Schenley Industries

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Some old Schenley bourbon whiskey bottles from the 1940s

Schenley Industries was a liquor company based in New York City with headquarters in the Empire State Building and a distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. It owned several brands of Bourbon whiskey, including Schenley, The Old Quaker Company, Golden Wedding Rye, I.W. Harper (Named after proprietor Isaac Wolfe Bernheim) and possibly others. It also owned a controlling interest in Blatz beer and made a Canadian whisky called Schenley Reserve, also called Schenley Black Label. It 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] It also imported Dewar's White Label Scotch.

Schenley Products Company was organized in the 1920s by Lewis Rosenstiel. The company bought numerous distillers, including one in Schenley, Pennsylvania, and acquired a license to produce medicinal whisky. (The United States government had authorized six companies to produce medicinal spirits. The others were: Brown-Forman, Frankfort Distilleries, the A. Ph. Stitzel Distillery, the American Medicinal Spirits Company, and James Thompson and Brother.)[2] In 1933, when Prohibition ended, Schenley Distillers Company was formed as a publicly owned company. The name was changed to Schenley Industries in 1949. Schenley became one of the largest liquor companies in the United States. It was one of the "Big Four", which dominated liquor sales, and included Seagram, National Distillers and Hiram Walker.[3]

Schenley was acquired by the financier Meshulam Riklis in 1968. He sold the company to Guinness in 1987. Schenley had formerly imported Guinness into the United States.[4]

The company sponsored the Schenley Award in the Canadian Football League from its establishment in 1953 until 1988. The trophy is still awarded for outstanding play, despite the fact the company stopped its sponsorship in 1988 and has not been sponsored since.[5]


  1. ^ I. J. Galantin, Edward Beach. Take Her Deep!. Naval Institute Press. p. 49.
  2. ^ Bourbon Empire: The Past and Future of America's Whiskey By Reid Mitenbuler ISBN 9780670016839[1]
  3. ^ Lewis Rosenstiel, Founder of Schenley Empire, Dies New York Times January 22, 1976
  4. ^ Guinness Agrees to Buy Schenley From Riklis
  5. ^ Wons, Peter (October 20, 2014). "Schenley Awards". The Canadian Encyclopedia. HistoricaCanada. Retrieved 24 November 2017.

External links[edit]