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News Alert: Diageo Acquires Texas Distiller Balcones, Adding To American Whiskey Portfolio

November 2, 2022

Diageo has acquired Texas-based Balcones Distilling for an undisclosed sum. Balcones is known for super-premium and above whiskies, including Texas “1” American Single Malt, Lineage American Single Malt, and Baby Blue Corn Whisky.

In announcing the deal, Diageo noted the growth of the super-premium and above whisk(e)y segment in the U.S. in recent years, including the up and coming American single malt category. Over the first three quarters of this year, American whiskies retailing at $25 and above a 750-ml. bottle collectively increased their control state volume by 5%. That performance comes on the back of several strong growth years that have pushed the $25-plus American whiskey category easily in range of topping the 10-million-case mark in the U.S. this year, according to Impact Databank.

“The Balcones team are true innovators and pioneers in the emerging American Single Malt and Texas whisk(e)y movements, and their super premium plus whiskies are highly complementary to our whisk(e)y portfolio,” said Claudia Schubert, president of Diageo North America. “This acquisition is in line with our strategy to acquire high growth brands in fast growing segments, such as super premium whisk(e)y.”

Balcones previously had a national partnership with Davos Brands, which Diageo acquired in 2020 for up to $610 million. The Waco-based Balcones opened a $33 million distillery in 2016 with a capacity of around 3 million bottles (250,000 cases).—Daniel Marsteller

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