Black Velvet (whisky)

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Black Velvet
Black Velvet Canadian Whisky.jpg
Black Velvet Canadian Whisky
TypeCanadian whisky
ManufacturerConstellation Brands
Country of originValleyfield, Quebec, Canada
Alcohol by volume40.00%
Proof (US)80
Related productsConstellation Brands
Patricia Victoria Miller (Hale), the first Miss Black Velvet, 1969

Black Velvet Whisky is a Canadian whisky brand owned by Constellation Brands. It has a smooth taste and is known for its black labeling.

Black Velvet was produced at Schenley Industries in Valleyfield, Quebec, Canada. Schenley's Black Velvet DeLuxe was the only liquor available to submarine officers at Midway in World War II, where it was held in low regard and known as "Schenley's Black Death."[1]

Original owner Heublein was sold to Grand Metropolitan in 1987. Grand Metropolitan and Guinness merged in 1997 to form Diageo.

The distillery was sold by Diageo to Canandaigua Brands in 1999.

On August 12, 2019, Constellation Brands and Heaven Hill announced plans for Heaven Hill to acquire the Black Velvet brand, along with the distillery in Lethbridge, Alberta, the distillery's inventory of maturing whisky, and other brands produced there for $266 million (USD). The transaction must still receive regulatory approval in Alberta before the deal can be completed.

Originally called "Black Label", the name was changed to "Black Velvet" at the suggestion, in the late 1940s, by the Master Distiller Jack Napier because he thought it had a velvety taste and smoothness.

Black Velvet produces four expressions which are primarily sold on the export market to the United States: Black Velvet Original, Black Velvet Reserve (aged eight years), Black Velvet Toasted Caramel (introduced in 2012), and Black Velvet Cinnamon Rush (introduced in 2013). This brand is ranked number two in Canadian Whisky market share behind number one, Crown Royal.[2]

The first Black Velvet Lady, Patricia Victoria Miller, was introduced to the world in 1969 as an advertisement tool for Black Velvet. Since that time, such famous names as Christie Brinkley, Cybill Shepherd, Kim Alexis, Cheryl Tiegs, Micah Wylde, and Kelly Emberg have all been Black Velvet Ladies. In addition, actors Telly Savalas, Larry Hagman and George Burns as well as country singer Tanya Tucker have also appeared in the ads. The current Black Velvet Lady is Tami Donaldson, born and raised in Hollywood, Florida.


  1. ^ I. J. Galantin, Edward Beach. Take Her Deep!. Naval Institute Press. p. 49.
  2. ^ Liquor Handbook. Beverage Information Group Data. 2012. Missing or empty |title= (help)

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