Heaven Hill Brands has signed an agreement to acquire Carolan’s Irish Cream Liqueur and Irish Mist Liqueur through the purchase of 100% of the share capital of TJ Carolan & Son Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Gruppo Campari. The sale is expected to close August 1, 2017.
The agreed acquisition of Carolan’s and Irish Mist complements Heaven Hill Brands’ robust and growing portfolio. Carolan’s is the second-largest selling Irish cream whiskey liqueur world-wide. The product is produced in Ireland from the finest Irish ingredients including fresh cream, honey and Irish whiskey. Irish Mist has a long heritage as the first liqueur to be produced in Ireland. The Liqueur is a blend of Irish whiskey, honey and natural aromatic spices. Carolan’s and Irish Mist were acquired by Gruppo Campari in 2010.
“We are excited to add to Carolan’s and Irish Mist to our portfolio of leading brands. The historic brands are certainly complementary fits for a Heaven Hill portfolio built on quality and innovation. We look forward to building on the success these brands have achieved both in the US and around the world.”
– Max L. Shapira, president, Heaven Hill Brands
The Cream Liqueur segment of the industry has been a significant and stable category for decades. Representing approximately 3,000,000 cases, the cream category’s largest brands are nearly 20 percent of the total imported liqueur market in the U.S. Carolan’s has grown over six percent since 2010 outpacing the bulk of the Cream Liqueur category.
Likewise, the Irish Whiskey category, with which Irish Mist is closely related, has experienced similar growth dynamics to American Whiskey. Since 2010, the category is up over 150 percent and expected to continue that significant growth for many years to come. A companion Irish Mist Blended Irish Whiskey was introduced in 2014.
Carolan’s Irish Cream was developed in 1978 and first launched in the UK in July 1979. Since then the brand has grown steadily and established itself as the world’s number two Irish Cream Liqueur with sales in over 40 countries. Its superior taste is derived from the subtle blending of flavors, including natural honey sourced from the Clonmel area in Ireland – the word “Clonmel” derives from the Gaelic “Cluain Meala” which means Vale of Honey. Carolan’s Irish Cream is named after the celebrated 17th century harpist, Turlough O’Carolan, a legendary travelling musician of that time.
Irish Mist was the first liqueur to be produced in Ireland at Tullamore, County Offaly. The company history goes back to 1829 when the Tullamore Distillery was founded to produce Irish whiskey. Irish Mist is a blend of Irish whiskey, honey and natural aromatic spices. It was the first liqueur to be produced in Ireland and, while the bottle has changed a number of times over the years, the liqueur itself has remained true to its origins – the recipe has not changed, so you can be sure of the warming whiskey and honeyed sweetness, beautifully counter balanced by aromatic spices, that gives Irish Mist its wonderfully complex flavor and taste experience.
Heaven Hill has been exceptionally active over a long period of time in expanding its portfolio through internal product innovation and acquisitions. Prior to the current agreed acquisition of Carolan’s and Irish Mist, in 2015 the company acquired Deep Eddy Vodka, one of the fastest growing Vodkas in the U.S.
For more information, visit HeavenHill.com.