Alberta Distillers Ltd. Production Superintendent Rick Murphy. Photo ©2013 by Mark Gillespie. This week, we’ll take a tour of a distillery very few people ever get to visit, Beam’s Alberta Distillers facility in Calgary, Alberta. 80% of the distillery’s whisky is sold in bulk to clients around the world, which means if you’ve tried all but a few Canadian whiskies, the chances are pretty good Rick Murphy and his team had something to do with them.  The remaining 20% is bottled under the Alberta Premium and Alberta Springs labels for the Canadian market, along with the Tangle Ridge label available in the US and a few other markets.

The unique "straddle loader" used to move sleds of whisky barrels at Alberta Distillers Ltd. in Calgary, Alberta. Photo ©2013 by Mark Gillespie. The distillery is on the edge of the Canadian Rockies, which means high altitude, low humidity, and lots of cold and snow. One of their innovations is a unique “straddle loader” to move barrels of whisky around without the risk of using a forklift in extreme weather.

In the news…still no arrests in the Pappy Van Winkle theft, Diageo opens a new Scotch whisky warehousing complex in Fife, and Jim Murray names his whisky of the year for the 2014 Whisky Bible.

Links: Alberta Distillers | Old Rip Van Winkle | Diageo | Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible | Glenmorangie | Collingwood | The Dalmore | Celtic Whiskey Shop | Fettercairn