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Stoli Group USA to distribute and market Kentucky Owl bourbon

Published 27 January 2017

Stoli Group USA will take over national distribution, sales and marketing of the Kentucky Owl bourbon brand with immediate effect and strategize its global roll out.

The announcement is followed by Stoli’s parent company SPI Group acquiring the rights for The Wise Man's Bourbon whiskey brand.

Kentucky Owl was founded in 1879 by Charles Mortimer Dedman, who was given the recipe by his adopted father.

Production of the whiskey continued till 1916 when government agents, compelled by the rising tides of teetotalism, swooped in and hauled some 250,000 gallons of Dedman's stock by barge up the river to be warehoused under lock and key in Kentucky's capital of Frankfort.

But in 1919, the warehouse caught fire and the stored spirit is believed to have burned away.   

A descendent of Charles Mortimer Dedman, Dixon Dedman brought back the Kentucky Owl brand back to life in 2008 with the help of family and friends. Initially, only small batches were produced.

The brand’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey received accolades in 2014 as the Drinks Category Winner at Garden & Gun magazine’s Made in the South awards.

SPI Group CEO Dmitry Efimov said: "When we began considering American whiskies, we were attracted to Kentucky Owl because of its complex, yet very smooth taste profile.

"Upon sitting down with the owners and hearing the story, we became really enthusiastic about revitalizing the brand and concluded that this would be the bourbon to anchor a whiskey line for SPI. Our USA team is poised to bring this to market."

Stoli Group USA president Patrick Piana said: "Kentucky Owl is a great next step for our portfolio of premium and luxury brands. Bourbons have been experiencing impressive growth recently and we see a strong opportunity in the super-premium sub-category, in particular.

"I'm looking forward to working together with Dixon Dedman to accelerate the trusted product his family built into the cult bourbon brand for the North American brown spirits consumer."

SPI Group stated that Dixon will play a crucial role as Kentucky Owl’s brand ambassador as it will be introduced in several markets.

Image: The pre-prohibition era bourbon will be distributed, sold and marketed by Stoli Group USA. Photo: Courtesy of PRNewsFoto/Stoli Group USA.