Black Velvet

Black Velvet Distillery

  • Canada
  • Canadian Whisky Awards 2022, World Whiskies Awards 2023,
Phone Number
  • +14033172100
  • 2925 9 Ave N, Lethbridge, AB T1H 5E3, Canada

Sign for The Black Velvet Distilling Company.

History of Black Velvet Distillery

The journey of Black Velvet Whisky begins in 1946, marking the year the whisky for its first bottling was distilled. It officially entered the market in 1951 under the name “Black Label”. However, it was the discerning palate of the original distiller, Jack Napier, that led to the renaming of the whisky to “Black Velvet”. This change was inspired by the whisky’s distinctive velvety taste and smoothness, a hallmark that would come to define the brand. Initially produced at Schenley Industries in Valleyfield, Quebec, Canada, Black Velvet was unique for its time, standing out in a competitive marketplace​​​​.

The Move to Alberta

In 1973, in a significant development for the brand, production was relocated to a purpose-built distillery in Alberta, Canada. This move coincided with a broader ambition to expand and streamline operations, a vision that was further realised in 1991 through the introduction of automation. This technological advancement dramatically reduced the number of employees needed while enhancing production efficiency​​.

Growth and Acquisition

Black Velvet’s popularity and sales witnessed substantial growth over the years, culminating in a peak sales volume of 2.05 million 9-liter equivalent cases in 2014. This upward trajectory in sales underscored the brand’s enduring appeal and market position. The brand’s journey took another turn in 2019 when Heaven Hill Brands acquired Black Velvet, marking a new chapter in its storied history​​.

The Distillery Today

Now under the ownership of Heaven Hill, the Black Velvet Distillery continues to produce its whisky in Lethbridge, Alberta. The distillery prides itself on using crystal clear Canadian water and the finest ingredients, including a mix of high-quality grains such as rye, barley, and corn. The whisky is blended at birth and aged in premium oak barrels, ensuring that velvety smoothness and rich flavor that Black Velvet is renowned for​​.

Product Line and Legacy

Over the years, Black Velvet has expanded its product line to include several expressions, catering to a broad range of tastes and preferences. These include the original Black Velvet, Black Velvet Reserve (aged eight years), and flavored options like Black Velvet Toasted Caramel and Black Velvet Cinnamon Rush. This diversification reflects the brand’s commitment to innovation while maintaining the quality and smoothness that have been its hallmark since its inception​​.

In conclusion, Black Velvet Whisky’s history is a testament to the brand’s resilience, innovation, and unwavering commitment to quality. From its early days in Quebec to its current home in Alberta, Black Velvet has established itself as a staple of the Canadian whisky market, beloved by consumers for its smooth taste and rich heritage.

Awards Won by Black Velvet Distillery

Canadian Whisky Awards 2022: Black Velvet Original was awarded the “Whisky Value of the Year – Export” category, highlighting its exceptional value in international markets. Additionally, Black Velvet Reserve received a Bronze Medal, underscoring its quality and appeal among whisky enthusiasts​​. Black Velvet Blended Canadian Whisky was awarded a Silver Medal and was highly recommended in their review. The whisky received praise for its amber color and complex aromas, including cracked black pepper, red apple, caramel corn, and butterscotch. This recognition speaks to its versatility and appeal as a key ingredient in cocktails or for enjoyment on its own​​.

World Whiskies Awards 2023: The Black Velvet Toasted Caramel variant received a Gold Medal in the Flavoured Whisky category for Canada, demonstrating Black Velvet’s prowess in crafting flavoured whiskies that resonate well with both industry experts and consumers. This accolade further establishes Black Velvet’s position in the market as a producer of high-quality, flavoured whiskies​​.

Black Velvet Distillery Tour Information and Experience

Unfortunately, the Black Velvet Distillery is not open to the public for tours.

What To Do Nearby Black Velvet Distillery

Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden – This serene garden symbolizes the friendship between Canada and Japan. Visitors can enjoy tea ceremonies, participate in Sumo Sumo Sundays, or attend yoga sessions in this beautifully landscaped environment. It’s a place of tranquility and cultural exchange, located a short distance from Black Velvet Distillery​​​​.

Henderson Lake Park – Offering over 7 kilometres of walking paths around the lake, this park is perfect for various activities including kayaking and canoeing. It is also the site for the Lethbridge Dragonboat Races, making it a lively spot during event times. The park’s proximity to the distillery provides an easy getaway to nature​​​​.

Southern Alberta Art Gallery (SAAG) – For those interested in contemporary art, SAAG showcases local, national, and international artists. The gallery is known for its thought-provoking exhibits and has a popular gift shop featuring artisanal goods. It’s a cultural hub for art lovers looking to explore the creative scene in Lethbridge​​​​.

Fort Whoop-Up – Dive into the history of the area with a visit to Fort Whoop-Up, a replica of a 19th-century fur trading fort. The site offers insights into the local history and the fur trade era, making it a fascinating stop for history buffs​​.

Oldman River Observatory – For astronomy enthusiasts, the Oldman River Observatory offers public observations of the night sky, hosted by the Lethbridge Astronomy Society. It’s a unique opportunity to stargaze and learn more about the universe. The observatory’s events, including solar viewing, provide a captivating experience for visitors​​.

Theoretically Brewing Company & Spectrum Ale Works – Beer lovers can explore Lethbridge’s craft beer scene at these local breweries. Theoretically Brewing Company is known for its scientific approach to brewing, while Spectrum Ale Works offers a variety of craft beers, including the refreshing Razzapeach Fruit Ale. Both venues offer a glimpse into the city’s burgeoning brewery scene​​.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Black Velvet Distillery?

Firestone Restaurant & Bar: It has a rating of 4.2 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +1 403-329-3473. Their address is 532 Mayor Magrath Dr S, Lethbridge, AB T1J 3M2, Canada.

Denny’s: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +1 403-381-9090. Their address is 421 Mayor Magrath Dr S, Lethbridge, AB T1J 3L3, Canada.

Mt. Everest: It has a rating of 4.7 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +1 403-381-2614. Their address is 1528 36 St N, Lethbridge, AB T1H 5H8, Canada.

What hotels are near Black Velvet Distillery?

Best Western Plus Service Inn & Suites: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +1 403-329-6844. Their address is 209 41 St S, Lethbridge, AB T1J 1Z3, Canada.

Coast Lethbridge Hotel & Conference Centre: It has a rating of 4.1 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +1 403-327-5701. Their address is 526 Mayor Magrath Dr S, Lethbridge, AB T1J 3M2, Canada.

Holiday Inn Express Lethbridge Southeast, an IHG Hotel: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +1 403-942-5856. Their address is 217 41 St S, Lethbridge, AB T1J 1Z3, Canada.