Vermont Business Magazine WhistlePig LLC, of Shoreham, a premier rye whiskey company, announced Monday that it received a $25 million asset-based line (ABL) of credit from JPMorgan Chase, replacing its current ABL and more than doubling its access to liquidity. The credit facility is a reflection of WhistlePig’s performance to date, expected growth, and strong existing inventory position. It will provide the company with incremental funding to accelerate the production and aging of premium rye whiskey. WhistlePig's goal is to produce a farm-to-bottle whiskey at its Vermont location.
“This is a terrific vote of confidence,” said Roland van Bommel, WhistlePig’s Executive Chairman. “We’re excited to apply these incremental funds, and the expertise of Chase’s talented local and beverage banking teams, to further build our business and produce more rye whiskey for the world to enjoy.”
The credit facility will support all aspects of WhistlePig’s business, with a particular focus on further increasing the company’s whiskey reserves and building new infrastructure to support those reserves. In addition to laying down additional barrels of whiskey, the company is building new warehouse facilities, increasing its in-house storage capacity to 35,000 barrels of whiskey.
“WhistlePig has created a unique brand and is enthusiastic about providing a farm-to-bottle premium rye whiskey,” said Vernon Studer, relationship executive at JPMorgan Chase. “We understand the business’ vision and growth opportunities and are able to provide the local and specialized financial resources that will help them achieve their goals.”
This line of credit comes at an exciting time for WhistlePig, the company said in a press release following the successful March launch of FarmStock, the company’s first estate release that includes whiskey produced from its distillery in Vermont. This financing solution will allow WhistlePig to continue to provide consumers with its signature releases, while also expanding its new estate line.
As the Burlington Free Press has reported, WhistlePig is a flambouyant company with a flambouyant founder that has found itself in court.
Raj Peter Bhakta, WhistlePig founder. WhistlePig photos.
Raj Peter Bhakta purchased the farm in 2007 and initially bottled Canadian rye whiskey in 2010 before distilling his own. He has had a dispute with other board members, but it was settled. He remains a Board member, as well as Founder and Chief Steward of the brand.
More recently, a New York organic vodka maker has requested a cease and desist order for WhistlePig's use of the word "crop" on its label.
WhistlePig says it is the world’s finest rye whiskey, featuring the bold and often untapped flavor of America’s original spirit. Founded on a former dairy farm in Shoreham, Vermont, WhistlePig quickly emerged as one of the most decorated whiskeys on the market. With its products having received 97 points from Wine Enthusiast and best whiskey in the world honors from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the company continues to release highly sought-after whiskeys whose demand outpaces supply. The opening of the distillery in 2015 and the release of the first estate product in 2017 show that WhistlePig is well on its way toward fulfilling the long-term vision of creating a fully farm-to-bottle operation, found nowhere else.