The Harrodsburg-based bourbon whiskey known as Kentucky Owl now belongs to SPI Group, a producer and seller of wine and spirits based in Luxembourg, according to a news release.
Kentucky Owl, which is described as a “small-batch, super-premium” bourbon, was founded in 1879 in Mercer County by Charles Mortimer Dedman. The bourbon was made until 1916, a few years before Prohibition. The bourbon was later resurrected by Dedman’s great-great-grandson Dixon Dedman, and Mark and Sherri Carter, two California winemakers, and the first batch was released in 2014.
According to Steve Coomes, an award-winning food and drink writer, the first new batch of Kentucky Owl consisted of about 1,300 750 milliliter bottles and sold for $175 a bottle. Previous batches were sold only in Kentucky.
An SPI Group official said he was excited to add the bourbon to the company’s portfolio of alcoholic drinks.
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“When we began considering American whiskeys, we were attracted to Kentucky Owl because of its complex, yet very smooth taste profile,” Dmitry Efimov, CEO of SPI Group, said in a news release. “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, a subsidiary of SPI Group, will be responsible for national distribution, sales, marketing and global roll-out.