Diageo announced yesterday that they plan to build a $115 million in Shelby County, Kentucky
Pagodas in Kentucky..
Read their news release here: http://www.diageo.com/en-ie/newsmedia/pages/resource.aspx?resourceid=2263
It's not long since they talked about reopening Stitzel-Weller, but these plans have been cancelled. Instead a brand new distillery in a better suited location has been planned. Stitzel-Weller, once rural is now located in suburbia Louisville. There is problems with watersupplies, locals complaining about black mold etc
Diageo's last operating distillery in Kentucky was Bernheim, which they sold to Heaven Hill in 1998. Since then they have been on the bourbon market with the Bulleit brand, which has been contract distilled, mainly at Four Roses
Bourbon is booming. Scotch is booming. It was quite predictable that Diageo would come back into Kentucky for a couple of reasons
1. With bourbon being so popular, it is not reliable to rely on external producers for supply. Everybody is having trouble to make enough whiskey for themselves these days, and want to keep the whiskey they do produce for themselves
2. Diageo needs ex-bourbon barrels for their scottish and canadian distilleries. With Suntory's recent acquirement of Beam, I guess Diageo got a little bit worried about supplies. At the moment Diageo is expanding several of their scottish distilleries and also building a brand new distillery next to Teaninich (as well as expanding Teaninich itself), so the demand for barrels and casks able to mature whisky will be high