By Andy Young

Mark Brown the President and CEO of Sazerac, the US owner of brands including Buffalo Trace, Southern Comfort and Fireball, has told TheShout the company is looking to develop its brands in Australia.

TheShout spoke to Brown about many of the brands in the Sazerac portfolio and what his hopes and plans are for them in Australia. As well as highlighting those plans Brown said how important the Australian market is to the company.

“We really enjoy seeling our brands in Australia and we are very appreciative of the reception they have received from Australian consumers, it is very much appreciated,” Brown said.

Talking about the brands, Brown added: “Buffalo Trace is growing nicely and would be growing more if we had additional stocks. We will continue to grow the brand as more eight-year-old whiskey comes of age at the distillery.”

The Sazerac portfolio contains a number of different bourbon brands including Pappy Van Winkle and Eagle Rare and Brown said that “eventually, stocks permitting, we will be selling the full range of our whiskeys” in Australia.

One of the major success stories coming from Sazerac has been Fireball. The cinnamon flavoured whiskey has proved a global success and has seen a number of other suppliers jump into the segment. Fireball has become popular in Australia and Brown is hoping for “more of the same” over the next six to 12 months. He added: “We believe the brand is right on track in Australia and we plan to continue building the brand. We are very encouraged by the reception the brand has received from our Australian fan base.”

Recently Sazerac acquired both Southern Comfort and Paddy’s Irish Whiskey. Sales of Southern Comfort dropped slightly in 2015 but Brown said the company was “working on a number of packaging and exciting line extension initiatives”, although he was unable to elaborate further on what those might be. He did say that Sazerac’s plans for Southern Comfort are to “restore the brand’s New Orleans roots,” and to “emphasise the brand’s historic whiskey cues.”

As for Paddy’s Brown told TheShout: “Paddy’s is an iconic Irish whiskey with an enormous history and personality. We believe it will sell well in Australia.”

Sazerac is a company that has demonstrated its acquisitive tendencies in recent years and although Brown was unable to give specifics on which brands may be in his sights, he did say: “We have been acquiring brands since 1989, so [we have] no plans to slow down anytime soon.”

Sazerac is distributed in Australia by SouthTrade and Brown denied speculation that the company has bought the Woolworths share in SouthTrade.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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