The Distiller’s Journal

A Letter to our Friends

From Orlin Sorensen & Brett Carlile
Founders & Distillers, Woodinville Whiskey Company

On July 12th, 2017, it was announced that Woodinville Whiskey Company was acquired by Moët Hennessy USA. We’ve been blessed by all the support we have received. Understandably, many people have questions about why we chose to sell and what that means for the future. Brett and I want to fill you in.

First off, yes we’re staying here. And secondly— yes— the Applewood Finished Bourbon is coming soon.

Now about your questions. As you know, American whiskey and craft whiskey have been growing rapidly over the past decade. This has drawn significant interest in the category by national and global spirits companies. We have had discussions with many great companies over the years about potential investments, partnerships and acquisitions, but it never felt like the perfect fit until we met the group at Moët Hennessy.

Moët Hennessy is the wine and spirits division of LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy), the world’s leading luxury goods company. The brands housed by Moët Hennessy include Hennessy Cognac, Glenmorangie and Ardbeg Scotch, Belvedere Vodka, Dom Perignon and Moët and Chandon champagne, and many others.

These brands are hundreds of years old.

LVMH brands live forever— and Woodinville Whiskey is now part of that family. As we work to expand our distribution nationally and globally, you’ll someday walk into a restaurant or bar halfway around the world and see your local whiskey on the back bar. Whiskey-lovers will trek to Woodinville, Washington to see, smell and taste our Bourbon and Rye. And for you regulars, you’ll see the same faces here tending the mash and pouring for you in the Tasting Room.

We could not be more proud of our brand and our hometown.

Brett and I will continue to run the company just as we have over the past eight years with the same staff. The morning after the acquisition closed, Brett was on a forklift and I was in a shipping container unloading a load of bottles. Business as usual.

We’ll be working with the great minds at Glenmorangie on an efficient, careful plan for growing production which will remain here in Washington state. And we have some exciting new products that we have been working on over the past year that are soon to be released. Look for details on those coming over the next week.

We’ve said it a thousand times, and we’ll say it again— we wouldn’t be here without the incredible support you have shown us over the years.

We look forward to continuing this journey with you.


Orlin & Brett


  1. Congrat’s! We were honored to have been with you during your strip mall years and will celebrate your continued success!

    Posted by Lance & Elizabeth Fralick, July 26, 2017 | Reply

  2. Congrats Orlin and Brett. It will be difficult to keep it local once you have corporate KPIs – glad your staying at the bottom of the hill! Best smell in Woodinville! M

    Posted by Michael Rapp, July 26, 2017 | Reply

  3. Great whiskey and service! Congrats on this acquisition and still keeping it local. I always tell everyone I talk to about Woodinville Whiskey! Keep up the Great work! Cheers!

    Posted by Keith Johnston, July 26, 2017 | Reply

  4. Can’t wait to represent you in montana.

    Posted by Tom Hoffman, July 27, 2017 | Reply

  5. We recently moved out of state and made sure to take 4 bottles with us. With the recent acquisition will we be seeing your Whiskey in other states?

    Posted by Sara, July 27, 2017 | Reply

  6. Please, please, PLEASE stay we’re you are, even if it is for historical small batch so you know where you came from.
    In the end this is great for you and you team.

    Now I can see a satellite business in Bonney Lake.. I would be willing to retire and work there. Just say when

    Posted by Gary Rider, July 27, 2017 | Reply

  7. So happy for you! Great job!

    Posted by Jean Hallmark, July 27, 2017 | Reply

  8. Great job, I hope the offer was great and you have a contract to keep staff on including yourself for at least 3 years.

    Posted by Darin, July 27, 2017 | Reply

  9. Congratulations! This is an amazing achievement and you should be extremely proud. I am not a whiskey drinker myself, but gift it often and when I do, I support local. I am proud to have Woodinville Whiskey in our backyard and wish nothing but the best for you in the future!

    Posted by Jackie Anthony, July 27, 2017 | Reply

  10. Thrilled for all of you!

    Posted by Dawn Bennett, July 27, 2017 | Reply

  11. Congratulations on what you have crafted and created. Well done

    Posted by Margaret Nicosia, July 27, 2017 | Reply

  12. I’ve been enjoying your Whiskey since the first Snohomish on the Rocks event you were at. Just bought a bottle today at Costco. Keep up the good spirits!

    Posted by Vic Rutherford, July 27, 2017 | Reply

  13. I am happy to see a great product getting the recognition it deserves. Looking forward to seeing what the future brings.

    Posted by Michael Riley, July 27, 2017 | Reply

  14. My brother and sister-in- law (Brent and Kimberly Williams) are regular customers to you. They proudly talk about your place and products. I have not yet been there but have had the pleasure of trying some of your products and tell people I encounter to check out your place. Congrats on your new adventure and looking forward to seeing whats next. Will continue telling people about you. I live in Cashmere, Wa. Best wishes to you and yours.

    Posted by Cami Voss, July 28, 2017 | Reply

  15. Fantastic!

    Posted by Tari Gordon, July 31, 2017 | Reply

  16. I’m happy for you and your families! Local passion in every bottle, and now a change for global sharing! What could be better… keep up the great work, and I look forward to standing in line again for the next release!!

    Posted by Deb and John Arrabito, August 5, 2017 | Reply

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