New York-based Pernod Ricard USA, through its New Brand Ventures division, signed an agreement for the acquisition of a majority share of Rabbit Hole Whiskey, Louisville, Ky.

Rabbit Hole is recognized for its state-of-the-art distillery where its Straight Bourbon and Rye whiskeys are crafted with a mix of carefully selected grains, distilled in copper Vendome column stills and aged in native oak barrels in Louisville’s hot summers and cold winters, it says.

Pernod Ricard USA is proud to join forces with entrepreneur Kaveh Zamanian. The founder of Rabbit Hole left his day job as a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst to fully dedicate himself to the art of crafting whiskey, the company says. As part of the strategic partnership with Pernod Ricard USA, Zamanian is keeping the majority of his shares in Rabbit Hole and will continue to operate the company.

With this strategic partnership, Pernod Ricard USA further expands its portfolio of newly created specialty brands with unique and comprehensive value propositions and select distribution. Rabbit Hole will be part of the New Brand Ventures portfolio.

“Rabbit Hole has a great sense of place and a great founding team,” said Jeff Agdern, senior vice president of New Brand Ventures at Pernod Ricard USA, in a statement. “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. We are aiming to expand distribution from 18 to 50 markets by the end of 2020.”

Zamanian added: “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. In partnership with Pernod Ricard USA, Rabbit Hole is poised to reach new heights. I am very excited about this partnership and our future together.” BI