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Pernod Ricard

Whisky Concerns

PERNOD RICARD

Pernod Ricard is one of the world’s leading spirits businesses and operates more than 100 production sites. It is active in 80 countries, and employs some 18,000 people. It boasts a large portfolio of premium international and local brands, with 37 premium international brands being grouped in what the company calls ‘The House of Brands.’

This brings the group’s strategic brands together in three segments: namely the ‘Top 14’, comprising what are termed ‘global icons which aspire to achieve global leadership,’ (Absolut and Chivas Regal), seven Premium spirits brands and five Prestige brands; the Wine segment, with five priority Premium wine brands; and 18 key local brands.

Chief among Pernod Ricard’s labels are Absolut vodka, Beefeater gin, Martell Cognac, Havana Club rum, Malibu, Perrier-Jouët and Mumm Champagne, and Jameson Irish whiskey. In terms of Scotch whisky, the market leaders of Chivas Brothers are Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s and Royal Salute blended Scotches, and The Glenlivet and Aberlour single malts.

Swiss-born Henri-Louis Pernod established a distillery at Pontarlier in eastern France during 1805, forming Absinthe Pernod Fils. In 1926, La Maison Pernod Fils merged with Distillerie Hémard, founded in Montreuil in 1871 by Ariste Hémard, and Pernod Père et Fils, founded in Avignon in 1872 by Jules-François Pernod. The new organisation was named Établissements Pernod, which became Pernod SA in 1959.

Meanwhile, Paul Ricard, the son of a wine merchant who was born near Marseilles in 1909, set about developing his own pastis, perfecting the recipe in 1932, and Ricard went on to become the world’s leading anise-based spirit.

In 1974 the firms of Pernod and Ricard merged, and from 1978 Patrick Ricard, son of Paul, became chairman and CEO of the Pernod Ricard group. Under his leadership an ambitious programme of brand acquisition was initiated, including Wild Turkey Bourbon (1981), Jameson Irish whiskey (1988), and leading Australian wine brand Jacob’s Creek (1989).

Between 2000 and 2010 close to €20 billion was spent acquiring Seagram Distillers (Chivas and Martell) in 2001, Allied Domecq (Ballantine’s, Malibu, Mumm, Perrier-Jouët) in 2005 and finally Vin & Sprit (Absolut) in 2008.

DISTILLERIES & BRANDS

100 Pipers
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Aberlour
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Allt-a-Bhainne
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Ballantine's
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Black Watch
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Bonnie Lassie
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Braemar
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Braeval
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Caperdonich
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Chivas Brothers
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Chivas Regal
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Clan Campbell
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Clan Robertson
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Craigduff
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Dalmunach
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Doctor's Special
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Dumbarton
LOWLAND SINGLE GRAIN SCOTCH WHISKY
Glen Keith
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glenallachie
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glenburgie
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glencraig
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glenisla
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glentauchers
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glenugie
HIGHLAND SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Imperial Distillery
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Inverleven
LOWLAND SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Kinclaith
LOWLAND SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
King's Ransom
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Lochside
HIGHLAND SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Lomond
LOWLAND SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Long John
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Longmorn
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Miltonduff
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Mosstowie
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Passport
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Royal Citation
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Royal Glen Dee
BLENDED MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Royal Salute
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Royal Strathythan
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Scapa
ISLANDS SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Something Special
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Stewart's
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Strathclyde
LOWLAND SINGLE GRAIN SCOTCH WHISKY
Strathisla
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
The Glenlivet
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
The Junior
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Tormore
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
White Heather
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
ASSOCIATED COMPANIES

Allied Breweries
Allied Distillers
Allied Domecq
Allied Lyons
Campbell Distillers
Chivas Brothers Holdings

SEAGER EVANS

What started out as a 19th century gin distiller and rectification business in London became a thriving Scotch whisky distilling and blending empire. Seager Evans & Co had its headquarters in Deptford, but under US ownership expanded its business north into Scotland. It acquired the Long John blended Scotch whisky and, following its popularity in global markets, eventually renamed its subsidiaries and own business after the brand.

During its lifetime Seager Evans & Co owned the Strathclyde grain distillery in Glasgow, Glenugie in Peterhead and Laphroaig on Islay, and built Tormore in Moray. It also owned a sizeable warehousing, blending and bottling facility in Glasgow, as well as the Plymouth Gin distillery on England’s south coast.

It was renamed Long John International Ltd in 1988 and now operates as a dormant subsidiary of Chivas Brothers Ltd.

Despite being one of the more successful Scotch whisky distillers and blenders, Seager Evans & Co was established as a gin distiller and rectifier in London in 1805. Its main operation was based at Millbank distillery in Westminster for the purpose of distilling, blending and rectifying gin (the business was moved in 1921 to Holland & Co’s Deptford site on the expiration of Millbank’s lease).

In 1903, with many Scottish distilleries being sold off for a bargain price following a crash in the market, Seager Evans picked up the Lowland Glentarras distillery. But it was too soon for the group to be entering the Scotch distilling industry and with the market in disarray, particularly for the Lowland distilleries, it was sold on in 1910 (and eventually closed five years later).

It wasn’t until 1927 that Seager Evans made another pass at distilling in Scotland, this time with the construction of its own distillery in Glasgow. Strathclyde was opened on the site of a disused cotton mill in Waddell Street as an alternative source of grain spirit to DCL (which was dominating the market), rather than in response to demand for more capacity. Strathclyde operated under the Scottish Grain Distilling Company subsidiary, though the name was changed to Strathclyde and Long John Distilleries Ltd in 1957 following the opening of the Kinclaith malt plant inside Strathclyde and the acquisition of the Long John blend through Seager’s buyout of W.H. Chaplin & Co in 1936.

Glenugie malt distillery, which had been silent for 15 years, was added to the portfolio in 1937, but it was after WWII that Seager began a real spending spree. It bought Westthorn Farm in Glasgow, a 100-acre site on which it built a huge storage, cooperage and blending facility. Today the London Road site is the headquarters of John Dewar & Sons.

Seager Evans was acquired by New York’s Schenley Industries in 1956, which allowed it to purchase Coates & Co (Plymouth) Ltd, the producer of Plymouth Gin, in 1958. In the same year it snapped up Tormore in Moray and went on to acquire Gordon Graham of Aberdeen and its Black Bottle blend.

The investment didn’t stop. In 1962 Seager Evans began its 10-year purchase of Laphroaig distillery from Bessie Williamson, and went on to purchase Stanley Holt & Son, which held one of the largest stocks of maturing whisky in England.

In 1972 Schenley Industries was acquired by Rapid American Inc and three years later Seager Evans was sold off to British brewer Whitbread. Its new owner invested heavily in a modernising Seager’s distilleries, and even reunited the Long John brand with the purchase of its home, Ben Nevis distillery, in 1981.

In 1988 Seager Evans & Co. Ltd was renamed Long John International Ltd. The following year, Whitbread’s wine and spirits divisions were sold to Allied Lyons. Long John International is now a dormant subsidiary of Chivas Brothers.  

Schenley industries was one of the largest liquor groups operating out of the US during the 20th century, with significant interests in Bourbon, American and Canadian whisky, gin and vodka.

In Scotch terms, Schenley was responsible for the construction of Kinclaith and Tormore malt distilleries, and – through its English subsidiary Seager Evans & Co – also once owned Laphroaig distillery and Long John blended Scotch. As well as owning several distilleries and blending companies through Seager Evans, it also distributed many of the Scotch and gin brands belonging to the DCL in the US, including Dewar’s and Gordons.

Schenley’s New York headquarters once occupied five floors of the Empire State building, which with over 800 employees made it the largest employer in residence.

Schenley Industries was founded in the 1920s, when Lewis Rosential purchased a group of distilleries, including one in Schenley, Pennsylvania that had a license to produce whisky for medicinal purposes during Prohibition – one of only six in the country to do so. Acting on the advice of Sir Winston Churchill, whom he met during a visit to the French Riviera in 1922, Rosential purchased large whisky inventories in preparation for the end of Prohibition.

When Repeal came in 1933, Rosential incorporated Schenley Distillers Company, which grew rapidly to become one of the largest liquor businesses in the US. It obtained the rights to distribute DCL’s Dewar’s in the US, with the blended Scotch allegedly contributing half of Schenley’s profits.

The business was renamed Schenley Industries in 1949 and became a public company shortly afterward.

With Scotch whisky so vibrant in the US during the 50s – it took on the bulk of exports after the war – American ownership of Scotch interests abounded. Publicker Industries established Inver House Distillers; Hiram Walker made acquisitions of Scapa, Glencadam and Pulteney distilleries; while Seagram, which bought Chivas Brothers following the war, picked up Strathisla and Glen Keith.

In 1956 Schenley purchased London’s Seager Evans & Co., at that time owner of the Strathclyde grain distillery in Glasgow, Glenugie malt distillery in Peterhead, and the Long John blended Scotch whisky brand.

Under Schenley, Seager Evans opened the Kinclaith malt distillery within Strathclyde, Laphroaig on Islay and Plymouth Gin distillery. It built Tormore in Moray, and acquired blender Gordon & Graham of Aberdeen (owner of Black Bottle) and Stanley Holt & Son, which had one of the largest stocks of maturing whisky in England.

Rosential sold his controlling interest in Schenley to the Glen Alden Corporation in 1968, and resigned from the company. Glen Alden was purchased by Rapid American in 1972 but, owing to US monopolies legislation, was required to divest some of its liquor interests.

In 1975 Seager Evans & Co – which controlled all of Schenley’s Scotch assets – was sold to British brewer Whitbread and later renamed Long John International.

Meanwhile, Rapid American’s CEO, Meshulam ‘Rik’ Riklis was caught up over allegations of share price fixing during Guinness’ infamous takeover of Distillers Company Ltd in 1986.

The following year Guinness also acquired Schenley industries from Riklis.

CAMPBELL DISTILLERS

A Glasgow-based whisky blending and bottling company that purchased the Aberlour distillery after the Second World War. Following its acquisition by Pernod Ricard it added the Glenallachie distillery to its stable and found a major market for its Clan Campbell brand of blended whisky in France and Spain.

Campbell Distillers has one of the most complicated legacies of identity crisis of any Scottish whisky company, boasting several name changes in just 50 years.

In 1933 wine shipper Samuel Rosenbloom formed a whisky merchant, Forbes McGregor & Co. The company was based in Campbell House, Glasgow and when the Rosenbloom family changed their name to Ross, Samuel decided to use the name Campbell instead.

Around 1934 he acquired Glasgow blender Muir Mackenzie & Co. Ltd. and in 1937 changed the company name to S. Campbell & Son Ltd.

In 1945 S. Campbell & Son purchased its first distillery, Aberlour, as well as the Glasgow Bonding Co., to give it access to a bottling operation.

In 1950 Samuel’s son Arnold Campbell and brother, Jack Ross, incorporated the Aberlour-Glenlivet Distillery Co. with most of the shares being held by the Commercial Bank of Scotland.

Through a subsidiary company, Campbells (Distillery) Ltd., S. Campbell blended and bottled Clan Campbell blended Scotch whisky. This whisky is still very popular on the continent of Europe.

Another popular blend was White Heather, named after Campbells (Distillery) Ltd.’s original company name.

In 1974 S. Campbell & Son was purchased by the French giant Pernod Ricard, which in turn set up a holding company, House of Campbell.

When Pernod Ricard merged House of Campbell with wine shipper J. R. Parkington in 1988, the new company was finally named Campbell Distillers.

In 1989 Pernod Ricard added the Glenallachie distillery to the company’s holdings after purchasing it from Invergordon Distillers.

Campbell Distillers’ portfolio merged with Chivas Brothers’ when it was acquired by Pernod Ricard in 2001.

ASSOCIATED COMPANIES

Allied Breweries
Allied Distillers
Allied Domecq
Allied Lyons
Chivas Brothers Holdings

HILL, THOMSON & CO

Originally a licenced grocer based in Edinburgh’s New Town district, this company began blending and bottling its own label whiskies including the bestselling Queen Anne and Something Special blends. It became a part of Pernod Ricard when Seagram sold off its wine and spirits operation in 2001.

In 1793 William Hill opened a licenced grocer’s shop in Rose Street Lane in Edinburgh’s New Town. By 1799 the business had become so successful that he was able to move to new, grander premises on Frederick Street, where the company remained for over 200 years.

In 1815 his eldest son, William Jnr., joined the company and on the death of his father in 1818, was joined by his brother Robert. Together they changed the name of the company to William and Robert Hill.

After both brothers had died the company changed hands to a third brother, George, who renamed the company after himself: George Hill and Co. The following year, in 1838, the company was awarded a Royal Warrant from the newly crowned Queen Victoria.

As the company expanded a new partner, William Thompson, was appointed in 1857 and the merchant changed its name once again to Hill, Thompson & Co. Ltd.

It was around this time that the company began to focus on blending and bottling its own whiskies.

In 1877 Hill, Thompson & Co. offered the role of export salesman to William Shaw. In 1902 he established the Queen Anne blend, which soon became the company’s flagship whisky.

In recognition of William Shaw’s efforts, he was appointed chairman of the company.

In 1919, on their return from the war, William Shaw’s sons, William and James, became partners in the company. They continued to drive growth and in 1970 the next generation of the family (a few years after opening a new blending and bottling plant in Midlothian), arranged a merger with The Glenlivet and Glen Grant Distilleries Ltd., and Longmorn Distillers Ltd. to form The Glenlivet Distillers Ltd.

This gave Hill, Thompson & Co. first dibs on the malt whisky stocks of the BenRiach, Caperdonich, Glen Grant, Longmorn and The Glenlivet distilleries to use in its blends.

In 1977, The Glenlivet Distillers was bought by Canada’s Seagram which already owned Chivas Brothers and a number of malt whisky distilleries. Through a series of acquisitions and disposals, Hill, Thompson & Co. became owned by French multinational Pernod Ricard.

DISTILLERIES & BRANDS

Queen Anne
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Something Special
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
St Leger
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
ASSOCIATED COMPANIES

Chivas Brothers Holdings (Current owner)
Harvey MacNair & Co
Lawson & Smith
Moray Bonding Company
R Thorne and Sons
Seagram Distillers
Taylor & Ferguson

SEAGRAM

A wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian drinks giant Seagram, Seagram Distillers PLC was set up to control the group’s Scottish businesses – which eventually included Chivas Brothers and Glenlivet Distillers. Owned by the Bronfman family (who made their money selling alcohol to bootleggers during Prohibition), the company raised the profile of Chivas Regal Scotch whisky around the world. After a disastrous foray into the music and entertainment business, the firm was dismantled in 2001, its wine and spirits assets sold to Diageo and Pernod Ricard.

The Seagram company name was first founded in 1857 in Waterloo, Ontario, as Joseph E. Seagram Co Ltd.

More than half a century later in 1928, the firm was acquired by Montreal-based Distillers Corporation Ltd, owned by the Bronfman brothers, who grew the business into an international name.

The Distillers Corporation was a joint venture between the Bronfman family and UK-based Distillers Company Ltd (DCL), and controlled the distribution of DCL’s Scotch whisky brands in Canada. It also gave DCL an ‘arm’s length’ distance from the bootleggers who would legally purchase whisky stocks in Canada before smuggling them into the US during Prohibition.

After the end of Prohibition in 1933, the Bronfman family bought the DCL shareholding in Distillers Corporation, and began to look at how they could expand their distilling empire.

In 1935, Sam Bronfman, by now the ‘senior’ brother in the family operation, used business links with Scotch whisky broker Jimmy Barclay to purchase Robert Brown Ltd of Paisley – including its substantial stock of mature whiskies.

The following year, Seagram Distillers Co. was incorporated as a company in Scotland. In 1949 Barclay acted as broker again for the £85,070 purchase of Aberdeen-based Chivas Brothers from R.D. Lundie.

The following year, Barclay purchased Milton distillery (later renamed Strathisla) at public auction on behalf of Chivas Brothers, for £71,000.

Barclay, who by now was a director of Chivas Brothers, also sold two of his companies to Seagram – William Walker & Co and the Highland Bonding Co, which were again purchased for the whisky stocks they held.

In order to meet rising demands for whisky, Seagram built a new distillery next door to Strathisla – Glen Keith, the first Scotch distillery to use gas rather than coal or peat as a fuel source.

That same year saw Seagram begin construction of a new headquarters, bottling and warehouse complex near Paisley, which was complemented by another warehouse and bottling site in Dalmuir, Clydebank, in 1970.

Sam Bronfman died in 1971 and the day-to-day operation of the company passed to his son, Edgar.

That same year saw Seagram begin the planning phase for a new distillery in Glenlivet. Braes of Glenlivet (now known as Braeval) opened in 1973 and is one of the highest distilleries in Scotland. Braes of Glenlivet was soon joined in 1975 by the Glenrinnes-based Allt-a-Bhainne distillery.

Expansion continued in 1977 when the company purchased Glenlivet Distillers Ltd – a group formed by the 1970 merger of The Glenlivet, Glen Grant, Longmorn, Caperdonich and BenRiach distilleries, with blender Hill, Thompson & Co. of Edinburgh.

In June 1994, Edgar Bronfman’s son, Edgar Jr., took over as CEO.

He had a grand vision of Seagram being a diversified business with assets in the film and television industry.

The year after his appointment, Edgar Jr. began the process of purchasing a controlling stake in MCA, which owned Universal Pictures and its theme parks.

He went on to purchase Polygram and Deutsche Grammophon too.

By 2000 it became clear that Edgar Jr’s bid to enter the entertainment industry had not paid off, and Seagram was sold to French entertainment company Vivendi.

This resulted in company separation, with Seagram’s wine and spirits assets sold on to Diageo and Pernod Ricard.

Edgar Jr’s uncle described the fall of Seagram as a ‘...disaster and a family tragedy’.

Edgar Bronfman Jr.

Edgar Miles Bronfman Jr. (born May 16, 1955) is an American businessman who currently serves as a Managing Partner at Accretive LLC, a private equity firm focused on creating and investing in technology companies.

He previously served as CEO of Warner Music Group from 2004 to 2011 and as Chairman of Warner Music Group from 2011 to 2012.

In May 2011, the sale of WMG was announced; Bronfman would continue as CEO in the transaction.

In August 2011, he became Chairman of the company as Stephen Cooper became CEO.

Bronfman previously served as CEO of Seagram and vice-chairman of Vivendi Universal.

Bronfman Jr. expanded and later divested ownership of the Seagram Company, and also worked as a Broadway and film producer, and songwriter under the pseudonyms Junior Miles and Sam Roman.

Born in 1955, Edgar Jr. ("Efer" to friends) is the son of Edgar Miles Bronfman and the grandson of Samuel Bronfman, patriarch of one of the wealthiest and most influential Jewish families in Canada.

The Bronfman family gained its fortunes through the Seagram Company, an alcohol distilling company. Edgar Jr. is the second of five children of Ann (Loeb) and Edgar Miles Bronfman.

His mother was the daughter of John Langeloth Loeb Sr. (a Wall Street investment banker whose company was a predecessor of Shearson Lehman/American Express) and Frances Lehman (a scion of the Lehman Brothers banking firm). They divorced in 1973.

Business career
Film producing
Bronfman proceeded to a brief career in entertainment in the 1970s as a film and Broadway producer. The summer before his final year of high school, in 1972, he was a credited producer on the film, The Blockhouse. Despite his inexperience, Bronfman's involvement was accepted because of his connections and access to financing through his family's wealth. His Efer Productions company was signed by Universal Studios in 1977 to a three-year movie production contract. He produced the unsuccessful film The Border (1982), which starred Jack Nicholson.[citation needed]

Seagram Company
In 1982, Bronfman returned to the Seagram Company, spending three months learning the ropes before moving to London to become managing director of Seagram Europe.

In 1984, Bronfman returned to New York as President of the House of Seagram, the company's U.S. marketing division.

By 1994, he became the Chief Executive Officer, where he began a move away from the traditional liquor business and into entertainment.

According to Cigar Aficionado, Edgar Jr. led the family on a series of disastrous business deals, ultimately losing the family's ownership of Seagram

The first step in this diversification was the widely criticized sale of Seagram's stake in DuPont.

In 1981, Edgar Bronfman Sr. had sold Seagram's stake in Conoco to DuPont, in exchange for almost 25% of the chemical giant.

This stake in DuPont, by 1995, represented about 70% of Seagram's total earnings.

Nevertheless, Bronfman Jr., acting as Seagram CEO, approached DuPont about buying back its shares, a deal that DuPont wasted no time in closing.

With the proceeds of the $9 billion sale, Bronfman Jr. went on an expansion into the entertainment business, in music through the acquisition of Polygram, and in film entertainment through MCA and Universal Pictures.

However, the new entertainment conglomerate he created had a brief life, before needing a strategic partner. Bronfman Jr., then led Seagram into a controversial all-stock acquisition by French conglomerate Vivendi in 2000.

Bronfman Jr., became chief of the new company, Vivendi Universal, but the Seagram company effectively lost control of its entertainment businesses.

Meanwhile, the beverage division—the core of Seagram was acquired by Pernod Ricard and Diageo and divided between the two firms. Seagram, for all intents and purposes, ceased to exist.

In December 2001, Bronfman announced he was stepping down from an executive capacity at Vivendi Universal, but remaining as vice chair of the board.

In 2002, Bronfman joined private investment firm Accretive LLC as General Partner.

The firm focuses on conducting deep market research and hand-selecting firms to back.

Among its past projects are Accretive Health and Fandango (ticket service). Companies it currently backs include human resources firm AlphaStaff and small-business insurance company Insureon.

Warner Music Group
On February 27, 2004, Bronfman finalized the acquisition of Warner Music Group and served as Chairman and CEO of the music company for the following 7 years.

Bronfman helped to transform WMG by rapidly growing the company's digital music sales, redefining the relationships it has with artists and diversifying its revenue streams through its expansion into growing areas of the music business.

WMG held an initial public offering of stock in 2005, and is now the only standalone major music company to be publicly traded.

While the stock has fallen from a high in 2005 of over $30 per share, the company has nonetheless produced double-digit growth in its digital business, increased its market share and delivered stable revenue performance despite a drastic music industry decline during the same period.

In 2008, The New York Times reported that WMG's Atlantic Records became the first major record label to generate more than half of its music sales in the U.S. from digital products.

In May, 2011, WMG and Bronfman announced the company's sale to Access Industries for US$3.3 billion cash.

Access is controlled by Russian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik, a former board member and still-substantial shareholder of WMG at the time of the purchase announcement.

The sale, coming after a three-month bidding process, "serves the best interests of stockholders as well as the best interests of music fans, our recording artists and songwriters, and the wonderful people of this company," according to a statement released by Bronfman.

CEO Bronfman would continue in his post in the transaction, though further job cuts were also foreseen.

The investment group which has owned the company since 2004 was said to have received a positive return on its investment.[12]

In August 2011, Bronfman became Chairman of Warner Music and Stephen Cooper became CEO.

He stepped down as Chairman on January 31, 2012.

In February 2017, it was reported that Meredith Corp. and a group of investors led by Bronfman Jr. were considering pursuing Time Inc

He is currently the chairman of Endeavor, an international non-profit development organization that supports entrepreneurs

Waverley Capital
In 2017, it was announced that Bronfman would be launching a new venture capital firm called Waverley Capital, alongside Luminari Capital founder Daniel Leff.

This firm would invest in "innovative and disruptive" companies within both technology and entertainment, with offices in New York and Palo Alto, California, with a Los Angeles office expected to open in the future.

Music career
In 1973, Bronfman began a songwriting career under the pseudonyms Junior Miles and Sam Roman. He often collaborated with Bruce Roberts on songs like "Whisper in the Dark", which he gave to Dionne Warwick to record in thanks for introducing him to his first wife, Sherry. Bronfman also co-wrote "To Love You More", which was recorded by Celine Dion, and Barbra Streisand's "If I Didn't Love You"

Personal life
Edgar M. Bronfman, Jr., is the son of Edgar Bronfman, Sr., the billionaire businessman and longtime president of the World Jewish Congress who died aged 84 in 2013.  who as a 39-year-

In 1979, Bronfman married his first wife, Sherry Brewer, an African-American actress, in New Orleans. Bronfman's father did not approve of the marriage. "I very much wanted for him to end the relationship, because I told him, all marriages are difficult enough without the added stress of totally different backgrounds", Bronfman Sr. wrote in his memoirs. "Sherry offered to convert [to Judaism], which though well intentioned, was not the point."

Bronfman and Brewer eloped and he and his father remained estranged. The couple had three children before they divorced in 1991:

Benjamin (born 1982) – Bronfman's eldest son with Sherry is also known as "Ben Brewer", a rock musician. Brewer was the guitar player and vocalist for the New York-based alternative rock band The Exit. He also was engaged to Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam, a British recording artist, songwriter, painter and director of Sri Lankan Tamil descent, better known under the stage name of M.I.A. Her compositions combine elements of electronica, dance, alternative, hip hop and world music. They have a son, Ikhyd Edgar Arular Bronfman, born on 11 February 2009

In 1993, Bronfman married Clarisa Alcock San Román, a Catholic, the daughter of Frank Alcock Pérez-Matos, a Venezuelan oil executive of half British descent, and Dinorah San Román Strup, her Venezuelan mother, They have four children: Aaron, Bettina, Erik, and Clarissa.

Insider trading conviction
On January 21, 2011, Bronfman was found guilty in French court of insider trading as Vivendi chief and received a 15-month suspended sentence and a €5m fine

Considering the jail sentences handed out to other executives for similar convictions, BNN reporter Michael Kane told CTV News "The fact that the judge suspended the jail time could be looked at as getting off lightly, perhaps." He has appealed the decision.

ASSOCIATED COMPANIES

Harvey MacNair & Co
Hill, Thomson & Co
Lawson & Smith
R Thorne and Sons
Taylor & Ferguson

CHIVAS BROTHERS

Chivas Brothers has its headquarters in Paisley, near Glasgow, and operates 14 Scottish malt distilleries, all located in the Speyside area – apart from Scapa on Orkney – along with Strathclyde grain distillery in Glasgow. It also owns gin distilleries in London and Plymouth, and blending, bottling and warehousing facilities at several sites across Scotland. In total the company employs 1,600 people at 34 locations.

Chivas is best known for its Chivas Regal and Ballantine’s blended Scotches, with the latter being the world’s second-best-selling Scotch whisky after Johnnie Walker, while Chivas Regal occupies the third spot.  In terms of single malts, the company’s biggest brands are The Glenlivet, the global number two malt behind Glenfiddich, and Aberlour.

Chivas Brothers traces its origins back to Aberdeen in 1801, when John Forrest established a grocery and wine merchants, it being passed onto William Edward who was joined by James Chivas in 1838. Chivas Regal was first introduced as a 25-year-old luxury blend in 1909, and was soon a firm favourite in the USA.

Seeing its success, the Canadian drinks giant Seagram Co bought Chivas Brothers in 1949, adding Strathisla distillery at Keith to the organisation the following year. In 1957 a ‘sister’ distillery named Glen Keith was constructed close to Strathisla, while the Keith Bond was developed as a maturation and blending facility, gradually being expanded as time passed. Growth of whisky sales during the 1970s led Chivas to construct All-a-Bhainne and Braes of Glenlivet (now Braeval) distilleries to provide additional malt capacity.

In 1975 Seagram purchased Campbell Distilleries, which owned Aberlour, Glenallachie and Edradour distilleries, while the company also acquired The Glenlivet Distillers during 1978, bringing The Glenlivet, Glen Grant, Longmorn and Benriach distilleries into Chivas’ fold.

In 2001 Pernod Ricard and Diageo bought Seagram Spirts & Wine, with Pernod taking control of the Chivas Brothers Scotch whisky operations. Four years later, the Scotch whisky distilleries and brands of Allied Domecq were added to the Chivas portfolio, with Ballantine’s as the prize asset.

Today, Chivas Brothers is the second-largest Scotch whisky company after Diageo, and it officially opened its latest state-of-the-art malt distillery, Dalmunach, at Carron near the River Spey in June 2015.

DISTILLERIES & BRANDS

100 Pipers
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Aberlour
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Allt-a-Bhainne
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Ambassador
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Ballantine's
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Black Watch
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Bonnie Lassie
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Braemar
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Braeval
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Caperdonich
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Chivas Brothers
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Chivas Regal
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Clan Campbell
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Clan Robertson
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Craigduff
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Dalmunach
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Doctor's Special
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Dumbarton
LOWLAND SINGLE GRAIN SCOTCH WHISKY
Glen Keith
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glenallachie
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glenburgie
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glencraig
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glenisla
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glentauchers
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glenugie
HIGHLAND SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Imperial Distillery
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Inverleven
LOWLAND SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Kinclaith
LOWLAND SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
King's Ransom
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Lochside
HIGHLAND SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Lomond
LOWLAND SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Long John
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Longmorn
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Miltonduff
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Mosstowie
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Passport
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Prince Charlie
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Queen Anne
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Royal Citation
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Royal Glen Dee
BLENDED MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Royal Salute
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Royal Strathythan
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Scapa
ISLANDS SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Something Special
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
St Leger
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Stewart's
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Strathclyde
LOWLAND SINGLE GRAIN SCOTCH WHISKY
Strathisla
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
The Glenlivet
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
The Junior
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Thorne's
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Tormore
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
White Heather
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
ASSOCIATED COMPANIES

Pernod Ricard (Current owner)
Allied Breweries
Allied Distillers
Allied Domecq
Allied Lyons
Campbell Distillers
Harvey MacNair & Co
Hill, Thomson & Co
Lawson & Smith
R Thorne and Sons
Seagram Distillers
Taylor & Ferguson

The Ballantines Malts:

Malt trio: Glenburgie, Glentauchers and Miltonduff are all core components in the Ballantine’s blend
Fifteen-year-old single malts from Glenburgie, Glentauchers and Miltonduff distilleries have been released underneath the Ballantine’s brand.

The world’s second best-selling Scotch whisky, which sells over 80 million bottles a year, has made the unprecedented move to give consumers a ‘unique opportunity’ to experience the flavour of the three main malt whiskies that comprise the Ballantine’s blend.

Peter Moore, Ballantine’s global brand director, said: ‘The single malts category is dynamic and continues to grow rapidly as more consumers become lovers of this iconic Scottish spirit.

‘As a globally known brand, we are sure that consumers will have confidence in the quality and credibility of these new single malts as they are widely recognised as the signature malts that form the heart of Ballantine’s.’

Glenburgie distillery was built near Forres in 1829, and produces a fragrant, sweet and grassy style of malt whisky.

Glentauchers was designed by the legendary Charles Doig, and built by James Buchanan & Co. in 1898. Its spirit is floral and sweet, and light in style.

Miltonduff is the oldest of the three distilleries, dating back to the at least the late 18th century. Another fresh, floral malt whisky, Miltonduff is another workhorse distillery, producing around six million lpa (litres of pure alcohol) every year.

Whisky from the three Speyside distilleries have rarely been bottled by their owner, Chivas Brothers, which also owns The Glenlivet distillery.

Instead, spirit produced by Glenburgie, Glentauchers and Miltonduff has been reserved almost exclusively for the Ballantine’s blend.

The three 15-year-old bottlings has already been launched in global travel retail for US$80 per litre, and will be released in domestic markets including the UK, Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, Korea, Switzerland and Taiwan for around US$56 for 70cl.

Pernod sells the Glenallachie Distillery
July, 2017

Pernod Ricard has announced the signing of an agreement with the Glenallachie Consortium, comprising Billy Walker, Graham Stevenson and Trisha Savage, for the sale of the Scottish distillery Glenallachie.

The transaction also includes the Glenallachie single malt brand, MacNair’s and White Heather blended scotch brands, and relevant inventories to support future development of those brands.

Pernod says the disposal is in line with its strategy to focus on its priority spirits and wine brands and to adjust its industrial footprint to its needs.

The closing of the transaction is subject to customary conditions and is expected to take place before the end of 2017.

The Glenallachie Consortium
Billy Walker is a well known character in the scotch whisky industry, having now been involved in the industry for more than 40 years. With a degree in chemistry Walker has been involved in most aspects of the production of scotch whisky, having spent time at Ballantines, Inver House Distillers and Burn Stewart. More recently he was instrumental in establishing and building the BenRiach Distillery Company prior to its sale in 2016.

Graham Stevenson is a chartered accountant who has spent almost 30 years in the scotch whisky industry. He initially joined the North British Distillery Company in Edinburgh before moving to Inver House Distillers in 1994. He has remained there for the past 23 years, most of that time as managing director.

Trisha Savage has over 30 years’ experience in scotch. Starting at Burn Stewart she has worked with Billy throughout her career and was also instrumental in establishing and building the BenRiach Distillery Company.

The consortium says its mission is to be a wholly Scottish-owned, Scottish-based, and truly independent scotch whisky company producing excellent whiskies and offering them to the market at premium but affordable prices.

JIMMY BARCLAY, BALLANTINE’S AND CHIVAS REGAL

A legendary whisky entrepreneur, Jimmy Barclay built the reputations of not one but two great blended Scotch brands, Ballantine’s and Chivas Regal, in a career spanning the dark days of Prohibition and the glory years of the 1950s.

Barclay was one of the most significant figures in 20th-century Scotch
Jimmy Barclay (1885-1963) was a legendary figure in the Scotch whisky industry, described by the Canadian whisky executive Maxwell Henderson as ‘one of the greatest whisky entrepreneurs ever to graduate into the respectable era from the bootlegging days’.

The Canadian heard ‘amazing tales’ about Barclay’s adventures in New York during Prohibition, including ‘the night he climbed down the Hotel Astor’s fire escape to avoid being subpoenaed by internal revenue officers’. He was subsequently involved in some of the most important and complex whisky business deals of the 1940s and 1950s.

Barclay was born in Gargunnock, Stirlingshire, in 1885, but was brought up in Strathspey. He began work as an office boy at the Benrinnes distillery near Aberlour.

In 1909, Barclay went to Glasgow to work for Peter Mackie & Co, eventually taking charge of the firm’s home trade, distilleries and warehouses.

There was a recession in the whisky market after the First World War, and the young manager, with his extensive knowledge of the market, was well-placed to spot business opportunities.   

In 1919, Barclay left Mackie’s and joined RA McKinlay (owner of Alexander McGavin & Co) to purchase George Ballantine & Son. In 1921 they acquired The Stirling Bonding Co and, in 1922, James & George Stodart. T&A McClelland and Highland Bonding Company followed.

Through these acquisitions, the duo not only acquired large maturing stocks at keen prices, but owned and bottled their own brands, including Ballantine’s and Old Smuggler.

The dapper McKinlay took charge of the office and the production of blended whiskies. The gregarious Barclay, meanwhile, concentrated on sales and deal-making.

During the 1920s, he travelled extensively to establish the Ballantine’s and the Gaelic Old Smuggler brand names in the US. The fact that the Americans had recently introduced Prohibition was a mere inconvenience.

Jimmy Barclay Chivas Regal

Barclay  was instrumental in the introduction of Chivas Regal in the US

Herb Hatch of Hiram Walker believed that ‘Ballantine’s made its American debut in the whorehouses of Havana, Nassau and New York’ during the Prohibition years of the 1920s and early 1930s. Certainly, Barclay made influential contacts in the US, Bahamas and Canada during that time, including Jack Kriendler and Charlie Berns of the 21 Club, the famous Manhattan speakeasy, who also set up a liquor distribution company.

That company, 21 Brands, was appointed as US distributor for Ballantine’s, which became one of the most popular Scotches in the country. Its success impressed two more of Barclay’s friends from Prohibition days – Hatch and Bill Hume of the distillers Hiram Walker – Gooderham & Worts.

They bought a controlling interest in Stodarts and the Stirling Bonding Co in 1930, and in Robert Ballantine & Son in 1935, in a deal which must have made small fortunes for their owners.

Barclay stayed on as a director of Hiram Walker’s Scotch whisky subsidiary, Hiram Walker & Sons (Scotland) Ltd, for a couple of years. He arranged the purchase of the Miltonduff and Glenburgie distilleries for the company, to guarantee the supplies of single malt whisky required for the Ballantine’s blends. And he worked closely with James Horn and George Robertson to create a new premium blend, Ballantine’s 17 Year Old.

One of Barclay’s final acts in connection with Hiram Walker came in December 1938, when he appeared in Glasgow Sheriff Court to give evidence in a case in which Hiram Walker, George Ballantine & Son and other companies were prosecuted under the Merchandise Act 1887: they had allegedly used the false trade description ‘Scotch whisky’ in connection with blends of Scotch malt whisky and grain whisky from Northern Ireland.

Barclay with Kenny Grant and Willie Mitchell helped acquire Strathisla for Chivas

Barclay told the court that he believed a whisky could be called ‘Scotch’ if it was a blend of Scotch malt whisky ‘and any other British-produced patent still grain whisky’, apparently supporting other defence witnesses who believed that Scotch had become a term which indicated a ‘style’ rather than a place of origin.

He went on to say that, since the First World War, ‘Irish grain was bought and sold by reputable firms for the purpose of being blended with Scotch malt and being marketed as Scotch or blended Scotch whisky’ – even if there was as little as 5% Scotch malt in the blend (although he added that such a small amount was practically unheard-of).

This latest ‘What is Scotch Whisky’ case attracted headlines in British newspapers in 1938 and 1939. All the plaintiffs other than Barclay’s old company, McGavin’s (which had simply bottled the products for their clients), were found guilty and given nominal fines. The little-remembered test case established quite firmly that Scotch mixed with spirit made in any other place ‘must not be labelled Scotch whisky’.

Barclay then became entangled in the celebrated Excess Profits Tax avoidance scandal of the 1940s. EPT was levied by the British Government to prevent rampant profiteering when the prices of whisky stocks went through the roof at the beginning of the Second World War.

Established brokers and a number of ‘straw men’ formed a syndicate to buy and sell whisky companies and their valuable stocks at small margins, over and again, before the final transfer to the new owner.

This labyrinthine scheme ensured that the EPT liability for the vendor was kept low, while each link in the selling-on chain was no doubt rewarded with a tidy fee.

According to the media, the scheme was fronted by Jay Pomeroy, a Russian émigré, entrepreneur and opera impresario, but involved a who’s who of the Scotch whisky brokerage trade, including Barclay.

The latter was named in connection with the purchases and re-sales of Bladnoch distillery, William Longmore & Co and other businesses. However, after the introduction of retrospective legislation to close the tax loopholes, and after the Inland Revenue finally began unravelling the deals to claim appropriate amounts of EPT, the authorities ruled that he had been involved only as a consultant.   

Even before he severed his ties with Hiram Walker in the late 1930s, Barclay had begun working closely with one of its Canadian rivals – the colourful Sam Bronfman of the Distillers CorporationSeagram’s Ltd.

Bronfman had ‘issues’ with Distillers Company Ltd, the dominant player in the Scotch whisky industry, which in 1933 had rejected a proposal to work in partnership with his company in the US.

He became obsessed with a plan to create a blended Scotch that would compete with Johnnie Walker and other great DCL brands. Barclay, who had known Bronfman since Prohibition days, was happy to assist.

In 1935, Barclay had purchased the Glasgow firm Robert Brown Ltd for Seagram’s and began to amass the large inventory of aged grain and malt whiskies that would be required for the launch of a new, premium blended Scotch.

He husbanded the stocks through the Second World War and, working with a number of well-known brokers, found ways to add to them. In 1949, when reserves of pre-war Scotch whiskies were at an all-time low, and the 12 years age statement had been removed even from Johnnie Walker Black Label, Bronfman made his move.

Seagram’s paid considerable sums to buy The Highland Bonding Co and William Walker & Co from Barclay, along with their large stocks of maturing whisky. Barclay then acted for the company to purchase the Aberdeen grocer Chivas Brothers (with its prestigious Royal Warrant), acquiring more stock, but also the rights to the Chivas Regal brand name.

The Glasgow Bond was used by Seagram’s to package Chivas Regal

The Canadian company also required a distillery to guarantee supplies of single malt for the new blend, and in 1950 Barclay acquired on its behalf the Milton (renamed Strathisla) distillery in Keith.

The previous owner, William Longmore & Co, had been forced into liquidation in the wake of the EPT scandal and of demands made to shareholders to settle claims for more than £500,000 in unpaid tax.  

Finally, Bronfman needed facilities for bottling his Scotch whisky, so Barclay put The Glasgow Bonding Co’s bottling facilities in Glasgow at Seagram’s disposal.

Cockney master blender Charlie Julian was employed to re-formulate Chivas Regal as a rich 12-year-old blend, and it was launched in New York in August 1951.

At a time when bottles of older Scotch were hard to find, Chivas Regal stood out from the crowd. By 1960, Seagram’s sold more than 100,000 cases in the US each year, and it remains (with Ballantine’s) one of the world’s most famous whisky brands.

The ever-restless Barclay left the Chivas board in the late 1950s, in search of yet more business opportunities. He bought four hotels, including the famous art deco Beresford in Glasgow, as well as three farms and a herd of  pedigree Aberdeen Angus cattle.

He retained business interests in Nassau in the Bahamas, and he remained a major player in the whisky trade: when he died in 1963, it was said that his company, T&A McClelland, held larger stocks of Scotch whisky than any other private firm.

GLEN KEITH
Pernod Ricard UK is adding one of Speyside’s best kept secrets to its range of
‘Expertly Selected Whiskies’:
Glen Keith, Distillery Edition. Creating smooth, distinctive Speyside high quality
Malt Whisky for decades, Glen Keith has previously been reserved for use in premium
blended whiskies and for rare cask releases.

The Distillery Edition is the first Single Malt expression from the distillery to be made available
at an accessible price.

The Glen Keith distillery perches on the Linn of Keith, a sparkling, free-flowing waterfall on the River Isla. It’s a
historic spot, once the stronghold of the Ogilvies of Milton, a band of one of the most prominent ancient
clans of Scotland. Distilled by Master Craftsmen and aged in the finest traditional oak casks, the new liquid is
a smooth, distinctive single malt with a hint of fresh-picked orchard fruits and rich toffee notes.

James Middleton, Channel Director for Impulse at Pernod Ricard UK, comments: “The single malt market has
been one of the most dynamic and profitable sectors of the spirits market in the last ten years and is at the
forefront of a movement in consumer taste towards spirits with greater authenticity and substance.

We’r eincredibly excited to be able to offer a product in time for Christmas, which has not been widely available
previously, as only rare Single Casks of Glen Keith have been sold before.”

Glen Keith is one of six Scotch Whiskies Pernod Ricard UK is urging retailers to
stock-up on this Christmas. Middleton, continues: “Christmas is the perfect time of
year to drive purchases of Scotch whisky, with sales increasing 68% in the eight
weeks ahead of the big day. Malt Whisky, in particular, experienced a strong uplift
of 90% last year

As shoppers look to trade up and select the perfect gift, the fact
that this is the first-time Glen Keith has been available at an affordable price makes
it the perfect gift this Christmas.”

Available across the off-trade from October 2017, Glen Keith has an ABV of 40%
and an RRP of £30. The packaging features a distinctive illustration of the distillery,
conveying its strong back history and sense of place. The gold signifiers and clear
glass bottle emphasise Glen Keith as a premium and distinctive newcomer to the
Single Malts category; available in 6 x 70cl cases.

NOSE
Ripe fruit aromas of pears and apricots, thick vanilla custard and a subtle sweet citrus orange zest.
TASTE
Sweet flavours of honeycomb and soft vanilla toffee, perfectly balanced with poached pears and delicate
notes of marzipan.
FINISH
Long and smooth with sweet notes of butterscotch.

Pernod Ricard UK is part of Pernod Ricard, number two in wines and spirits with sales of €9,010m in
2016/2017. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has undergone sustained
development, based on both organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005)
and Vin&Sprit (2008).

Pernod Ricard holds one of the most prestigious brand portfolios in the sector, including 19 brands among
the top 100 worldwide. Pernod Ricard UK has identified the following key priority brands in the UK market:
Absolut, Havana Club, Malibu, Lamb’s, Kahlúa, Plymouth Gin, Monkey 47, Chivas, Jameson,
The Glenlivet, Martell, Perrier-Jouët, G.H. Mumm, Brancott Estate, Campo Viejo, Graffigna and
Jacob’s Creek. Pernod Ricard UK is a member of The Portman Group promoting responsible drinking.

August 2018
Diese Marken stehen in der Hausbar von Pernod Ricard

Der Schnaps-Hersteller Pernod Ricard lässt die Gläser klirren. Das Unternehmen hat seinen Gewinn deutlich gesteigert. Bei diesen Marken trinkst du Alkohol des Konzerns aus Frankreich.

Wenn das Licht durch die Flaschen im Regal hinter der Bar fällt, wirft es einen Regenbogen auf den Boden. So bunt wie die Gläser, ist auch das Sortiment des Spirituosen-Herstellers Pernod Ricard. Mit mehr als 33 Marken gilt die französische Firma als Vize-Weltmarktführer im Schnaps-Geschäft. Wir schauen uns an, hinter welchen Marken der Konzern steckt und schenken dir reinen Wein ein.

Pernod Ricard: 9 Milliarden Euro Umsatz und 1,6 Milliarden Euro Gewinn im Geschäftsjahr 2016/17
An diesem Mittwoch hat das Unternehmen Grund zum Anstoßen – und zwar auf die neuen Jahreszahlen. Laut Geschäftsbericht 2017/18 hat Pernod Ricard seinen Gewinn im vergangenen Geschäftsjahr um 13 Prozent auf 1,6 Milliarden Euro gesteigert. Und das, obwohl die Einnahmen um 0,3 Prozent auf rund neun Milliarden Euro zurückgingen.

Mehr Gewinn bei gleichem Umsatz bedeutet: Das Unternehmen hat seine Gewinnspanne gesteigert. Fachleute sagen dazu: Pernod Ricard ist profitabler geworden. Als Grund für den höheren Profit nannte der Schnaps-Hersteller die wachsende Nachfrage nach Cognac und Whiskey, vor allem in Asien.

WAS HEISST BITTE...?
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Pernod Ricard bleibt damit der zweitgrößte Spirituosen-Konzern der Welt. Hochprozentiger sind die Erfolge nur beim Konkurrenten Diageo. Zuprosten kann Ricard zum Beispiel seinen weltweit 18.442 Mitarbeitern, die das Unternehmen in 86 Ländern beschäftigt. Davon arbeiten 225 in Deutschland, wo das Unternehmen im Geschäftsjahr 2017/18 rund 726 Millionen Euro eingenommen hat.

Pernod Ricard: Die Geschichte beginnt mit Gründer Henri-Louis Pernod
Der Erfolg von Pernod Ricard beginnt mit der Leidenschaft zweier Menschen für das Gewürz Anis. Henri-Louis Pernod eröffnet 1805 seine zweite Absinth-Destillerie in Pontarlier und gründet das Unternehmen Pernod Fils. Mehr als hundert Jahre später, im Jahr 1932, zieht Paul Ricard nach. Er will das perfekte Rezept finden, um den reinen Geschmack des Anis zu bewahren. Die beiden französischen Spirituosen-Hersteller Pernod und Ricard schließen sich im Jahr 1975 zusammen.

Schon ein Jahr später erkennt die Firma, dass sie ihr Sortiment erweitern muss. Denn nicht alle Kunden mögen Anis. Die Strategie hat Erfolg. Über die Jahre füllt sich die Hausbar von Pernod Ricard immer weiter. 1985 kauft das Unternehmen Ramazotti auf. Im nächsten Jahr expandiert es nach Japan. 1993 übernimmt Pernod Ricard den Hersteller von Havana Club Rum.

Der Durchbruch kommt allerdings erst 2008: Mit der Übernahme der schwedischen Firma Vin&Spirit für rund 5,7 Milliarden Euro, darf Pernod Ricard auch die weltweit erfolgreiche Wodka-Marke Absolut sein Eigen nennen. Seither besetzt der Schnaps-Hersteller das Silbertreppchen auf dem Weltmarkt für hochprozentigen Alkohol.

Diese Marken gehören zu Pernod Ricard
Allein vom Anschauen der Markenliste, die inzwischen zu Pernod Ricard gehört, bekommt man einen Kater. Das Unternehmen teilt seine Spirituosen in verschiedene Kategorien ein.

Anis: Ricard, Pernod, Pastis 51
Chachaca: Janeiro
Champagner: Perrier Jouët
Gin: Beefeater, Plymouth
Cognac: Martell
Rum: Havana Club, Pacto Navio
Kräuter: Amaro Ramazotti, Becherovka
Liköre: Kahlúa, Malibu
Scotch Whisky: Aberlour, Ballantine´s, Chivas Regal, The Glenlivet, Longmorn, Royal Salute, Scapa, Strathisla
Irish Whiskey: Jameson, Spot Whiskey, Powers Whiskey, Redbreast, Midleton
Bourbon: Four Roses
Tequila: Altos, Olmeca
Wodka: Absolut
Weinaperitif: Lillet
Wein: Campo Viejo
Besonders bekannt durch die Werbung sind neben Absolut, Havana Club und Ramazotti vor allem der Likör Malibu sowie das als Weinaperitif deklarierte Sommer-Trend-Getränk Lillet. Viele der Marken sind international vertreten, doch wie fast alle großen Unternehmen vertreibt auch Pernod Ricard einige lokale Marken.

Pernod Ricard: Kritik sucht man erstmal vergeblich
Man sagt, dass jede große Firma ihre Leichen im Keller habe. Doch entweder hat Pernod Ricard die Kellertreppe gut zugemauert oder lebt tatsächlich in einem Zelt. Es lassen sich praktisch keine negativen Schlagzeilen über das Unternehmen finden. Ganz im Gegenteil. Das Unternehmen ist sich bewusst darüber, dass Alkohol der Gesundheit schadet – und beteiligt sich an verschiedenen Initiativen, die für den „verantwortungsbewussten Konsum“ von Alkohol werben.

Im Rahmen des Projektes „Dort Drink & Drive“ stellt die Firma beispielsweise kostenlose Shuttle-Services oder Taxi-Gutscheine auf ausgewählten Parties zur Verfügung. Seit 2010 ist der Spirituosen-Hersteller außerdem verantwortlich für die Kampagne „Mein Kind will keinen Alkohol“. Mithilfe von Plakaten und Werbespots appelliert das Unternehmen so an werdende Mütter, in der Schwangerschaft keinen Alkohol zu trinken. Weltweit ist auf allen Flaschen der Firma das Logo der Kampagne abgebildet.

Es ist ein kluger Schachzug. Auf den ersten Blick scheint es so, als spucke sich Pernod Ricard damit selbst ins Glas, indem die Firma potenzielle Kunden vom Konsum ihrer Produkte abhält. Doch die PR-Abteilung scheint gut zu wissen, dass die Entscheidung des Käufers für ein Produkt auch oft mit Sympathie zu tun hat. Durch solche Aktionen gerät der Firmenname nicht in Verruf. Beim nächsten Einkauf greift der Kunde dann vielleicht erst recht zu einer Flasche von Pernod Ricard

SANDY HYSLOP, CHIVAS BROTHERS

Sandy Hyslop is best known as the master blender behind Ballantine’s, Glenlivet and Chivas Regal, yet his passion for whisky is rooted in an appreciation of the past.

Sandy Hyslop began collecting whiskies before starting his career in blending
Stereotypes exist for a reason. Mention the term ‘whisky collector’ and images of beards, hoarding, clutter, cupboards brimming with bottles alongside empty fridges, and long-suffering spouses are brought to mind. No doubt, you’re familiar with the themes. The reality, of course – as with all typecasts in life – is more complex. While on the surface Sandy Hyslop, master blender for Chivas Brothers, might tick a few of those boxes, he confounds them in other ways.

We meet at Chivas’ site in Kilmalid, Dumbarton. If you ever want an idea of just how vast the ‘bread-and-butter’ blending side of Scotch whisky is, this is a good place to visit. Here sits a sprawling industrial complex of automated overnight packing operations, bottling halls and cask pyramids, all due for imminent expansion. At the heart of all this lies a small, unassuming building housing Sandy Hyslop and his team of blenders. Out of here recipes are hatched, scaled up through the engine of this vast operation around them and sent on their merry way into the world.

Hyslop was a collector before becoming a blender . His career began back in 1994 at Allied Distillers before joining Chivas as master blender in 2005. ‘My father was in the antiques trade,’ he explains. ‘It meant I always had an appreciation of the value of things. I’ve always been a collector – cars, glasses, watches – my Instagram is full of watches.’

Much about Hyslop’s career is reversed. Instead of blending leading to collecting, he brought the passionate fascination and geekery of a collector’s mentality to his trade as he learned the ropes. ‘As I worked with all these different brands and products I always tried to get a bottle of each thing I worked on.’

One of the collector tropes that Hyslop does nothing to dispel is that of clutter. ‘Now, I warn you, this isn’t a “show blending lab”,’ he says with an ill-concealed grin as we approach his workspace, ‘this is the real deal.’ Indeed, it is a thrilling library of row upon row of sample bottles. It’s hard not to get lost picking through the myriad labels to see what gems and curiosities lie amidst the commendable and gentle disorder. Old memorabilia glints out from between stacks of samples and scattered books. Across the hallway in his office the situation is much the same, only here the focus is unashamedly on old brand memorabilia and bottles.

‘I love the old memorabilia. Being a blender and being responsible for these brands, it’s about holding onto a sense of that heritage. The first thing I worked on was Stewart’s Cream of the Barley so I always try and grab anything to do with that. It’s a real mix of bottles and memorabilia that I go for, although I’m not out chasing bottles at auction – I can’t afford those prices.’

His reply pre-empts my next question: what does he make of today’s secondary market prices and the notion of investment? ‘It is hard. If I were to go through all my bottles and tally up everything I’d probably be frightened by how much it all cost. I’ve got some terrific old things like Laphroaig 30 and GlenDronach 1968. But then what am I going to do if I sell them all? They’re a record of my career and I enjoy the history of it all too much – no, I couldn’t sell them.’

That’s not to say the concept of investment hasn’t worked its way into his job as a blender. ‘A lot of projects we’re doing now are driven by the interest in collecting and investing,’ he says. ‘This year we’re looking at doing a number of different casks of Glenlivet for our various markets.’ It’s a crucial point where the mutual aspects of fandom and professionalism intersect for Hyslop. ‘It’s something I really love doing; we go through all these casks with the team together. It’s a great way to get to know a distillery profile inside-out; you’re looking at refills, first fills, fresh Sherry, different cask types and ages.’

Do a bit of online digging about Hyslop and it becomes quickly apparent that enthusiasm and passion are qualities for which he’s well-renowned. Our discussion is notionally about whisky collecting, but it quickly tangents into blending, history, branding, production techniques and many other aspects of whisky. Does being a collector affect the way he approaches his job? ‘Not really. I know what I have to do with all these brands and I take that responsibility very seriously. Although, there will be things I’ll be working on and I’ll really look forward to receiving a bottle. Something we’re doing at the moment is a new Chivas blend of 100% grain whiskies and its really terrific stuff. I’ll definitely get one of them.’

What drives Hyslop as a collector of whisky is a personal connection to brand and history. He is also aware that collecting is motivated by an intense love and fascination of the liquid itself, although it’s a subject where he must take a pragmatic approach.

‘I think today’s whisky is far easier to work with than the stuff we were using 20 years ago,’ he says. ‘The consistency is just so much better. You don’t have so many different workers coming on shift each day doing things the way their father or grandfather taught them – those kinds of inconsistencies are gone.’

Many would argue that it was precisely this kind of human proximity and influence on the final spirit that gave many old whiskies their character. However, spirit character is very much at the forefront of what Hyslop does. He says: ‘It’s the number one focus. If the yield is a little down that’s not such a problem for us, provided the character is good and correct.’

For Hyslop, the sense of variation within a house style that both collectors and drinkers enjoy is something that he sees as being part of the blender’s responsibility. ‘When we’re making Aberlour A’Bunadh for example, we’re always looking to vary from batch to batch – I know people are going out and buying two bottles and drinking one and comparing it to previous batches. We love it as well; it’s great fun playing around with the recipe and tweaking the age and cask profile.’

There’s a dual sense of delight and responsibility that Hyslop brings to his job. The fact that he’s only the fifth master blender of Ballantine’s in almost two centuries clearly holds sway over his sense of self as a collector and a blender. All the memorabilia and old bottles – many of them open or empty – are a constant reminder of the history and cultural relevance of the names and whiskies he is responsible for as their caretaker. For instance, he takes the task of keeping bottlings such as Ballantine’s 17-year-old at a certain level of quality, very seriously.

‘Ballantine’s 17 I see as my most important responsibility,’ he states. ‘It’s such an iconic and loved whisky. If it ever dipped in quality we would really know about it, and it would be very damaging, so that’s something I’m always very focused on.’

In today’s increasingly intense and often polarised whisky world, speaking to Hyslop is a reminder that there are both similarities and distinctions between those who consume and those who create whisky. Just as he points out that the language we all use as a framework to describe whisky’s flavour is often different and personal, so too are the reasons and motivations for people to collect. Hyslop’s passion for the people he works with, his team of blenders, the distilleries and their workers, is all reflected in the bottles and memorabilia he collects.

This passion emerges again as he pours us both a dram of a 1950s bottle of Ballantine’s 30-year-old. ‘The 30 always had this sweetness – that Sherry note is just stunning,’ he observes with a grin. ‘There’s nothing better than seeing the whiskies you laid down early in your career come together in new bottlings.’

Is he ever intimidated or overwhelmed by the sheer number of different blends, malts and brands he has to juggle? He answers with another characteristic grin. ‘Not a bit of it. I love it.’ Love for whisky, like the drink itself, comes in many shades and flavours. Speaking to Sandy Hyslop is a timely reminder of that.


SAM BRONFMAN, SEAGRAM
March 2019
A flawed business genius, Sam Bronfman made a fortune during Prohibition and spent the rest of his life chasing respectability. D


Sam Bronfman’s interests spanned whisky, rum and Champagne (Photo: Chivas Brothers Archive)
Samuel Bronfman was a visionary businessman, a generous philanthropist and a whisky maker who was obsessed with quality. As a family man, however, he came up short. It was this failing that led to the loss of the distilling empire he had dedicated his life to creating.

Known by all as ‘Mister Sam’, Bronfman’s enormous influence on Canadian whisky is indisputable. But if you appreciate single malt Scotch, Caribbean rum or American Bourbon, there is little doubt that you have already tasted and enjoyed the work of Mister Sam.

On 27 February 1889, as Yechiel and Mindel Bronfman and their young family were fleeing from the anti-Semitic pogroms in their Russian homeland, their escape was interrupted in Soroki, Bessarabia (modern-day Soroca in Moldova), by the birth of a son, Samuel. The Bronfman family arrived in Canada later that year, and they soon settled in Brandon, Manitoba, where Yechiel sold firewood, frozen fish and horses.

As he observed the world around him, young Sam noticed that successful transactions were often cemented with a drink at the local hotel. Sam later ran his own hotel, The Bell, in Winnipeg. This experience confirmed his belief that selling alcohol was usually a lucrative business.

When prohibition arrived in Manitoba in 1916, Sam made a fortune. He and his brothers exploited loopholes that enabled them to sell legally distilled whisky across borders in provinces where it could not otherwise be purchased, without breaking the law.

Sam and his brother Harry sold whisky destined for Alberta and Manitoba from whisky warehouses, known as boozoriums, that they built in Saskatchewan on its borders with those provinces. Before long, he and his brothers had established a mail-order business in Montreal, where producing and selling alcohol remained legal.

‘Mister Sam’ believed good products would bring him respectability

When American lawmakers enacted the Volstead Act in 1920, it brought Prohibition to the US. Sam and Harry extended their made-in-Canada concept and opened boozoriums along the southern Saskatchewan border. Sales to rum-runners from the northern US were not only legal there, they were also very lucrative; until the Canadian federal government moved to close these export warehouses.

When the Saskatchewan government took control of all liquor sales in the province in 1923, the brothers decided it was time to build a real distillery. They chose LaSalle, near Montreal, and they called their new enterprise Distillers Corporation Limited, a name they took directly from Scotland’s prestigious Distillers Company Limited (DCL).

Ever conscious of quality, Mister Sam chose to leave the company’s distillate in barrels to mature, rather than take a quick profit. At the same time, the brothers entered into a formal partnership with DCL, thus gaining exclusive rights to import top brands such as Black & White, Dewar’s, Haig and Vat 69.

It was the kernel of a concept that would eventually change the way the liquor business operated around the world. Rather than selling bulk whisky for others to compound and eventually bottle, Mister Sam sold his products already bottled, through distributors. In this way he could control the quality of the whisky reaching the consumer.

In 1928, the Bronfmans merged their business with Joseph E Seagram and Sons of Waterloo, Ontario. They called their new partnership Distillers Corporation-Seagram’s Limited. Mister Sam anticipated the end of Prohibition and he decided to expand and upgrade their Waterloo and LaSalle distilleries in anticipation of what he foresaw as increased demand.

Although ownership of Distillers Corporation-Seagram was shared with the Seagram family, Sam Bronfman was the president of the firm, and he ran it as if it were his alone. In 1933, he decided to buy the Rossville Union plant (now called MGP) in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, and this became the first of 13 American distilleries that he would acquire.

Bronfman built the Speyside distillery to boost production

Bronfman carried a sense of shame because of his Prohibition beginnings. His embarrassment evolved into a kind of obsession with respectability, something he thought he might earn through the quality of his products.

He described his perspective on quality this way: ‘Look, when a man goes into a store for a bottle of Coca-Cola, he expects it to be the same today as it will be tomorrow. The great products don’t change. Well, our product’s not going to change either.’

Under his direction, Seagram’s set out to develop strict protocols to help it maintain standard flavour profiles from year to year. The company achieved this by blending large numbers of components that could be adjusted for each individual batch.

Even a straight Bourbon such as Four Roses, incidentally one of his later acquisitions, adopted this same approach. The company evened out batch differences by adjusting proportions of 10 different base Bourbons to achieve one consistent flavour.

In 1934, he introduced Seagram’s 7, an American blended whiskey made at his distillery in Lawrenceburg, to standards far exceeding government requirements. It was a huge success.

Sam also realised that associating Seagram’s with Scotch whisky could increase the firm’s respectability. To prove the point, in 1935 he purchased Robert Brown Ltd of Paisley, with its substantial stock of mature whiskies.

The next year, he incorporated Seagram Distillers Co in Scotland. He solidified his Scottish holdings in 1949, when he purchased Chivas Brothers. But he surprised everyone when he quickly nixed plans already in place for Chivas Regal to release a 25-year-old blend.

He told them they had insufficient quality blending stock to meet anticipated demand. Instead, Sam went on to develop Royal Salute. In 1950, he took over the distillery now known as Strathisla and, to boost production, built the Glen Keith distillery next door.

Despite these successes in Scotland, it was a Canadian whisky, Crown Royal, that would clinch Mister Sam’s international legacy. He personally developed this blend to mark the visit to Canada in 1939 of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

Though the whisky travelled all the way across Canada on the Royal trains that carried the couple, there is no evidence that they ever tasted it. No matter; it was a marketing coup, and it led to Crown Royal’s continuing status as the best-selling Canadian whisky of all time.

Seagram’s also expanded internationally by branching out into foreign-made vodka, gin, rum, wine and other products. At its peak, the company owned 39 distilleries around the world, seven of them in Canada.

As well as Crown Royal, Seagram’s VO and a host of Canadian whiskies, Seagram’s brands included Captain Morgan rum, Chivas Regal and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Mumm Champagne and a number of other household names. Later, in 1987, Seagram’s added the French Cognac maker Martell & Cie to its list of acquisitions.

Sam Bronfman systematically eliminated his siblings from the business, despite his promise to his mother that he would always keep the family together. At the same time, Sam was enormously generous, particularly in Montreal’s Jewish community.

Through Seagram’s he funded the construction of hospital wings and university buildings in Montreal. He also donated substantial sums of his own money to seed campaigns for Jewish charities and for the State of Israel. He was a leader within the Canadian Jewish community for most of his life.

In the end, though, the elimination of his siblings and their spouses and children from the business, together with his insistence on maintaining strict control of the company within his own line of descendants, despite their declining interest, was the once-powerful firm’s undoing

Shortly before he died in 1971, Sam passed the leadership of Seagram’s to Edgar, his son. For the next two decades, Edgar managed to keep the company prosperous.

Until 1994. That was when Edgar passed control onto his own son, Edgar Jr. Mister Sam had a favourite saying that Edgar Jr was about to prove true: ‘Shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in three generations.’

Edgar Jr had been raised in luxury, and he had no interest in the spirits business. He fancied himself a movie mogul and decided to steer the firm in that direction. To finance the company’s entry into entertainment, Edgar Jr sold Seagram’s largest profit centre, DuPont, for US$9bn. By 2000, and for a few billion dollars more, this once mighty ‘made in Canada’ firm was lost to French conglomerate Vivendi.

Today, Diageo, Pernod Ricard and Sazerac share the brands that made Seagram’s great. Mister Sam’s Crown Royal is distilled in Diageo’s Canadian plants in Gimli, Manitoba, and in Valleyfield, Quebec.

Seagram’s VO, Five Star and Seagram’s 83 are made in Canada by the Sazerac Company of New Orleans. Sazerac is eager to celebrate its links to the famous Mister Sam, while Diageo avoids making that connection.

Sazerac has launched an annual Mister Sam Tribute Whiskey, a blend of rare, long-aged whiskies which are certainly worthy of the quality-obsessed Mister Sam. Diageo, meanwhile, knows the value of the Crown Royal label and has extended it to a portfolio of different releases.

The Bronfmans today? They have certainly not lost their fortunes. Individually, and as families, they are still business powerhouses with various interests in Canada and the US.

In the whisky business, though, Mister Sam and his remarkable, pace-setting empire have become have become yet another reminder of the surprising rise and fall of seemingly invincible dynasties.

Seager Evans
DISTILLER & BLENDER
Prolific English gin and Scotch whisky distiller and blender that became Long John International.

What started out as a 19th century gin distiller and rectification business in London became a thriving Scotch whisky distilling and blending empire. Seager Evans & Co had its headquarters in Deptford, but under US ownership expanded its business north into Scotland. It acquired the Long John blended Scotch whisky and, following its popularity in global markets, eventually renamed its subsidiaries and own business after the brand.

During its lifetime Seager Evans & Co owned the Strathclyde grain distillery in Glasgow, Glenugie in Peterhead and Laphroaig on Islay, and built Tormore in Moray. It also owned a sizeable warehousing, blending and bottling facility in Glasgow, as well as the Plymouth Gin distillery on England’s south coast.

It was renamed Long John International Ltd in 1988 and now operates as a dormant subsidiary of Chivas Brothers Ltd.

SEAGER EVANS HISTORY
Despite being one of the more successful Scotch whisky distillers and blenders, Seager Evans & Co was established as a gin distiller and rectifier in London in 1805. Its main operation was based at Millbank distillery in Westminster for the purpose of distilling, blending and rectifying gin (the business was moved in 1921 to Holland & Co’s Deptford site on the expiration of Millbank’s lease).

In 1903, with many Scottish distilleries being sold off for a bargain price following a crash in the market, Seager Evans picked up the Lowland Glentarras distillery. But it was too soon for the group to be entering the Scotch distilling industry and with the market in disarray, particularly for the Lowland distilleries, it was sold on in 1910 (and eventually closed five years later).

It wasn’t until 1927 that Seager Evans made another pass at distilling in Scotland, this time with the construction of its own distillery in Glasgow. Strathclyde was opened on the site of a disused cotton mill in Waddell Street as an alternative source of grain spirit to DCL (which was dominating the market), rather than in response to demand for more capacity. Strathclyde operated under the Scottish Grain Distilling Company subsidiary, though the name was changed to Strathclyde and Long John Distilleries Ltd in 1957 following the opening of the Kinclaith malt plant inside Strathclyde and the acquisition of the Long John blend through Seager’s buyout of W.H. Chaplin & Co in 1936.

Glenugie malt distillery, which had been silent for 15 years, was added to the portfolio in 1937, but it was after WWII that Seager began a real spending spree. It bought Westthorn Farm in Glasgow, a 100-acre site on which it built a huge storage, cooperage and blending facility. Today the London Road site is the headquarters of John Dewar & Sons.

Seager Evans was acquired by New York’s Schenley Industries in 1956, which allowed it to purchase Coates & Co (Plymouth) Ltd, the producer of Plymouth Gin, in 1958. In the same year it snapped up Tormore in Moray and went on to acquire Gordon Graham of Aberdeen and its Black Bottle blend.

The investment didn’t stop. In 1962 Seager Evans began its 10-year purchase of Laphroaig distillery from Bessie Williamson, and went on to purchase Stanley Holt & Son, which held one of the largest stocks of maturing whisky in England.

In 1972 Schenley Industries was acquired by Rapid American Inc and three years later Seager Evans was sold off to British brewer Whitbread. Its new owner invested heavily in a modernising Seager’s distilleries, and even reunited the Long John brand with the purchase of its home, Ben Nevis distillery, in 1981.

In 1988 Seager Evans & Co. Ltd was renamed Long John International Ltd. The following year, Whitbread’s wine and spirits divisions were sold to Allied Lyons. Long John International is now a dormant subsidiary of Chivas Brothers.

LONG JOHN

This historic blend is linked to Ben Nevis and Tormore, and named after a notorious bootlegger.
Y
Still in production as Long John Special Reserve, this long-established standard blend was named after the legendary ‘Long John’ Macdonald, who founded Ben Nevis distillery. Its malt was supposedly a key ingredient, though Long John’s core later became Tormore, which began distilling in 1961.

Now owned by Pernod Ricard, and still widely drunk in France, Long John claims to contain 48 different malts. It has light, cereal notes, a distinct sweetness and a short finish.

The story goes that Long John Macdonald was a notorious bootlegger who came in from the cold and took out a license for the Ben Nevis distillery, just outside Fort William, in 1825.

Before the end of the 19th century Ben Nevis was producing one of the first brands of single malt – Long John’s Dew of Ben Nevis. While the distillery operated sporadically until it was bought by the Canadian distiller, Joseph Hobbs, in 1941, its Long John brand name had been sold to London wine and spirit merchant W.H. Chaplin & Co. some 30 years earlier, during what had been a tumultuous period for the Scotch industry.

Long John passed into the hands of Seager Evans in 1936 following its takeover of W.H. Chaplin. The gin distiller – which had built Glasgow’s Strathclyde grain distillery just 10 years earlier – had been seeking an established brand with which to grow its newfound Scotch business. In 1937 the group also acquired Glenugie malt distillery, so it’s very likely some whisky from Scotland’s most easterly distillery made it into the Long John blend.

In 1956 Seager Evans was acquired by US group Schenley Industries, which passed it onto British brewer Whitbread in 1975. By this time Seager Evans had amassed an enviable portfolio, which also included Laphroaig distillery on Islay, Tormore in Moray, the Plymouth gin distillery in England and the Black Bottle blend. However Whitbread noted the star in Seager’s portfolio was the historic blend it acquired from W.H. Chaplin back in the ‘30s, and following the 1981 purchase of Ben Nevis distillery – Long John’s spiritual home – it renamed the company Long John International Ltd.

The blend then passed to Allied Domecq in 1989 and eventually to French group Pernod Ricard in 2005, since when its key market has been France.

TIMELINE
OWNERS
Pernod Ricard logo
PARENT COMPANY
Pernod Ricard
2005 - present
CURRENT OWNER
Chivas Brothers Holdings
2005 - present
PREVIOUS OWNERS
Allied Domecq
1994 - 2005
Allied Lyons
1989 - 1994
Whitbread & Co
1975 - 1989
Schenley Industries
1956 - 1975
Seager Evans
1927 - 1956
W.H. Chaplin & Co.
1911 - 1927
DP MacDonald & Sons

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