Spirit of Gallo is expanding its luxury spirits portfolio with an investment in Puerto Rican rum brand Ron del Barrilito, according to a Monday press release. The deal will make Gallo the rum’s exclusive U.S. importer. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

This move marks Spirit of Gallo’s return to luxury rum. The beverage company previously worked with premium Venezuelan brand Diplomatico as its exclusive U.S. importer until it was acquired by Brown-Forman in 2022. It makes sense Spirit of Gallo is seeking another opportunity in the rum space: the super premium and ultra premium price segments have led the category’s growth in recent years, and are projected to grow at an 8 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) by 2027.

“With an incredible legacy, Ron del Barrilito rum is poised to capitalize on the growth in the Super Premium+ Rum category,” Spirit of Gallo’s executive vice president and general manager Britt West says in the release. “To win in rum, we know it needs to be Super Premium+. Ron del Barrilito has a strong heritage story, existing affinity amongst the trade, and robust quality statements that make it a valuable addition to our portfolio.”

Founded in 1880, Ron del Barrilito is considered Puerto Rico’s oldest rum brand. It was purchased in 2017 by rum-industry veteran Joaquin Bacardi. The lineup’s offerings are made through all-natural maceration and are aged in Oloroso sherry white oak barrels for three to 35 years before they’re bottled without added sugar, coloring, or artificial ingredients. This high-quality process places the brand in the Super Premium+ category. The product is available in four expressions — Two Star, Three Star, Four Star, and Five Star — and the flagship Three Star bottling retails for $39.99.

Beyond making a statement in rum, this investment furthers Spirit of Gallo’s continued expansion. The company has strong roots in the wine world — it’s the largest wine marketer in the U.S. and globally — but has now successfully honed in on the spirits industry as well, and has grown to be the third-largest spirits supplier in the U.S by volume, after Diageo and Sazerac. Spirit of Gallo notably owns High Noon (the largest spirits label in the U.S. by volume) and continues to expand its portfolio, which also includes New Amsterdam Vodka, E&J Brandy, RumChata, Camarena Tequila, RumHaven, Stratusphere Gin, The Dalmore Scotch Whisky, Tequila Komos, Don Fulano Tequila, Horse Soldier Bourbon, Amaro Montenegro, and Condesa Gin.

Although the Spirit of Gallo portfolio is diversified across different categories and price points, it’s now positioned especially well in the luxury space. The company announced its entrance into the super-premium gin category earlier this year with an agreement to be the exclusive U.S. importer of Condesa Gin, and it invested in luxury tequila company Tequila Komos in 2022.

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