Will King George V of Tonga awards a royal warrant to Canadian Club whisky?

Canadian Club Whisky for the King of Tonga?

April 13, 2011

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Update March 19, 2012 (Canada). We are saddened to learn of the death this morning of Tonga’s King George Tupou V. His Majesty died in hospital in Hong Kong.

Update April 13, 2011 (Canada) April 14 (Tonga).
Kristina Beall has won the $100,000 race. Congratulations Kristina.
More details of Kristina’s big win here.

Canadian Club Hide-A-Case background: We are following Alex Short, Kevin Brauch, and seven other hardy explorers as they search the remote islands of Vava’u in the Kingdom of Tonga, for a hidden case of Canadian Club whisky. Internet access has been very spotty, so for now, the best updates are available on the official Hide-A-Case website and on their facebook page. While we wait for Alex to send his first dispatch (which may never come, given the circumstances) here is a little bit of background on the links between Canadian Club whisky and royalty – British royalty and Tongan royalty as well.

Victoria, Queen of England, was also the Queen of Canada. During her 64-year reign from 1837 to 1901 she is said to have consumed a considerable amount of Canadian Club whisky.

Each of Victoria’s successors to the throne renewed the royal warrant she awarded to the distillery. Her great-great grand daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, maintained the royal warrant for a decade, before she withdrew it in favour of whiskies distilled in Great Britain. But Queen Elizabeth II, remained no stranger to Canadian Club whisky. On the contrary, at one time, while visiting Canada, she had her crew dock her ship, The Royal Yacht Britannia, at the very same Hiram Walker Distillery landing where decades earlier rum runners had loaded much less conspicuous vessels.

Until Canadian Club whisky launched the latest version of its long-running Hide-A-Case promotion, the average Canadian whisky drinker probably did not know a lot about The Kingdom of Tonga. This past Friday the distillery sent eight intrepid competitors to Tonga in a race to find a hidden case of Canadian Club whisky.

Had they wanted to bone up on the South Pacific kingdom of 176 islands before leaving, the Canadian team might have sought the advice of Canada’s Queen Elizabeth II. Not only is she familiar with Canadian Club whisky, The Queen is friendly enough with Tonga and its people that she personally invited their king, His Majesty, George Tupou V, to attend the April 29 wedding of her grandson, Prince William, to his St. Andrews University sweetheart, Kate Middleton.

King George V is the hereditary monarch of Tonga and until 2010, when he introduced democracy to the island kingdom, he was its absolute ruler. His Majesty was sworn in as king on September 11, 2006, making him the 23rd Tu’i Kanokupolu.

Yes, Tonga has a king, but does it have a national whisky? Sadly, not yet. Perhaps once they find the hidden case of Canadian Club, the Hide-A-Case crew may want to call by the palace and crack open a bottle of CC for King George himself.  Indeed, it was on another royal occasion, the 1953 visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Tonga, that the five-year-old future King George sampled his first whisky at a garden party for Her Majesty. Do I smell another royal warrant in the works?

Queen Elizabeth II of England and King George V of Tonga

Queen Elizabeth II of England has invited King George V of Tonga to attend the wedding of her grandson, Prince William, to Catherine Middleton.

Canadian Club 8 year old Sherry Cask, reviewed here.

Canadian Club 10 year old Reserve reviewed here.

Canadian Club 12 year old Classic reviewed here.

Canadian Club 15 year old reviewed here.

Canadian Club 20 year old reviewed here.

Canadian Club 150th Anniversary 30 year old reviewed here.

Official Tonga Government Tourism Bureau here.

Link to Hide-A-Case Tonga kick-off here.

Pete and Jack from Serge's Whisky Fun on Wills and Kate's royal honeymoon

Pete McPeat and Jack Washback from whiskyfun.com recommend Prince William and his new bride Kate spend their honeymoon in a Tongan paradise rather than Islay's Feis Ile.

There’s a lot more of Pete and Jack on whiskyfun.com.


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