Sazerac starts whisky production in MontrealBy Owen Bellwood
Sazerac has completed refurbishments of its Old Montreal Distillery, bringing production of Canadian whisky back to the city for the first time in decades.
The distillery, located in downtown Montreal, has undergone extensive refurbishment over the last few years, including the installation of new grain mills and a mash cooker.
As well as repairs of existing equipment, New Orleans-based whiskey maker Sazerac has added a new still to the distillery.
The still, which is 37 feet tall, was made in Louisville Kentucky by family run copper workshop, Vendome.
The Old Montreal Distillery has long had the capacity to produce spirits, including genever, but Sazerac claims it “always wanted to bring back whisky distillation to Montreal”.
Sazerac revealed plans to start distilling whisky at the site in March last year. Old Montreal Distillery currently bottles Caribou Crossing, the ‘world’s first’ single barrel Canadian whisky.
Mark Brown, president and chief executive officer of Sazerac, said: “With the long standing connection this city has had with distilling premium Canadian whisky, through the headquarters of the legendary Seagram Company and its patriarch Sam Bronfman, it was always a goal of ours to bring whisky distilling back to Montreal.”
The increased capacity at the distillery will also allow Sazerac to experiment with new whiskies.
Drew Mayville, Sazerac’s master blender, said: “With over 500,000 Canadian whisky barrels in inventory, we’re anxious to get started experimenting here in Montreal similar to what we do at our other distilleries.”
A distillery will be officially opened later this year and Sazerac hopes to offer tours of the site in the coming months.
The Old Montreal Distillery, constructed in 1929, was purchased by Sazerac in 2011 and currently employs more than 100 people.
Last year, Sazerac pledged to expand its Boston Brands of Maine bottling plant in Lewiston, where it produces Mr Boston Brandy.