Crown Royal's 'masterpiece' whisky sells out in 8 minutes in Winnipeg
Shipment of highly praised rye moves quickly, facing comparable demand across Canada
Ten cases of whisky — 120 bottles — gone in eight minutes.
Manitoba-made Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye is flying off shelves more than a month after a being called a "masterpiece" and named 2016 World Whisky of the Year in British writer Jim Murray's annual Whisky Bible.
The whisky also sold out in November, with only occasional shipments available since then.
On Tuesday, shoppers lined up outside the Grant Park liquor mart in Winnipeg after getting wind of a new shipment arriving. Store employees couldn't unpack the cases quickly enough.
"People like their alcohol at Christmas and why not try something that has gotten a good review on the ratings around the world?" he said.
"I mean, it's a whisky of the year. Manitoba doesn't get to say that very often."
"I've been online constantly looking where they're getting them," she said.
The scenario is much the same across the country, where stocks of the whisky are scarce.
According to the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, sales at LCBO outlets have jumped 400 per cent this Christmas season due to the Crown Royal craze.
In Alberta, Edmonton liquor retailers have also said they can't keep up with demand.
Murray's nod to Northern Harvest Rye marked the first time a Canadian whisky received the World Whisky of the Year honour.
"To say this is a masterpiece is barely doing it justice," Murray said in a release at the time, adding that Northern Harvest takes rye to "new heights of beauty and complexity."
The Northern Harvest Rye came out this year and according to the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries, 800 bottles were sold in the province the first six weeks it was available. That was before Murray's Whisky Bible came out.
In the month since then, the total has reached 20,000 sold in Manitoba. About 2,500 bottles were made available Tuesday at liquor marts across the province and all are now gone.
"The phone's been ringing off the hook [asking] if we have any," said Ebba Troschuk, the store manager at the Grant Park location.
"We've been trying our best to get as much product as possible," she said, adding "it's a worldwide outage right now, everywhere — all the provinces as well as the world."
There won't be any more of the whisky available before the new year, she added, but "a real good shipment" should arrive in mid-to-late January.
"It's been quite the challenge to try and keep people happy."
Here's a video of people getting inside the store - keeping things pretty civilized! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cbcmb?src=hash">#cbcmb</a> <a href="https://t.co/6oXkIR9nWM">pic.twitter.com/6oXkIR9nWM</a>—@angjohnston