe Scott or any of the other Aussies here have a more recent bottle. I have a suspicion that mine is relatively old.
    Delighted to see you if you can find me!

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    Re: Lawrenceburg, Indiana Distillery Sold

    Quote Originally Posted by Hedmans Brorsa View Post
    I´ve only ever managed to find one bottle of Sam Cougar Black. On the label it claims to be "Authentic Kentucky style bourbon whiskey".

    They don´t use the words 'distilled' or 'bottled'. What it says is "produced by Cougar Distilling Co, Lawrenceburg, Indiana".

    Maybe Scott or any of the other Aussies here have a more recent bottle. I have a suspicion that mine is relatively old.
    Too right, you do have an old bottle, it has not been called "Sam Cougar" for some time now, it is simply just "Cougar" Bourbon now. I have a regular bottle of Cougar (current bottle), and the XS (Extra Strength), older label. They both say "Produced by Cougar Distilling Co., Lawrenceburg, USA. On the run of the mill bottle, it says "From the makers of fine Bourbon Whiskey since 1865".

    Check out http://www.fosters.com.au/enjoy/spir...ar_bourbon.htm
    for the current bottle.

    Scott
    "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day" - Frank Sinatra

  10. #10
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    Re: Lawrenceburg, Indiana Distillery Sold

    Quote Originally Posted by HighTower View Post
    Check out http://www.fosters.com.au/enjoy/spir...ar_bourbon.htm
    for the current bottle.

    Scott
    Thanks for this! Iīve never seen a picture of the new bottles.Interesting that it carries a 5yo tag. Mine does not state any age.

    I wouldīve posted a pic of my bottle, but I realize now that my camera is at my office.

    It would be interesting to know what the phrasing "Authentic Kentucky style bourbon whiskey" implies. The way I interpret it, it is a straight whiskey but not produced in Kentucky, therefore the (somewhat desperate) "Kentucky style" billing.

    And if it is a blend, mustnīt the word 'blend' or 'blended' be written somewhere on the label?
    Delighted to see you if you can find me!

 

 

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