Former Cîroc execs invest in Saint Liberty Whiskey

15th July, 2020 by Owen Bellwood

Spirits advisory company Harris & Simms has acquired a stake in American whiskey brand Saint Liberty for an undisclosed sum.

Saint Liberty Whiskey aims to uncover untold stories of Prohibition-era women bootleggers

Harris & Simms was founded by Dia Simms and Erin Harris, who previously worked as president and SVP of Combs Enterprises, founded by American rapper Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs. Simms and Harris helped develop premium vodka Cîroc, which is owned by spirits producer Diageo with the backing of Combs, into a million-case selling brand.

The duo has now taken a “meaningful stake” in Saint Liberty Whiskey, which uses its releases to uncover “untold stories of the pioneering, Prohibition-era women bootleggers”.

Saint Liberty Whiskey founder and chief historian, Mark Sorelle, said: “We are so thrilled to have H&S as partners in Saint Liberty Whiskey. With their collective 30+ years’ experience in wine and spirits and disciplined approach to brand building they will be an invaluable asset to our team.”

The first whiskey release from Saint Liberty is Bertie’s Bear Gulch Bourbon Whiskey, which honours African-American homesteader Bertie ‘Birdie’ Brown, who was known for making moonshine.

Harris added: “Saint Liberty honours women, but the liquid is made for everyone. It is incredible whiskey full of character that is made for discerning whiskey drinkers. These women represent hustle and spirit. Their stories belong on the forefront of spirits history and the liquid belongs on the backbar of every quality bar. It’s the spirit of revolution.”

Each release from Saint Liberty Whiskey is proofed and bottled in the state where each inspiring woman originally resided, using the same water source they would have used 100 years ago.

Saint Liberty Whiskey has pledged to spend 5% of gross profits on supporting women’s empowerment issues, entrepreneurial and educational efforts.

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