Chicago-based Liquid Asset Brands LLC (“LAB”) and Spirits Investment Partners LLC (“SIP”) announced that they have made a US $14 million investment in Stolen Spirits (“STOLEN”), for a majority stake in the business.

STOLEN, an independent spirits company founded in Auckland, New Zealand, currently produces four internationally awarded innovative rums, including smoked rum. The partnership with LAB/SIP provides expertise and significant growth capital for expansion of the Company’s portfolio, including a smoked whiskey, several unique rum releases and other new products under development.

LAB brings a wealth of alcohol industry knowledge and business expertise to STOLEN, particularly in the challenging and competitive United States market. LAB is led by Marc Bushala, a seasoned marketing and spirits entrepreneur and the Managing Partner of MAB Capital Management LLC. This investment comes on the heels of the recent sale of Louisville-based Angel’s Share Brands LLC, (Angel’s Envy Bourbon and Angel’s Envy Rye) to Bacardi Limited for an undisclosed amount. Bushala was a founding partner of Angel’s Envy.

“I am thrilled with our investment in STOLEN. We consider it to be one of the best emerging spirit brands to come to market in the last few years,” said Bushala. “We love STOLEN’s unique brand positioning and their innovation in the rum category. We are also excited to work with the STOLEN team to expand the brand portfolio.”

Started in 2010 out of a one-bedroom flat by Jamie Duff and Roger Holmes, STOLEN has seen exponential growth and cult status in its home market of New Zealand and in Australia. Beginning in early 2016 , STOLEN Smoked Rum will be launched in key U.S. states, including NY, FL, CA, MA and IL, with a sustained nationwide rollout.

For this rum, STOLEN works with a world-class distillery in Trinidad & Tobago from where they take column-distilled rum, aged in ex-whiskey barrels in the Caribbean, and add a combination of the best natural ingredients from around the world – including re-fractionated Arabica coffee beans from Columbia, vanilla from Madagascar and fenugreek from Morocco. This rum is then ‘smoked’ using American Hardwood – a re-invention to rum as we know it with a smokiness that is usually associated with whiskey.