LOUISVILLE, Ky., May 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In an effort to create a memorable gift for Queen Elizabeth II's visit to the 2007 Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 5, Diageo, the world's largest spirits company, blended the most expensive and rare Crown Royal Whisky ever created. (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070503/AQTH074 ) After all Crown Royal Canadian Blended Whisky was originally made for the Queen's parents in 1939 to commemorate their Grand Tour of Canada. As a tribute, Joseph E. Seagram's & Sons Inc. ordered the preparation of a commemorative blend for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Placed aboard their private, cross-country train, Crown Royal was a special gift for the royal couple that was respected for their knowledge and appreciation of fine whiskies. A fire at the Seagram's Waterloo Distillery in Ontario destroyed the facility, where a limited number of whisky barrels could be salvaged. Crown Royal blender Andrew MacKay, selected the rarest remaining barrels with some of the highest rye content and personally supervised production of what is now known as Crown Royal XR Extra Rare Heritage Blend. A truly priceless creation, if the whisky were to have a price tag, a suggested retail price would likely begin at $10,000. The blend has been made exclusively for Her Majesty. Diageo commissioned Casey Hyland, a master glass designer at Louisville's Glassworks, to create a custom glass decanter, etched with 24 K gold leaf, as unique as the whiskey that will fill it. "We see this blend's special creation as a way to celebrate Crown Royal's distinct origin to North America," said David Tapscott, Brand Director for Crown Royal. "We have accomplished something unique and special with creating the most expensive Crown Royal whisky we have ever made, then using local craftsmen to express the very special message we wish to bestow upon Her Majesty to commemorate Her visit to Churchill Downs." Diageo and Crown Royal have a long history in supporting equine events. On Friday, May 4, they will sponsor the Crown Royal American Turf Stakes just before the famed Kentucky Oaks at Louisville's legendary racetrack, Churchill Downs. The race is one and one-sixteenth miles, with a purse of $150,000. Both Thursday and Friday at Churchill, Crown Royal sponsors the "Festival in the Field" providing music by local and national acts. Kansas headlines Thursday's event. The company has also created the Crown Royal Turf specifically for the Kentucky Derby, which uses 3 ounces of orange juice, 1 and 1/2 ounces of Crown Royal, garnished with a sprig of fresh parsley. About Crown Royal: Crown Royal, the number one selling whisky in the U.S. by value, has a tradition as long and distinctive as its taste. Specially blended to commemorate a grand tour of Canada made by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain in 1939, Crown Royal's smooth, elegant style reflects its aristocratic origins and is considered the epitome of Canadian whisky. In addition to its motorsports sponsorships, the brand also sponsors The Crown Royal Bad Boys of Comedy Tour, the Crown Royal American Turf stakes race at Churchill Downs and a number of other major regional and national events. For more information on Crown Royal, visit http://www.crownroyal.com. About Diageo Diageo (Dee-AH-Gee-O) is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines, and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyard wines. Diageo is a global company, trading in more than 200 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands and performance, visit us at http://www.diageo.com. Celebrating life, every day, everywhere, responsibly.
SOURCE Diageo North America