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Black Velvet distillery

Black Velvet is one of the most popular Canadian whisky varieties in America. On the prairie on the edge of the Rocky Mountains in Lethbridge, Alberta is the new (1973) and old (1932) distillery Black Velvet, also known as Palliser or Lethbridge Distillery. The new distillery was built in 1975 by the UDV. Black Velvet is known for their sweet and very mild whisky.

The Taste:

For the Black Velvet Canadian Whiskey, the Toronto distillery uses hand-picked rye, corn and crystal-clear Canadian mountain spring water. The result is a unique whiskey that is known in more than 50 countries around the world for its velvety mildness and high quality. The slightly oily texture of this blend offers an excellent stage for full-bodied rye and corn aromas, a peppery spice and a mild, seductive sweetness.

The history

In 1932 Gilby opened the Palliser distillery for gin and vodka in Toronto. Former known as “Black Label”, the name of the brand was changed to Black Velvet at the end of the 1940s by Master Distiller Jack Napier. Napier introduced a new blending method, Blending happens immediately upon distillation, rather than after years of maturation. In 1962 Gilby merged into UDV. 1972 saw the brand Black Velvet sold to Grand Metropolitan in 1987, to Diageo in 1997 and further on to Constellation Brands (to that time still named Canandaigua Brands) in 1999.

The distillery in Lethbridge was established in 1973. When Constellation decided to concentrate all its whiskey production in 2009, it renamed the former Palliser Distillery to Black Velvet Distillery. The very modern distillery is located in the south of Canada, more precisely near the city of Alberta at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. It is surrounded by rye and corn fields - the best conditions for the whiskey - production!

Black Velvet factsheet

Name Pronounced AKA Region Country of Origin
Black Velvet Canada
Status Active Whisky Type Website Tours Available
Active 1969 - Present Grain Black Velvet Not Available
Manager Distiller Blender Owned by Parent Group
Jack Napier Canandaigua Brands

Can I tour Black Velvet?

No, unfortunately Black Velvet distillery is not open to the public for tours