There’s news this morning of an unlikely cooperation between rival spirits companies — Diageo owned Lagavulin has struck a deal with the Sazerac owned Fireball Whisky to be the sole supplier of the base spirit used in their cinnamon flavored spirit.
Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey is the most popular whisky in the United States, with sales of this single variety of whisky topping $150 million annually. Considering a nominal value of $0.025 per ml that puts their throughput at roughly 1.6 million gallons per year. That’s a lot of volume to fill, and doing it in a cost effective manner is difficult.
Seeing an opportunity to profit off of an otherwise wasted product the Lagavulin Distillery has stepped in to fill that need.
All of the barrels used by Lagavulin to age their prized whisky start as American bourbon barrels and sit for a number of years with a grain spirit to “mellow out” the barrels. After the process that spirit is discarded and the real good stuff is filled into the barrel instead.
According to lead distiller Montgomery Scott this byproduct was being wasted, but no longer. “Normally we just sell the alcohol to medicinal products manufacturers or other slanty-labeled blenders, but the majority just goes to waste. This was an opportunity to get some return on that investment for us.”
According to Mr. Scott the new partnership will also offer a unique opportunity for a new line within Fireball, specifically a “Premium Scotch Whisky” version. “It’ll have an age statement and be labeled as scotch whisky, with a proper cork stopper and a more regal label. It meets all the requirements to be branded as scotch so why not try to get in on the premium market as well?”
Asked when he thinks the new product will be on the shelves his best guess was sometime around June 31st of 2020.
…Happy April Fools Day!