Diageo sold Bushmills to Casa Cuervo last year in a swap deal for Don Julio Tequila

Diageo sold Bushmills to Casa Cuervo last year in a swap deal for Don Julio Tequila

Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes has said he has no regrets over the sale of Bushmills, admitting that the company couldn't make the Irish whiskey grow in the US.

Menezes said "we tried very, very hard" to accelerate Bushmills sales but to no avail. Diageo eventually sold the brand last year to Casa Cuervo in a swap deal for Don Julio Tequila

"We made a very conscious choice to get Don Julio for Bushmills," Menezes said today. "It's not the Irish whiskey sector that is up, it's certain brands that are up and we tried for a long time to make Bushmills hot."

He added: "I'm delighted we got Don Julio."

The CEO, who was speaking after Diageo released its full-year results, said Bourbon brand Bulleit will be the company's main focus in global markets for non-Scotch whiskey. 

"The new play is going to be Bulleit, which always got priority over Bushmills," Menezes said. "You have to make choices about building new categories and brands." 

In FY results, Bulleit grew global organic sales by 29% while Don Julio was up by 18%.

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