The outline for the agenda starts with The History of whisky followed by The Production of whisky The History of Crown Royal The family of Crown Royal whiskies along with Tasting notes And where CR is going
Let’s talk about the different types of whisky 4 traditional whiskies in the world: Our Canadian whisky - known for its smoothness and balance with hints of cream, fruit, oak and vanilla – think of CR Bourbon whisky– a straight whisky that is more full bodied with hints of vanilla and spice – for example Bulleit Bourbon Scotch whisky – blended or single malt – unique smoky flv - from drying the malt over a smoky peat fire – an example is JW Irish whisky – made with malted /unmalted barley that is not dried over peat fires – not smoky like Scotch. It is smooth and light. Ex is Bushmills All have an identity by law. All require aging in barrel. Canadian whisky is far the dominant style of whisky preferred by Canadian consumers.
More that 200 years that whisky has been made in Ontario and Canada upper/Lower Canada) by farmers and millers. A good way to preserve excess grain that otherwise could spoil.\\ By 1840 there were over 200 small licensed enterprises. Large scale distillation started in the mid 1800’s
The know how came with the Irish and Scottish immigrants, who used their traditional methods with local ingredients to make and distill whisky. 1794 is an important date for the Canadian whisky industry – that was when the first tax on stills was issued. Important because it was and is a source of revenue for the government, a major source of revenue for Canada.
Other important dates in cdn whisky history and especially important to the CR family of whisky 1857 – Waterloo Distillery was established by Hespeler and Randall 1883 – Joseph Seagram bought the distillery where he had been working. Created the ‘83” blend to celebrate. Among the first Canadian distillers to blend whiskies - a new approach being taken in Scotland and Ireland at the time 1911 – VO created to celebrate the marriage of his son Thomas.
1928 – Joseph Seagram’s sons Thomas and Edward sold to Samuel and Harry Bronfman. One of the reasons: Seagrams name with its reputation for excellence. Bronfmans amalgamated it with their company , Distillers Corporation Limited 1966 Five Star blend was created – the stars signify 5 star quality
More interesting numbers Canadian whisky is the largest spirit group in Canada – almost 25% of sales More than 1 in 3 Diageo employees work to bring produce that bottle of CR 25% of all Canadian whisky sold in Canada from Diageo Largest selling beverage alcohol export , > 80% exported, shipped to the US
Let’s watch a small movie on the general method for the production Canadian whisky production (if the same movie: DISTINCT (unique yeast, batch distillation), PURE (quality, quality, quality), SMOOTH (blending of 4 different categories (5 for us) of whiskies), MATURE ( age, Canadian winters / summers, barrel pedigree)
What makes our CR maturates distinct? Starts with fermentation : yeasts feasting on sugars that were bound as starch in the selected grains – quality corn and rye, with the malted barley provided the enzymes Mashbills: Different combinations grain; proprietary yeasts enable flavours unique flavors Know how and experience to watch over the fermentation, you need a good quality “beer “ High quality distillate s are the next step to high quality maturates. Different stills, again several unique to Diageo, to produce the different types of whisky maturates. Experience is essential You need to know when to make the cut. (heads and the tails, tails contain the fusel oils) Canadian whisky by law :at least 3 years in small wood. Aging is important . Remember the Smoothness! New oak barrels and seasoned oak barrels – maintaining and following the barrel pedigree. Aging is also very expensive. Evaporation every year - necessary loss referred to as ullage (Angel’s share) Barrels, warehousing Sites are important – find that maturates can have characteristics specific to that site. Fermentation, Distillation and Maturation : 3 categories that provide us with many variables needed to make quality blended Canadian whisky.
W hat can kind of maturates go into Crown Royal? Divide into 2 types: Base and Flavouring Base: continuous or batch Continuous: pre-dominantly corn, double distilled and aged in seasoned oak barrels Batch is also pre- dominantly corn and aged in seasoned oak, the difference is the kettle and column still unique to Diageo – responsible for the creamy character Flavouring whiskies include: B type which we use a proprietary yeast for the fermentation – single distilled column still Rye flavourings: highest quality rye grain (~95%) single distilled column still Specialty flavouring (coffey still) – distinct and unique to Diageo – 2 column still process, expensive, limited
What characteristics come to mind when you mention Canadian whisky? Words: smooth, mellow, balanced, golden, amber, hints and layers of cream, caramel, fruit, spice of cloves, vanilla, pleasant and lingering. Canadian whisky is all of that because it is a blended whisky. Blending enables the best combination and selection of matured base and matured flavouring whiskies for the right balance and layers of flavour. How do we get there? How do we get the high quality and selection of maturates to blend with? How do we know which ones will complement each other? How do you make a Crown Royal? A Crown Royal Reserve? Limited Edition? Or a VO, 83 and Five Star . Answers include: experience, tradition, quality, uniqueness, versatility, choice and selection Whisky drank today was planned for and produced as a distillate years ago. Many actions set in motion and continued for each barrel of whisky to be matured, then selected to make this year’s blend. And it goes on – so we can enjoy our drink today and tomorrow. We must have the same consistent, great quality blend every year. Standard to uphold. In fact many standards used throughout the process from purchasing the grain to distillates to maturates and the actual blends.
The story goes that Sam Bronfman tried out 600 different blends before he settled on the final one. He was very involved. He would sit down and appraise the day’s production. He was very proud and honoured as a Companion of the Order of Canada.
We take great pride in Crown Royal being Canadian and great pride in its quality Many people depend on CR for their livelihood – including me! Tying back in to quality – we have a sensory accreditation program that is a requirement for anyone who has anything to do with sensory appraisal art any stage of production – raw ingredients (grain, water, air) to distillates, maturates, blending, and bottling. The purpose is to ensure that tasters are capable and have the aptitude for sensory appraisal. As was mentioned at the very beginning; sensory learning is always on-going.
Some impressive numbers: CR is the number one selling Canadian whisky in the US Many different whiskies – by type, by age, barrel pedigree are blended together 1000 barrels every day Just over 1.4 million barrels are stored at he CR distillery in Gimli Mantiba
The more of often you appraise, the easier you will see different layers and differences between the whiskies. You will be making sensory pathways A few adjectives used very frequently when describing the our Diageo family of whiskies: Creamy – think of caramel and vanilla, chocolate Fruity – think of apples, pears Spicy - think of cloves, cinnamon, perhaps a very slight floral touch Complex – think of layers, richness Wood – think of oak tones, vanillin Smoothness – comes with aging All of these whiskies belong to a single house with specific attributes and characters.
Delicate balance of fruit with a touch of cream and hints of oak. , light, slightly dry on finish
Well balanced, sl fty winey character
Balance is key Flavours of cream (think of caramel and vanilla), fruit (some apple, slight peach), some spice (cloves) and woodiness from the oak barrel. Layers of individual flavour components that complement each other and come together united into a rich, balanced, smooth smell and taste
A reserve brand. Blended with a very high percentage of proprietary Batch base whisky creating a layer of creamy soft chocolate. And because there is also a high percentage of rye whisky, proprietary specialty flavouring and bourbon type whisky – there is an accent of spicy cloves and delicate fruit.
Another Reserve brand. Heavier blended whisky with more spiciness and wood influence.
Cognac barrels enable another layer of raisin and fruit and spice
A very smooth, rich and creamy blended whisky made with Waterloo whiskies that were put aside. The whiskies used are rare. They have a special flavour bringing a richness of cream, creamy chocolate, fruit, spice and a slight doughiness.