Know Your Brand by Company

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Know Your Brand by Company

   Being familiar with the company who owns the distillery or your brand of liquor can help out a lot. If you ever decide to try another brand of liquor, you might be more comfortable with it knowing that it is manufactured by the same company that owns your favorite spirit(s). Here are some examples of some major companies that put out well-known brands, some you may have never heard of.


   Diageo is the biggest beverage company in the world, with a current market cap at approximately $71 billion, and an annual sales of $16.8 billion. With now over 30 distilleries and growing, including 34% interest in Moët Hennessy, Diageo is the biggest beverage company worldwide. Here are some of their most notable brands:

  • Gin: Tanqueray, Gordon's, Booth's
  • Rum: Captain Morgan, Ron Zacapa, Cacique
  • Tequila: Don Julio
  • Vodka: Smirnoff, Ketel One, Cîroc
  • Whisk(e)y: Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit, Seagram's, George Dickel, Caol Ila, Talisker, Lagavulin, Oban, J&B, Bell's, Buchanan's, Cardhu
  • Other: Baileys, Guinness


   Pernod Ricard is the world's second largest distiller based on overall production, including Absolut, the number one selling premium vodka, Chivas Regal, the number two premium Scotch, Jameson, the number one Irish whiskey, Beefeater, the number two premium gin. Their lineup is quite diverse, similar to Diageo, but with a market cap at $32.5 billion and annual sales at $10.6 billion. Here are their notable brands:

  • Brandy: Martell
  • Gin: Beefeater, Seagram's, Plymouth
  • Rum: Havana Club, Malibu
  • Tequila: Avion, Olmeca Altos
  • Vodka: Absolut
  • Whisk(e)y: Chivas Regal, Jameson, The Glenlivet, Ballantine's, Wiser's
  • Other: Kahlúa, Ricard


   In 2014, When Suntory acquired Jim Beam, the deal thrust the company to third of the pecking order, for a cool $13.6 billion price tag (which was more like $16 billion). Suntory Japanese Whisky trifecta of Yamazaki, Hakushu and Hibiki - as well as Kakubin - added to Jim Beam's repertoire of bourbons, along with key Irish and Scotch market assets, and a range of brands in other categories from Courvoisier to Sauza. Here are their notable brands:

  • Brandy: Courvoisier, Terry Centenario
  • Gin: Larios, Gilbey's
  • Rum: Cruzan
  • Tequila: Sauza, Hornitos, Tres Generaciones
  • Vodka: Pinnacle, Effen, Vox
  • Whisk(e)y: Jim Beam, Yamazaki, Maker's Mark, Canadian Club, Knob Creek, Teacher's, Kakubin, Laphroaig, Bowmore, Auchentoshan, the Ardmore, Hakushu, Hibiki, Kilbeggan, Alberta Premium, Tyrconnell
  • Other: Skinnygirl, DeKuyper, Midori


   By far the most popular and best-selling rum worldwide, Bacardi's liquor portfolio includes more than 200 labels. Even with a smaller annual sales at $4.6 billion, Bacardi remains strong with other big-hitting brand labels such as Bombay, Cazadores, Dewar's, Grey Goose, Angel's Envy and a lot more. Here is a list of some of their notable brands:

  • Brandy: Baron Otard, D'USSÉ
  • Gin: Bombay
  • Rum: Bacardi
  • Tequila: Cazadores
  • Vodka: Grey Goose, Eristoff
  • Whisk(e)y: Dewar's, William Lawson's, Aberfeldy, Aultmore, Royal Brackla, Craigellachie, Angel's Envy
  • Other: Martini, St-Germain, Bénédictine


   This one may be a big one for some, as is contains at least one major brand that you likely see or heard of regularly - Jack Daniel's. Second only to Johnnie Walker, Jack Daniel's is the world's biggest whiskey brand, so naturally it is the brand that spearheads the Brown-Forman product lineup. With products that typically have a lower manufacturer suggested retail price (M.S.R.P.), their annual sales tend to be lower than the others at $3 billion. Here are some notable brands that are included in their lineup:

  • Tequila: Herradura, El Jimador
  • Vodka: Finlandia
  • Whisk(e)y: Jack Daniel's, Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, Canadian Mist, Early Times
  • Other: Chambord


   Hennessy is the top cognac brand in the world, combined with the fact that they have a huge presence in the wine market as well. This is due to their merger with  Moët & Chandon. As Diageo owns of the 34% shares of Moët Hennessy, Diageo has left whisky production at the Glenmorangie and Ardbeg distilleries in the hands of Dr. Bill Lumsden, the Glenmorangie Company's Director of Distilling. Here is a list of some of their notable brands:

  • Brandy: Hennessy
  • Rum: 10 Cane
  • Vodka: Belvedere
  • Whisk(e)y: Glenmorangie, Ardbeg
  • Other: Grand Marnier, Dom Pérignon, Moët & Chandon, Krug, Veuve Clicquot


   The Campari Group is strong with, as one might expect, liqueurs and aperitifs, including not only Campari itself, but also Aperol, Cynar, Averna, and Frangelico, plus Cinzano vermouths. Aside from liqueurs, Campari is most represented by Wild Turkey and Skyy, followed by Russell's Reserve and Glen Grant. Campari is a much smaller company (comparative to the others), and has approximately $1.5 billion in sales annually. Here is a list of their notable brands:

  • Rum: Appleton Estate
  • Tequila: Cabo Wabo
  • Vodka: Skyy
  • Whisk(e)y: Wild Turkey, Russell's Reserve, Glen Grant, Old Smuggler
  • Other: Campari, Aperol, Cinzano, Cynar, Frangelico, Averna, Irish Mist


   For an independent, family-owned company, William Grant & Sons impresses as they rank third in scotch production only to Diageo and Pernod Ricard. While their focus is primarily on scotch, they manage to have a recognizable brand in just about every category of liquor. Here is a list of their notable brands:

  • Gin: Hendrick's
  • Rum: Sailor Jerry
  • Tequila: Milagro
  • Vodka: Reyka
  • Whisk(e)y: Glenfiddich, Grant's, The Balvenie, Tullamore DEW, Monkey Shoulder
  • Other: Drambuie


   The bulk of Rémy Cointreau's overall sales relies on their Rémy Martin cognac, along with their second namesake - Cointreau. Rémy Martin also produces the ultra premium Louis XIII Cognac series. The company additionally owns The Botanist, Bruichladdich and Mount Gay rum, along with several other spirits and liqueurs. Here is a list of their notable brands:

  • Brandy: Rémy Martin
  • Gin: The Botanist
  • Rum: Mount Gay
  • Whisk(e)y: Bruichladdich
  • Other: Cointreau


   Although Cutty Sark and The Macallan are two of the best selling scotches in the world, The Famous Grouse is the best selling scotch in all of Scotland, thus making this company a very important company to list. The Edrington Group is primarily focused on scotch whisky, with a couple of other spirits in alternate categories. Here is a list of their notable brands:

  • Rum: Brugal
  • Vodka: Snow Leopard
  • Whisk(e)y: The Macallan, The Famous Grouse, Cutty Sark, Highland Park


   Acknowledged as one of America's largest independently owned and operated distilled spirits company, their focus remains mostly on whiskeys, although a good portion of portfolio also includes a number of vodkas, rums, and liqueurs that are well known and very popular. Here is a list of some of their notable brands:

  • Rum: Admiral Nelson's, Blackheart
  • Tequila: Two Fingers, Lunazul
  • Vodka: Burnett's, Deep Eddy
  • Whisk(e)y: Elijah Craig, Evan Williams, Henry McKenna, Larceny, Old Fitzgerald, Parker's Heritage Collection, Mellow Corn, Bernheim
  • Cognac/Brandy: Ansac, Christian Brothers, Sacred Bond, Coronet VSQ
  • Other: Pama, Dubonnet, Domaine de Canton, Irish Mist, Copa de Oro, Du Bouchett, Carolan's Irish Cream


   This is a big one for most people! Sazerac puts out most of the popular spirits worldwide that people enjoy on a daily basis. At the top of their product portfolio is definitely the Van Winkle Collection, offering tenured bourbon drinkers an option for top-shelf products that do not fit nicely into most people's wallet. However, Sazerac follows nicely with a whole barrage of products that you have probably already enjoyed at one point or another. Here is a brief list of their notable brands:

  • Rum: Skol, Cane Run, Black Magic, Calypso
  • Tequila: Corazon, Pueblo Viejo, El Charro, El Toro
  • Vodka: Wheatly, Platinum 7X, Fleischmann's, Taaka, Epic
  • Whisk(e)y: Sazerac, Van Winkle Collection, Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, Blanton's, George T. Stagg, Colonel EH Taylor, W.L. Weller, Ancient Age, Southern Comfort, Ten High, Fireball
  • Other: Amore, Caravella, Gran Gala, Tuaca, Peychaud's Bitters


   Primarily a company that specializes in import brands, Proximo brings us many of the big tequila and rum brands that we are familiar with. Here is a brief list of their notable brands:

  • Rum: The Kraken
  • Tequila: Jose Cuervo, 1800 Tequilas
  • Vodka: Hangar 1, Three Olives
  • Whisk(e)y: Bushmills, Stranahan's

   There are of course other companies that you can look into if you are interested in unraveling who owns, produces and distributes a brand of liquor. Some other smaller companies are Anchor Distilling, Patrón Spirits Company, SPI Group, Asahi, Constellation Brands, and many more. 

   But why bother keeping those morsels of information tucked away in your head for that day when you happen to be walking down the liquor isle of the grocery store and you decide to break habit and try something new. You don't want to spend a lot of money, because you're not sure if you're going to like it anywhere near as much as the brand you typically drink. Well, here's where knowing your brand comes in handy. Companies that nestle several distilleries under their corporate wing, often leave the direct operations to the person who was in charge before it was taken over. But what has changed is the level of person interest and the level of dedication that goes into that product. Some companies do not put the same effort into their acquired brands that the previous company did.

   Additionally, finding information on the internet about your product is much easier when you know who the parent company is. The parent company will often have their own separate website that contains links to additional information about their products. You can also find merchandise at these site for the brands they own. Linking to these parent companies on social media will also give you an occasional sneak-peek for upcoming items that have not yet been publicly announced.

   Hopefully this list has helped you in some way. If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at