Valleyfield

The Valleyfield Distillery (aka Schenley Distillery) is completely surrounded by water. It is located about 50 km west of Montreal on an island in Saint Lawrence River.

Information about the Distillery
1 Bottles
Canada
-74.120528 45.255935
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Details about the Distillery

The Whisky

Valleyfield Distillery mainly produces two basic Whiskies from a 100% corn mash, which are the basis for many Canadian Blended Whiskies. Among the labels produced here at Valleyfield Distillery are Crown Royal, Schenley's, Golden Weddings, Schenley OFC, Seagram's VO, Five Star, Canadian 83 and Order of Merit.
Crown Royal was known around the world even before Jim Murray awarded Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye 'Whisky of the Year'. Crown Royal is much more popular as a Blend than as a rye, anyway. It's a very creamy and smooth Whisky characterised by sweet vanilla and oak notes.
Canadian Blended Whisky Gibsons' Finest was produced here at Valleyfield for decades. In 2008 Diageo acquired Valleyfield Distillery, and Gibson's Finest has since been produced by Hiram Walker Distillery in Windsor, Ontario, commissioned by the current label owners William Grant & Sons. However, you don’t have to be a mathematical genius to know that the Gibson's Finest 12 Years Old available today was still produced at Valleyfield Distillery. This Blend has a very smooth and sweet taste. Oak notes are just as present as slightly bitter citrus notes. The medium-long finish offers toffee aromas and traces of pepper.

Production

A team of 200 employees produce 28 million litres of alcohol at Valleyfield Distillery each year. There are 22 production buildings on a narrow stretch on Grand Ile in Saint Lawrence River. For the production of the many Blended Whiskies, different malt and rye Whiskies from other distilleries are used to flavour the two basic Whiskies that are produced here.

The inner courtyard of the Valleyfield Distillery.

The Mashing

260 tons of corn – this may sound a lot, but it's the amount that is mashed here at this industrial distillery on one day. 8,000 kg make up one mash, and eight mashes fill one fermenter. 

The Fermentation

Valleyfield Distillery has 12 open fermenters made of steel. During the 55 hours of fermentation, two different yeast strains turn the mash into the two different beers that are the basis for the two basic Whiskies.

The Distillation

The two basic Whiskies are distilled differently. The "Batch Base" first runs through a beer still and then through a pot with an attached column. The second basic Whisky is the result of continuous distillation through four columns.

The still house of the Valleyfield Distillery.

The Warehouses

Valleyfield Distillery uses 15 giant onsite warehouses. On up to nine stories, different methods are applied to store the up to one million casks. The casks are stored on shelves or on pallets, or simply by stacking them on each other in the shape of a pyramid. In order to ensure consistent quality of all batches, the casks are always evenly distributed across the warehouses and then used for blending in the same order.
The Whiskies are also blended and bottled onsite. Valleyfield uses several parallel bottling plants.

The History

https://www.whisky.com/At the beginning of the 20th century, the "Star Biscuits" bakery was founded on the island in Saint Lawrence River. In 1911 the new owner, Edourd Hebert, turned it into the Golden Lion Brewery. The name changed again several times in the following years, and during prohibition in the neighbouring USA, the distillery ran on full blast.
When Quebec Distillers Company acquired the plant in 1938, they turned to producing alcohol from potatoes and grain for industrial and military purposes.
In 1945 Lewis Rosenstiel's Schenley Distillers Corporation bought the plant and renovated it completely. Schenley had been the biggest American producer of spirts already before World War II. The label had been acquired from Joseph F. Finch Distillery in Pittsburgh. Other brands such as the Old Fine Copper Brand OFC (today the OFC stands for Old Fine Canadian) were established successfully back then. Until 1969 already one million casks had been produced.
In 1981 the distillery was sold to a Vancouver family who started modernisation, but the times were bad for Whisky. New investors helped the distillery survive, and until 2008 it belonged to Constellation Brands. In 2008 it was bought by Diageo, who had been customers of Valleyfield for some time anyway. 

Visitor Centre

The Valleyfield Distillery is not open to the public.

User Notes about the Distillery

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unknown user
19. Jan 2021
J,ai une bouteille 40 onces tradition rye whisky 1971 à t,il de la valeur
unknown user
19. Jan 2021
J,ai une bouteille 40 onces tradition rye whisky 1971 à t,il de la valeur