Gimli Distillery

Information

Founded

1968

Location

Gimli, Manitoba

Stills

Column Stills

Production Capacity

33 million litres per year

For reference, consider the relative production of Black Velvet:

  • 83% of Jim Beam's annual capacity
  • 412% of Maker's Mark annual capacity
  • 275% of Glenfiddich annual capacity
  • 377% of Macallan's annual capacity

Favorite bottle Reviewed (93/100):


Overview

Gimli distillery is the home to Crown Royal, Canada's best selling whisky. The massive distillery is in a very small town, with just a population of 2000 people. Many, in fact, assume that Crown Royal is a bourbon and not Canadian, much less from rural Manitoba.

Gimli distillery, much like some other Canadian distilleries, was built because of demand which had outstripped supply for a few different Seagram brands, namely Seagram's VO. Crown Royal, initially, was produced at a Waterloo distillery which stopped production in 1992. Now, nearly all of the production from the plant goes into Crown Royal, though the plant also makes components for the old Seagram's whiskies still in production, like Canadian 83 and Seagram's VO.

The distillery produces a very wide range of products, including 5 different distillates. These distillates are matured in a variety of different barrels - new charred oak, ex-bourbon barrels, and refill barrels, resulting a wide variety of different whiskies produced. This is why the blending of Crown Royal can produce such a wide variety of different whiskies - whether more traditional light and sweet Canadian whiskies, rye heavy whiskies, or powerful buttery and oaky whiskies. The distillery is owned by Diageo.

For more information on the history and operation of Gimli, I highly recommend Davin De Kergommeaux's book Canadian Whisky.