Louisville, KY-based Brown-Forman Corp. announced June 15 that it’s agreed to sell the Early Times, Canadian Mist and Collingwood brands, and the Canadian Mist production assets, to Sazerac Co. Early Times, which is celebrating its 160th anniversary this year, was the first brand Brown-Forman purchased in 1923.
Canadian Mist joined the Brown-Forman portfolio in 1971 and was the company’s first production operations outside of the U.S. Collingwood is an artisanal whisky made at Canada’s oldest continuously owned and operated distillery in Collingwood, Ontario, on the Georgian Bay.
The sale of these brands, which is expected to close later this summer, reflects the continued evolution of Brown-Forman’s portfolio strategy to focus on premium brands, the company says. Brown-Forman brands include Jack Daniel’s, Finlandia, Korbel, el Jimador, Woodford Reserve, Old Forester and Herradura, among others.
New Orleans-based Sazerac Co., which includes Fireball, Buffalo Trace bourbon, Pappy Van Winkle bourbon and E.H. Taylor bourbon, has been on a buying spree in recent years. In 2016 alone acquisitions included Southern Comfort and Tuaca from Brown-Forman; Frïs Vodka from Pernod Ricard; the Popcorn Sutton Distillery; The Last Drop Distillers; and Domaine Breuil de Segonzac Cognac. In late 2018 Sazerac purchased 19 brands from Diageo, followed by the acquisition of another 19 brands from Black Prince Distillery.