By Dennis Glade
Chester Brandes, president and CEO of Imperial Brands, led the team that made Sobieski Vodka the fastest premium vodka to sell 1 million cases in a single year in the United States. Sobieski accomplished the feat in four years, three years ahead of competitors Grey Goose (seven years) and Svedka (nine years).
Along the way, Sobieski Vodka won the Hot Brand Award and Growth Brands Award in 2008, 2009 and 2010. In 2010, the Beverage Tasting Institute awarded Sobieski with a 95-point rating and a gold medal.
In 2011, Imperial Brands shareholder and spokesman actor Bruce Willis and Brandes partnered with the Fisher House Foundation, a public-private partnership that supports the U.S. military and their families in times of need. In September, Imperial Brands began donating a portion of its Sobieski bottle sales in the United States to the foundation. It will continue to do so until Sept. 1 and anticipates donations to top $250,000.
"Holidays, birthdays & anniversaries have been celebrated with tears and smiles with people who truly understand what the other person is experiencing."
- Kamryn Jaroszewski