Diageo and the Nolet family this week said they are looking to launch Dutch premium vodka Ketel One in several new countries, including Brazil. Here we take a look at five key dates in the history of the brand.

  1. The Nolet family opened its first distillery in Schiedam, Holland, in 1691. It wasn't until 179 that the iconic windmill, known as 'TheWhale', was built, later to be the distillery for the company's Ketel One premium vodka. In 1867 the family acquired an interest in shipping and began exporting spirits to the US, opening a distillery in Maryland 35 years later.
  2. The "ultra-premium" Ketel One was developed in 1983, named after the original copper still, Distilleerketel #1. It was created using family recipes and techniques perfected by the family's ancestors.
  3. Nolet Spirits USA was founded in 1992 and a year later Carl Nolet Jr. (11th generation) moved to the US to further sales of Ketel One vodka. He managed to sell over 7,000 cases. The brand was introduced to the off-trade in 1993 and by 1997, the family had sold 250,000 cases of Ketel One globally. By 2002, that figure reached 1m.
  4. In the year 2000, The Nolet Distillery developed what it claimed was the first ultra-premium, naturally-flavoured vodka, Ketel One Citroen, which it launched in the US. By 2003 the company had developed and launched its first national advertising campaign on the US. It simply read: "Dear Ketel One Drinker, thank you".
  5. In 2008 The Nolet Group and Diageo joined forces to create a 50/50 joint venture to form Ketel One Worldwide. Diageo paid US$900m for its 50% equity stake in the new company, which is based in the Netherlands. The Nolet family continues to own the distillery in Schiedam, Holland, and supply Ketel One Vodka and Ketel One Citroen to the new company. Due to its rights under the agreements, Diageo will fully consolidate the financial results of the new company, accounting for the Nolet holding as a minority interest.