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Whisky Advocate On MGP’s $475 Million Purchase Of Luxco

February 5, 2021

For years, MGP Distillery has been known as the source of dozens of whiskeys, from Smooth Ambler Old Scout to WhistlePig. The familiar words “Distilled in Indiana” on a bottle’s back label denote MGP as the source, even if it’s not officially publicized by the particular brand. And while MGP has made forays into offering its own-brand whiskeys under the Rossville Union rye, George Remus Bourbon, and Eight & Sand American whiskey labels, progress has been slow. They’re only available in some states and—despite reflecting the high quality turned out by the distillery (Remus Repeal Reserve regularly scores above 90 in the Whisky Advocate Buying Guide)—aren’t nearly as well-known as other brands made on the very same stills.

But all that could change, as MGP is about to cannonball into the deep end of the national whiskey market. The company announced on Jan. 25 that it would pay $475 million, in cash and stock, to acquire St. Louis-based Luxco, which produces a variety of spirits, from vodka and Tequila to Everclear and Bourbon. Luxco’s Bourbon brands are likely familiar: Ezra Brooks, Blood Oath, David Nicholson, Rebel Yell (which has quietly rebranded to just Rebel), Daviess County. The company also owns The Quiet Man Irish whiskey through its Niche Drinks subsidiary and has a 50% stake in Kentucky craft distillery Limestone Branch, which produces the Yellowstone Bourbon and Minor Case rye brands.

Tacking on Luxco’s range of whiskeys and other spirits sweetens the pot, but MGP is really after Luxco’s national sales and distribution network—which will immediately put George Remus, Rossville Union, Eight & Sand, and any other house brands that MGP may create on store shelves nationwide. Whisky Advocate has more on what the deal means for the future of MGP.Susannah Skiver Barton

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