Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, alcoholic beverage producer Brown-Forman (NYSE: BF-A) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at Brown-Forman's business and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

Brown-Forman facts

Headquarters (founded) Louisville, Ky. (1870)
Market Cap $13.8 billion
Industry Distillers and vintners
Trailing-12-Month Revenue $2.8 billion
Management CEO Paul Varga (since 2005)
CFO Donald Berg (since 2008)
Return on Equity (average, past 3 years) 26.4%
Cash/Debt $362.0 million / $511.3 million
Dividend Yield 1.6%
Competitors Diageo
Constellation Brands
Beam

Sources: S&P Capital IQ and Motley Fool CAPS.

On CAPS, 98% of the 49 members who have rated Brown-Forman believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward.

Just this past summer, one of those bulls, fellow Fool Thomas Engle (TMF1000), tapped Brown-Forman as a solid way to play defense:

It is a Louisville based company. And it has done really well. They will hold up well during any recession. … I still speculate, but I balance that with strong dividend paying companies. ...

There is a lot of fear in the markets now and that may carry over until the holidays when [enthusiasm] may boost the markets for a while. They have some great brands. I also like Diageo and Beam. I am going more defensive for a while.

The Dow is moving in a ridiculously narrow range. Strong stocks remain strong, so no volatility to exploit. I always felt that wasn't a good thing, so I will take a defensive stance.

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Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Diageo and Beam. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days

We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.