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Diageo officially unveils ‘craft’ whiskey company

Diageo has pushed ahead with its craft whiskey ambitions by officially launching the Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Company today.

Diageo has officially launched its Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Company which is set to release two craft American whiskeys – Barterhouse and Old Blowhard – in March

The new artisan spirits company has been created by the UK drinks giant in the hope that it will enable it to become “the number one craft distiller in North American whiskey”.

The first two limited edition variants released by the company will be a 20-year-old Barterhouse Whiskey and a 26-year-old Old Blowhard Whiskey, which are both expected to be released under strict allocation in the US in March.

Both Barterhouse and Old Blowhard stocks were discovered in old warehouses at the Stitzel-Weller facility in Louisville, Kentucky.

Diageo plans to release a portfolio of several limited edition whiskeys as part of the Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Company.

Larry Schwartz, president of Diageo North America declared to investors at a conference in November: “We’re going to be the number one craft distiller in North American whiskey in the US. Why? Because we have the whiskeys.”

Peter McDonough, chief marketing and innovation officer for Diageo North America, added: “Diageo is fortunate to have an amazing stock of precious aged whiskeys.

“These whiskey stocks enable our innovation team to create new-to-world brands that feature thoughtfully-crafted whiskeys using exquisitely aged and rare stocks from our barrelhouses.”

The Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Company is headquartered in Tullahoma, Tennessee, where the whiskies are owned and bottled by Diageo.

Barterhouse Whiskey is expected to be available in the US from March at an RRP of US$75 while Old Blowhard will become available at the same time and retail for US$150.

Both bottles recently featured on The Spirits Business’s top 10 craft American whiskey brands.

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