Boutique Spirits Brand Founded in New Zealand Set to Expand World’s First Smoked Rum to U.S. Market
Chicago, IL (November 17, 2015) – Chicago-based Liquid Asset Brands LLC (“LAB”) and Spirits Investment Partners LLC (“SIP”) announced today that they have made a US $14 million investment in Stolen Spirits (“STOLEN”), for a majority stake in the business.
STOLEN, an independent spirits company founded in Auckland, New Zealand, currently produces four internationally awarded innovative rums, including the world’s first smoked rum. The partnership with LAB/SIP provides expertise and significant growth capital for expansion of the Company’s portfolio, including a smoked whiskey, several unique rum releases and other new products under development.
LAB brings a wealth of alcohol industry knowledge and business expertise to STOLEN, particularly in the challenging and competitive United States market. LAB is led by Marc Bushala, a seasoned marketing and spirits entrepreneur and the Managing Partner of MAB Capital Management LLC. This investment comes on the heels of the recent sale of Louisville-based Angel’s Share Brands LLC, (Angel’s Envy Bourbon and Angel’s Envy Rye) to Bacardi Limited for an undisclosed amount. Bushala was a founding partner of Angel’s Envy.
“I am thrilled with our investment in STOLEN. We consider it to be one of the best emerging spirit brands to come to market in the last few years,” said Bushala. “We love STOLEN’s unique brand positioning and their innovation in the rum category. We are also excited to work with the STOLEN team to expand the brand portfolio.”
Started in 2010 out of a one-bedroom flat by Jamie Duff and Roger Holmes, STOLEN has seen exponential growth and cult status in its home market of New Zealand and in Australia. Beginning in early 2016 , STOLEN Smoked Rum will be launched in key U.S. states, including NY, FL, CA, MA and IL, with a sustained nationwide rollout.
For this rum, STOLEN works with a world-class distillery in Trinidad & Tobago from where they take column-distilled rum, aged in ex-whiskey barrels in the Caribbean, and add a combination of the best natural ingredients from around the world – including refractionated Arabica coffee beans from Columbia, vanilla from Madagascar and fenugreek from Morocco. This rum is then ‘smoked’ using American Hardwood – a re-invention to rum as we know it with a smokiness that is usually associated with whiskey.
“It was always my dream to take the STOLEN brand to the USA, the most dynamic spirits market in the world,” said Jamie Duff, STOLEN founder and Chief Creative Officer. “Marc and his team at LAB are real pro’s, all smart entrepreneurs at heart and who totally embody the STOLEN ethos. We’re very fortunate to work with LAB as our global partner, which will enable us to do everything we want to do with this brand. Not only expanding into US markets but also developing STOLEN product extensions.”
LAB continues seek out and review equity investment opportunities in early stage beverage businesses. For more information, please visit www.liquidassetbrands.com
- Long seen as something of a poor relation in the spirits world, the rum category is identified as the “next big thing”1
- Flavored and Spiced rums now account for around 53% of all rums sold2
- Spiced rum will continue to grow with new flavour innovations emerging3
- IWSR/Just-Drinks, March 2015
- Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS), February 2015
- The Spirits Business – Rum Trends to Watch in 2015 (12/19/14)
Liquid Asset Brands LLC
Liquid Asset Brands actively make investments in early stage beverage businesses and takes an active role in helping accelerate the growth of the brands in its portfolio. For more information, please visit www.liquidassetbrands.com
MAB Capital Management, LLC
MAB is a closely held capital management firm focused on making strategic investments in the real estate, communications, hospitality and entertainment sectors within the U.S. and abroad. For more information, please visit www.mabcap.com
(STOLEN) is an independent spirits company started from a one-bedroom apartment in Auckland, New Zealand in 2010 by Jamie Duff and Roger Holmes and produces one of the fastest growing rum brands in the world, Stolen Rum. STOLEN was a dream of Jamie’s after being a proud rum drinker for many years but embarrassed of the uncool, undifferentiated rum brands on the market. STOLEN approaches its product development through re-invention and appropriation, with a punk ethos at it’s core.
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