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Whisky Distilleries & Brands - Who Owns What?

Updated: May 22


whisky brand owners

Image by The Whisky Ardvark


The whisky industry is home to hundreds of distilleries worldwide, with Scotland alone boasting over 130 whisky distilleries. The industry is constantly growing, with new distilleries being established every year. In this article, we will be exploring some of the biggest players in the industry and the distilleries they own. While many more whisky owners are out there, we have included 14 of them in this list. It's worth noting that many new distilleries are owned by small companies and are not well-known in the industry yet.


We will also be including distilleries from around the world that produce different types of whiskies within one establishment and brands owned by big companies. Although we have listed the distilleries by their main owner, it's important to note that many companies own parts of their 'competitors' distilleries. For example, Beam Suntory has stocks in Macallan, which is also owned by William Grant & Sons, but the owner is often just listed as Edrington Group.


So, let's dive in and take a closer look!



 

1. Diageo


Diageo whisky distilleries and brand portfolio

Image by The Whisky Ardvark


Diageo is the largest beverage company globally, and it has its headquarters situated in London, England. It is also the primary owner of whisky distilleries in Scotland, with a portfolio of 29 different working distilleries, 17 of which are in Speyside, in addition to several blended whisky brands. Speculations suggest that Diageo might acquire more malt whisky distilleries, but due to industry regulations, they have been given a cap of 29 to avoid monopolization. Previously, the cap was set at 28.

The addition of Roseisle in 2009 did not add to Diageo's vast malt whisky distillery portfolio as its purpose was to relieve the pressure off other distilleries due to growing demand. Furthermore, Diageo has reopened Brora in 2021 and is currently rebuilding Port Ellen in Islay, both of which closed in 1983 but have been owned by Diageo and its predecessors.

Scotland

Auchroisk, Speyside

Benrinnes, Speyside

Blair Athol, Highlands

Brora, Highlands

Caol Ila, Islay

Cardhu, Speyside

Clynelish, Highlands

Cragganmore, Speyside

Dailuaine, Speyside

Dalwhinnie, Highlands

Dufftown, Speyside

Glendullan, Speyside

Glen Elgin, Speyside

Glenkinchie, Lowlands

Glenlossie, Speyside

Glen Ord, Highlands

Glen Spey, Speyside

Inchgower, Speyside Knockando, Speyside

Lagavulin, Islay

Linkwood, Speyside Mannochmore, Speyside

Mortlach, Speyside

Oban, Highlands

Port Ellen, Islay

Roseisle, Speyside Royal Lochnagar, Highlands

Strathmill, Speyside

Talisker, Skye Teaninich, Highlands

Blends

America



 

2. Pernod Ricard


Pernod Ricard whisky distilleries and brand portfolio

Image by The Whisky Ardvark


Pernod Ricard, the second-largest whisky distillery owner in Scotland, and its subsidiary, Chivas Brothers, own numerous brands and distilleries globally, including single malts, blends, and American whiskies. All except one of their current distilleries in Scotland are located in the Speyside region. The company announced plans to build a distillery on Islay in 2023, adding to its Scottish portfolio.


In 2021, Pernod Ricard acquired The Whisky Exchange, the UK's largest online spirits retailer, from the Singh brothers.

Scotland

Aberlour, Speyside

Allt-a-Bhainne, Speyside

Braeval, Speyside

Dalmunach, Speyside

Glenburgie, Speyside

Glen Keith, Speyside

Glentauchers, Speyside

Longmorn, Speyside

Miltonduff, Speyside

Scapa, Orkney

Strathisla, Speyside

The Glenlivet, Speyside

Blends

Irish

America



 

3. Suntory Global Spirits


Beam Suntory whisky distilleries and brand portfolio

Image by The Whisky Ardvark


Suntory Global Spirits is a multinational Japanese company, and is ranked third behind Diageo and Pernod Ricard. Its US headquarters are located in Chicago, Illinois. The company owns six distilleries in Scotland, but most of its whiskies are produced outside of the UK. Because of its diverse ownership with roots in Japan and the US, some of its releases may have a Japanese influence and are even intended for the Japanese or American markets exclusively.


In May 2024, Suntory Holdings changed its name to Suntory Global Spirits after 10 years since the company purchased Beam.

Scotland

Ardmore, Highlands

Auchentoshan, Lowlands

Bowmore, Islay

Glen Garioch, Highlands

Laphroaig, Islay

Blends

Irish

America

Japan


 

4. Bacardi


Bacardi whisky distilleries and brand portfolio

Image by The Whisky Ardvark


Bacardi Limited Company, also known as John Dewar & Sons in Scotland, is the biggest family-owned beverage company globally. It was established in 1862 by Facundo Bacardi, and its headquarters are situated in Hamilton, Bermuda. Bacardi owns five malt whisky distilleries in Scotland, and its iconic rum is renowned worldwide. Their portfolio includes over 200 different brands and labels.

Scotland

Aberfeldy, Highlands

Aultmore, Speyside

Craigellachie, Speyside

Macduff (Deveron), Highlands

Royal Brackla, Highlands

Blends

Irish

America



 

5. Inver House


Inver House whisky distilleries and brand portfolio

Image by The Whisky Ardvark


Under its parent company, Thai Beverage Public Company (ThaiBev), Inver House Distillers owns five whisky distilleries in Scotland. ThaiBev has around 27 alcoholic brands, with a focus on Thai spirits, which are not listed here.

Scotland

Balblair, Highlands

Balmenach, Speyside

Knockdhu (Ancnoc), Speyside

Old Pulteney, Highlands

Speyburn, Speyside

Blends



 

6. William Grant & Sons


William Grant & Sons whisky distilleries and brand portfolio

Image by The Whisky Ardvark


Founded in 1887 by William Grant, William Grant & Sons is the proud owner and distiller of Glenfiddich, the best-selling single malt in the world. The company operates four distilleries in Scotland, including the lesser-known small-scale Kininvie distillery. Established in 2007, the Ailsa Bay distillery is a state-of-the-art facility that can produce a wide variety of whiskies under one roof, making it a true whisky-making powerhouse.

Scotland

Ailsa Bay, Lowlands

Balvenie, Speyside

Glenfiddich, Speyside

Kininvie, Speyside

Blends

Irish



 

7. Whyte & Mackay


Whyte & MacKay whisky distilleries and brand portfolio

Image by The Whisky Ardvark


Whyte & Mackay, owned by Emperador from the Philippines, is the owner of some of the most renowned whisky brands in the world. They have four operational single malt distilleries based in Scotland. In particular, their Dalmore malt has gained significant recognition, with some of its releases selling for large amounts in auctions. The company's former master blender, Richard Paterson, who recently retired from the company, is widely regarded as an industry legend.

Scotland

Dalmore, Highlands

Fettercairn, Highlands

Jura, Jura

Tamnavulin, Speyside

Blends



 

8. Brown-Forman


Brown-Forman whisky distilleries and brand portfolio

Image by The Whisky Ardvark


Brown-Forman is an American company that is primarily known for owning Jack Daniel's, which is probably the most well-advertised whiskey in the world. In 2016, the company acquired the Benriach Distillery Co in Scotland, which included three Scottish distilleries. Prior to that acquisition, Brown-Forman did not have any whisky-making establishments in Scotland.

Scotland

Benriach, Speyside

GlenDronach, Highlands

Glenglassaugh, Highlands

America

Irish



 

9. CVH Spirits - Heineken


CVH Spirits whisky distilleries and brand portfolio

Image by The Whisky Ardvark


Heineken completed the acquisition of Distell International, a South African spirits company that had previously acquired Burn Stewart Distillers and its portfolio in 2013, in April 2023. Capevin Holdings, also known as CVH Spirits, was created by Heineken to oversee the three Scottish whisky distilleries and two Scottish whisky blends owned by Burn Stewart Distillers. Tobermory distillery, located on the Isle of Mull, produces a heavily peated-style whisky named Ledaig, which has gained popularity in recent years.

Scotland

Bunnahabhain, Islay

Deanston, Highlands

Ledaig, Mull

Tobermory, Mull

Blends

South Africa



 

10. Edrington Group


Edrington Group whisky distilleries and brand portfolio

Image by The Whisky Ardvark


Edrington Group, the owner of some of the most renowned whisky brands, operates three malt distilleries in Scotland. It is one of the largest privately owned beverage companies in the world, with its headquarters located in Glasgow, Scotland. Although Edrington may have fewer distilleries and brands than some of its competitors, it compensates for this by releasing a variety of different expressions. However, some critics argue that they may have gone overboard with the number of releases.

Scotland

Glenrothes, Highlands

Highland Park, Orkney

Macallan, Speyside

Blends

America



 

11. Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy


Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy whisky distilleries and brand portfolio

Image by The Whisky Ardvark


LVMH, which is shortened for Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, is not only famous for its whiskies, but also for its ventures in other businesses like handbags, perfumes, and champagne. Under its subsidiary Glenmorangie Co, LVMH possesses two malt distilleries in Scotland, which you might have already heard of.

Scotland

Ardbeg, Islay

Glenmorangie, Highlands



 

12. Nikka


Nikka whisky distilleries and brand portfolio

Image by The Whisky Ardvark


The Nikka Whisky Distilling Co. Ltd. is a Tokyo-based producer of Japanese whisky and other beverages. Although they only own one malt distillery in Scotland, they use it as an ingredient in some of their Japanese whisky blends. Nikka offers a range of whiskies, including Ben Nevis, which can be found in their portfolio.


Nikka has two distilleries in Japan, Yoichi and Miyagikyo. The two distilleries produce different kinds of whiskies, but both operate under one establishment, bringing to life Masataka Taketsuru's dream of making Japanese blends in their facilities.

Scotland

Ben Nevis, Highlands

Japan



 

13. Campari


Campari whisky distilleries and brand portfolio

Image by The Whisky Ardvark


The Campari Group is an Italian beverage company, headquartered in Sesto San Giovanni, Italy. Its London office is situated in The Shard, one of England's tallest buildings. Although it only has one malt distillery in Scotland, Campari is still worth mentioning in the whisky industry.

Scotland

Glen Grant, Speyside

America



 

14. Remy Cointreau


Remy Cointreau whisky distilleries and brand portfolio

Image by The Whisky Ardvark


Remy Cointreau is a well-known company that produces the famous Cointreau liqueur and Remy Martin cognac. In addition to these, the company owns one malt distillery in Scotland, located on the Isle of Islay. The distillery Bruichladdich has gained popularity due to its heavily peated whiskies. The reason we want to highlight this distillery is that it manufactures three distinctive whiskies under one roof - Unpeated Bruichladdich, peated Port Charlotte, and extremely peated Octomore.

Scotland

Bruichladdich, Islay

Octomore, Islay

Port Charlotte, Islay

France

America



 

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