Orphan Barrel Releases…Craft whiskeys?

Interesting read. Diageo’s “orphan barrel” releases can’t last forever even with the solera method of aging employed in making their Blade and Bow bourbon…wonder who they’ll buy next? The only working distillery they own now is George Dickel in Tennessee…

Diageo wouldn’t disclose exactly how much Barterhouse and Old Blowhard it produces, but said it is way less than 100,000 proof gallons annually.

“In November 2013, Diageo’s North America head, Larry Schwartz said the company wanted to become the No. 1 craft distiller in North American whiskeys in the U.S. That same year, Diageo launched a project called Distill Ventures, through which it mentors and invests in small spirits brands.

“Diageo is particularly vulnerable to the rise of smaller distillers, said Eamonn Ferry, beverage analyst at Exane BNP Paribas. Diageo’s U.S. market share has declined every year between 2011 and 2014 as its mass-market brands have struggled, and Mr. Ferry estimates that 72% of the company’s U.S. business—everything except its tequila and Scotch whisky brands—is exposed to craft distillers.”

“Craft” distilleries have mushroomed in the U.S. to 588 from 51 over the past decade. Feeling the heat from the new competition, global liquor conglomerates are getting in on the act, and not letting definitions get in the way.