Brown-Forman has announced it has reached an agreement to acquire The 86 Company, owner of Fords Gin.
The move sees the owner of Jack Daniel’s, Canadian Mist and Old Forester whiskeys enter the gin category for the first time.
As well as the Fords Gin trademark, the acquisition includes other assets of New York-based The 86 Company, including Caña Brava rum, Aylesbury Duck vodka and Tequila Cabeza. It is expected the transaction will close in the next 30 days.
“Brown-Forman is a great partner to bring Fords Gin to more bartenders and consumers in the US and around the world while keeping our commitment to producing a unique, high-quality, mixable gin,” said Simon Ford, co-founder of The 86 Company.
“We’re extremely thankful to all our supporters who have been championing the brand since the beginning and look forward to seeing what the future holds with our new collaborators.”
Fords Gin is a collaboration between Simon Ford and eighth generation master distiller Charles Maxwell of Thames Distillers.
A mix of nine botanicals, Fords Gin starts with a base of juniper and coriander seed balanced by citrus, florals, and spices. Steeped for 15 hours before distillation, the botanicals are said to deliver an aromatic, fresh and floral spirit with notes of jasmine and grapefruit.
Brown-Forman said that Simon Ford and The 86 Company team will remain a “key part” of the building and crafting of Fords Gin going forward.
“Fords Gin is a unique brand with terrific momentum in one of the fastest growing categories in spirits,” said Lawson Whiting, CEO of Brown-Forman. “We look forward to building Fords Gin into another iconic brand in our portfolio.”
Whiting took the helm of Brown-Forman earlier this year following the retirement of former CEO Paul Varga.