Brown-Forman Corp., Louisville, Ky., has reached a definitive agreement to purchase The 86 Company. Upon completion, Brown-Forman will add Fords Gin, a premium gin to its growing portfolio.
“Fords Gin is a unique brand with terrific momentum in one of the fastest growing categories in spirits,” said Lawson Whiting, president and chief executive officer of Brown-Forman, in a statement. “We look forward to building Fords Gin into another iconic brand in our portfolio.”
Simon Ford, co-founder of The 86 Company added: “Brown-Forman is a great partner to bring Fords Gin to more bartenders and consumers in the U.S. and around the world while keeping our commitment to producing a unique, high quality, mixable gin. We’re extremely thankful to all our supporters who have been championing the brand since the beginning and look forward to seeing what the future holds with our new collaborators.”
A mix of nine botanicals, Fords Gin starts with a traditional base of juniper and coriander seed balanced by citrus, florals, and spices, the company says. Steeped for 15 hours before distillation, the botanicals deliver an aromatic, fresh and floral spirit with elegant notes of jasmine and grapefruit, it adds.
Fords Gin was created in unison with professional bartenders as a versatile spirit that could be used in any gin-based cocktail, according to the company. Fords Gin is a collaboration between Simon Ford and 8th generation Master Distiller Charles Maxwell of Thames Distillers.
Simon Ford and The 86 Company team will remain a key part of the building and crafting of Fords Gin going forward, the company says.
The purchase will include the Fords Gin trademark and other assets of The 86 Company. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close within 30 days.