Skip to main content

Work-of-Art Distillery Rabbit Hole Acquired by Pernod Ricard

Rabbit Hole Distillery
Rabbit Hole Distillery

A Louisville whiskey brand less than a decade old has been acquired by a global spirits giant. 

Rabbit Hole Distillery announced this month Pernod Ricard has acquired a majority share of Rabbit Hole through its New Brand Ventures. Rabbit Hole boasts a beautiful, state-of-the-art distillery that opened in May 2018, and that shines a light on the spirits-making process in a more consumer-facing way than most distilleries.

The brand was founded in 2012 by Kaveh Zamanian, a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst. He will maintain most of his shares in the company and remain at the helm of the operation.

“Rabbit Hole has a great sense of place and a great founding team,”  said Jeff Agdern, Pernod Ricard USA senior vice president of New Brand Ventures. “They have a considerable amount of aging inventory that will come online over the next 18 months, and we are eager to help make it available to U.S. consumers as quickly and widely as possible.”

Rabbit Hole is in Paris to celebrate our partnership with Pernod Ricard.

Agdern said Pernod Ricard has plans to expand distribution from 18 markets to 50 by the end of 2020. Since opening last year, the distillery has produced 1.2 million proof gallons annually. Rabbit Hole’s current line of spirits includes Straight Bourbon and Rye, as well as Sherry Cask bourbon and a London Dry Gin finished in Kentucky rye barrels.

Pernod Ricard’s new division will be focused on partnering with “fast-growing, high-potential” brands like Rabbit Hole as the craft spirits industry continues to flourish in the U.S. and globally. Other brands in the division are Smooth Ambler West Virginian whiskey and Del Maguey mezcal.

“By leveraging Pernod Ricard USA’s extensive distribution network to reach new consumers, we are able to strengthen Rabbit Hole’s position as a brand and amplify its presence as a new voice in American whiskey,” Zamanian said. “Rabbit Hole is poised to reach new heights.”

The centerpiece of the deal, however, is the distillery. The Manual visited Rabbit Hole this month during the Kentucky Bourbon Affair, prior to the announcement of the Pernod Ricard acquisition. With a Vendome still and its fermenter farm surrounded by stairs, walkways, and stories-high windows offering incredible views of Louisville, the distillery itself is a work of art.

The distillery was designed to showcase the process, from grain-to-bottle to visitors in a way older distilleries can’t quite do. The distillery also has a bar on its top floor, which is open to reserve for private events and to the public, and offers a modern look and stunning panoramic view of the downtown skyline.

The rest of the French-based Pernod Ricard portfolio includes such brands as Absolut Vodka, Chivas Regal, The Glenlivet, Jameson, Malibu, Kahlúa, Beefeater Gin, Seagram’s, and Avion Tequila.

Editors' Recommendations

Pat Evans
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Pat Evans is a writer based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, focusing on food and beer, spirits, business, and sports. His full…
This is how to make the perfect dirty martini
Making a flavorful dirty martini is surprisingly easy
Dirty Martini

In the pantheon of classic cocktails, there are few more beloved than the Martini. Sure, the Old Fashioned, Margarita, and Manhattan get a lot of love, but only the Martini is the fictional secret agent James Bond’s favorite cocktail.

Although he preferred his shaken, most bartenders will tell you that to make a Martini is better when stirred. The classic Martini is made with gin, vermouth, and an olive or lemon peel garnish. Some drinkers mistakenly believe the cocktail is made with vodka, but that would technically make it a “Vodka Martini” as opposed to a classic Martini.
A murky history

Read more
Upgrade your next barbecue with elk, the healthy red meat you should be eating
First Light Farms is raising high-quality pasture-raised elk deliverable to your front door.
cooked elk with cup

First Light Farms elk backstrap. Marilynne Bell / First Light Farms

If you're looking for a red meat alternative to beef that's delicious and packed with nutrients like Omega-3 fatty acids, protein-packed elk might be the answer. A great place to get pasture-raised elk delivered is First Light Farms. This New Zealand-based company raises 100% grass-fed wagyu, venison, and, most recently, elk, all deliverable to your front door. First Light Farms sent us several of their items to try, and we interviewed them to learn all about this must-try red meat.

Read more
These are the wine regions in jeopardy due to climate change, study says
How climate change is affecting the wine world
A vineyard in the Russian River Valley between Guerneville and Healdsburg, California.

Photo by Andrew Davey Photo by Andrew Davey / Andrew Davey

Climate change is altering every aspect of the world we live in, and that's especially the case for agriculture. The wine industry continues to adapt, from making English sparkling wine to treating smoke impact from increased wildfires.

Read more