Maxxium UK is to rebrand as Edrington-Beam Suntory UK, while also adding vodka, tequila and Irish whiskey to its portfolio.

The new business name reflects the long-term strategic partnership of the two spirits producers Edrington and Beam Suntory, and it will manage UK sales, marketing and distribution of a portfolio of iconic global brands. These include: The Famous Grouse; Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbons; The Macallan, Laphroaig, Highland Park and Auchentoshan single malts; House of Suntory Japanese whiskies; Courvoisier cognac, Brugal 1888 rum and the Lucas Bols portfolio.

The rebrand comes as brands in the Edrington-Beam Suntory UK portfolio grew by 5% in 2017.

Mark Riley, managing director of Edrington-Beam Suntory UK, said: “Our premium portfolio continues to drive consumer demand in the UK marketplace. There seemed no better time to cement this strong position by drawing on the heritage and recognition of two of the world’s most prestigious spirits producers – making our business better understood in the UK market.

“As Edrington-Beam Suntory UK, we will continue to work with our customers across all sectors to build a growing whiskies category that excites, innovates and offers great value for consumers, customers and suppliers. Alongside plans for our category-leading whiskies, we will continue to innovate in cognac and mixables, as well as in categories where we see consumer-led opportunities to innovate and add value.”

Edrington-Beam Suntory UK has also announced it will take on the marketing and distribution for Effen Vodka, the Sauza Tequila family and Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey. These will join the portfolio from May 1, 2018.

Riley added: “These additions to the portfolio complement our strategy of developing premium brands in growing categories and we are incredibly excited about their potential, building on the platform Catalyst Brands has created. Premium vodka continues to grow ahead of the market, tequila has been on of the fastest-growing spirits in recent times and Irish whiskey continues to go from strength to strength.”

Looking ahead, the company has pledged to upweight its focus and investment on two of the biggest brands in its portfolio: Jim Beam and The Famous Grouse. It also plans to grow the ‘contemporary whiskies’ category in the UK market, which will be led by a key city strategy and investment for brands such as Maker’s Mark, Naked Grouse and Auchentoshan, tapping into growing interest in whiskies among younger drinkers.

It also hopes to build an “even stronger presence” in the growing luxury segment of spirits through The Macallan, as well as Japanese whiskey brands: Hibiki, Yamazaki, Hakushu and the new single grain whisky, Chita.

Investment for Courvoisier, particularly its premium offerings, and a focus on continued growth in single malts, is also part of its strategy for the future.

Edrington-Beam Suntory UK will also continue to develop new brands, such as Dominican rum, Brugal 1888, and recently-launched Roku Japanese Gin, alongside the newly-integrated Sauza Tequila, Kilbeggan Whiskey and Effen Vodka brands, with further launches planned for 2018.

Riley concluded: “We are combining the heritage of both businesses form which we take our name and the long histories of the brands under our stewardship. This, together with our forward-looking approach to developing spirits to suit new tastes and audiences, will help us continue to grow with our customers.”