Silk Tassel Canadian Whisky now a Sazerac brand

Sazerac Acquires McGuinness Silk Tassel Canadian Whisky

September 28, 2011



Strategic Acquisition Marks Further Expansion in Canada

Louisville, KY, Sept. 28, 2011 – Sazerac Company, Inc. (Sazerac) announces that it has entered into an agreement to purchase from Corby Distilleries Limited (Corby) certain Corby-owned brands as well as the shares of its subsidiary that owns the manufacturing and bottling facility in Montréal, Québec, for a purchase price of $32.9 million, plus the value of inventory on hand at closing. The transaction is expected to close on October 31, 2011.

The transaction involves the purchase of 17 brands, including De Kuyper Geneva Gin, De Kuyper Peachtree Schnapps, Red Tassel Vodka and Silk Tassel Canadian Whisky, as well as the Montréal-based manufacturing facility where a significant portion of the brands are produced. On closing, all employees of the facility will be employed by Sazerac, and a number of Corby-owned brands will continue to be blended, bottled and warehoused in the facility through a contract manufacturing agreement entered into with Sazerac.

“Canada has become an important market for Sazerac over the past decade and we are delighted to be able to further increase our presence in the market. We are particularly pleased at the prospect of being able to develop the De Kuyper brand in Canada,” added Mark Brown, Sazerac president and chief executive officer.

“We are very pleased to have reached an agreement on this strategic divestiture,” commented Patrick O’Driscoll, Corby president and chief executive officer. “We had some brand overlap in certain spirit categories and this transaction helps us streamline our portfolio with a more focused and targeted collection of brands, as part of our brand prioritization strategy. It also frees up more of our resources to create growth opportunities for our priority brands including Wiser’s Canadian Whisky, Lamb’s Rum, Polar Ice Vodka and McGuinness Liqueurs; resulting in increased shareholder value.”

The large majority of Corby’s remaining brands will continue to be manufactured in the Hiram Walker & Sons Limited facility located near Windsor, Ontario, which is managed by Corby on behalf of Pernod Ricard S.A.

“Corby is committed to a strategy of value growth and a focused brand portfolio that positions us for long-term growth in key categories with premium spirits and wines,” added O’Driscoll. “This divestiture is an important step in moving that strategy forward.”

Silk Tassel Canadian Whisky was first produced at the McGuinness Distillery in Toronto, Ontario. In the 1980s production was moved to the Corby distillery in Corbyville, near Belleville, Ontario. When the Corbyville distillery closed, production was again moved, this time to the Hiram Walker distillery in Walkerville Ontario, where it is still produced. Early versions of the McGuinness “Tassel” line included the classic 1971 Gold Tassel pictured above. Gold Tassel was discontinued several decades ago in favour of Silk Tassel.

About The Sazerac Company
Sazerac is based in New Orleans, Louisiana and is one of New Orleans’ oldest family owned, privately held companies. The company has operations in New Orleans, Louisiana; Frankfort, Bardstown, Louisville and Owensboro, Kentucky; Fredericksburg, Virginia; Carson, California; Baltimore, Maryland; and now, Montreal, Canada. For more information, please visit

About Corby Distilleries Limited
Corby’s portfolio of owned-brands includes some of the most renowned brands in Canada, including Wiser’s Canadian Whisky, Lamb’s Rum, Polar Ice Vodka and McGuinness Liqueurs. Through its affiliation with Pernod Ricard S.A., Corby also represents leading international brands such as ABSOLUT vodka, Chivas Regal, The Glenlivet and Ballantine’s Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Beefeater gin, Malibu rum, Kahlúa liqueur, Mumm champagne, and Jacob’s Creek, Wyndham Estate and Graffigna wines.


36 Responses to “Sazerac Acquires McGuinness Silk Tassel Canadian Whisky”

  1. Richard Hernet:

    Looking for over 5 yrs+ for your Gold Tassel in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, Il. Is there some store around me. Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates, Elk Grove. e-mail

    • Davin:

      Hi Richard,
      Sorry, that is an old bottle. Silk Tassel is still in production but Gold Tassel has been discontinued for some time. They still show up on e-Bay every now and then and are not too expensive.

  2. airdom:

    I have a bottle of Old Canada Canadian Whisky (8 years) from McGuinnes. 1966 Bottle, still unopened. Is that worth anything???

    • Davin:

      I paid about $40 for a bottle last year. You might get a little bit more if you find the right purchaser, but Old Canadian whisky does not really go up that much in value.

      • gino:

        I have a bottle of 1978 6 year old silk tassel, my question is will it still be good if I open it and want to drink it.

        • Davin:

          If the level is good and the bottle is still sealed it should be fine. The value has not gone up very much so go ahead and enjoy it.

  3. Jane Gaylog:

    Have a bottle of 1965 Mcguiness Commemoration Canadian Whisky special edition sealed 1 of 250 made to celebrate 1million case sale.Presented to employees in 1973, Personalized and signed by both President and Chairman. Could you give value please

    • Davin:

      This is a nice keepsake for the employees but there is no market for these old bottles so the value is very low. You might get $100 if you can find a buyer Most likely much less. Your best bet is to crack it open and share it with friends or family on a special occasion.

  4. Neeta:

    A friend has a 1964 Bottle of Unopened Silk Tassel and says an auction house told her it’s worth $13,000. She said only 21 bottles were made and only 17 were sold to commemorate the McGuinesses grand-daughters 21st birthday.

    I heard whisky doesn’t go up drastically in price, but if there were only a few made, is there any truth to it?

    Thanks in advance for your reply :)

    • Davin:

      People only collect VERY well known high-end brands. A very rare old Crown Royal might go for $250. McGuinness is not well known and not high end. The bottle is worth less than $100 so if she has someone who will auction it for $13,000 she should jump at the opportunity but not be surprised if there are no bidders. Old Scotch may sell for a lot more money because there is a broad collector base and it is a very well known quantity. Canadian whisky, not so much. The expensive bottles have a very well-known provenance and someone usually generates a lot of pre-sale publicity for them. Some people believe that companies buy these themselves just to keep their up image as an exclusive brand. Old Canadian whisky is wonderful to find and to drink but people should not get their hopes up of making a windfall. It just does not happen.

      • Neeta:

        Even if there were only 21 bottles made?

        Thanks again :)

        • Davin:

          Hi, I am not an expert in valuing old whisky. I base my assessments on prices I have seen over the years. Sad to say, Canadian whisky is not collectable so does not command high prices. If there is an auctioneer willing to set a $13,000 reserve, make haste and go for it. The real value is established by a willing buyer and a willing seller and if your auctioneer can find buyers with deep pockets to bid on it, then your friend should do us all a favour and set the new market price. If it goes for more than $100 I would be very grateful if you’d let me know.

          • Neeta:

            Thanks for your opinion Davin. You may not be an expert but you sound like you know what you’re taking about and are more aware of the prices than I am. I believed it a nice keepsake, but I suspected it wasn’t worth much.

            I will post here if anything comes of it.

            You’ve been very helpful. :)

          • Davin:

            My pleasure, Neeta, and yes, please do let me know if it ends up being worth more.

  5. sandy fox:

    I’ve been buying Orange Brandy..the liquor store told me’s obsolete now..Is that true. It’s my favorite drink

    • Davin:

      Sorry, I have no idea. Why not try a few other stores?

  6. I have an old McGuiness Captains Table empty bottle. any buyser please email me.
    thank you

  7. f lavoie:

    j ai une bouteille de whisky…mcguinness…canadian whisky 1975…6 ans veilli ..veuve pour collectionneur…conbien se vaut……merci

    • Davin:

      Environs $25-30.

  8. cody:

    Hi I have a bottle of mcguinness whisky from 73 it rare never been opened has the seal on it Vin an year drink or no

    • Davin:

      Enjoy! It’s fine to drink and not worth much money.

  9. cody:

    I also have to half seagram is seven 7 crown
    Royal Canadian 2 of them imported mcmaster’s canadian whisky 2 as well all from 80s with seal never been opened?

  10. Courtney:

    Hello, I have an sealed bottle of 1954 Captain’s Table (with the box). Could you give an estimate on the value? Thank you.

    • Davin:

      Less than $100 and it will be very difficult to find a knowledgeable buyer. There really is no collector’s market for old Canadian whisky.

    • Tammy:

      Do you still have the bottle, unopened.

  11. Denis:

    Combien vaut une bouteille de whysky Canadien Golden Velvet l971?

    • Davin:

      $50 to $70 in perfect condition. 50 $ à $ 70 en parfait état.

  12. tina:

    i have a bottle of 1970 Adams antique 10 year old Canadian whiskey by thomas adams distillers. so it is now 54 years old from when it was made. so smooth. I’m curious to know what the value is?

    • Davin:

      If you can find a buyer, $50, maybe less.

  13. Raymond:

    Jai une bouteille de whisky gold tassel 1952 vieilli 7 ans. Je voulais savoir combien sa peut valoir

    • Davin:

      Environs de $35-$40.

  14. Lyne:

    J’ai une bouteille de whisky 7ans gold tassel mcguiness.
    Daté de 1975
    Comment ca peut valoir

  15. wayne:

    Is silk tassel whiskey still available? Ontario LCBO’s don’t carry it in our area? Where is it available?

    • Davin:

      It is in the LCBO system so ask your store to bring in a bottle.

  16. Amanda:


    I acquired a sealed bottle of Silk Tassel Old Rye Whisky by McGuiness. It’s a big one… 66 2/3 FL.OZ. It also says aged 5 years. The year 1969. Cannot find anything about this bottle online. Is it worth anything? Will it taste good if we open it?

    • Davin:

      This is an interesting find but not anything rare or special. I would suggest you open it and share it with friends.

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