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Follow Alberta Premium rye whisky along the production line

Calgary's Alberta Distillers Ltd. makes one of the few remaining 100-per-cent rye whiskies produced in North America.

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The 67-year-old Alberta Distillers Ltd. plant in Calgary makes Alberta Premium, one of the few remaining 100-per-cent rye grain whiskies produced in North America.

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Ken Pike, the grain receiver at Alberta Distillers Ltd., displays a sample of rye.

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Mr. Pike takes a sample of rye grains. Alberta Premium is a rye mash whisky that's available, for the most part, only in Canada.

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Grain silos hold the grain before it is used in production.

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Alberta Premium is made by blending two aged whiskies, one of which is aged for flavour in used bourbon casks.

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Mr. Pike watches a truck unload grain at Alberta Distillers March 25, 2013.

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The fermentation or cooking process at Alberta Distillers.

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Storage tanks hold finished product. Alberta Distillers produces 20 million litres of various whiskys a year, made not not only from rye but also corn, barley and wheat.

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After blending, Alberta Premium is aged further – five years in all.

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Huge storage tanks hold the finished product. Alberta Distillers supplies matured whisky to boutique U.S. companies for bottling with their own upscale labels.

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Oak barrels are filled at Alberta Distillers Ltd. In 2011, two-thirds of the 115 million litres of whisky Canada shipped to the U.S. was bottled there.

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After aging, the barrels are emptied.

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Oak barrels age in a warehouse at Alberta Distillers.

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Barrels are prepared for loading.

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Filled barrels wait at the distiller.

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A employee pours samples in a lab for testing.

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Catherine Emo, a certified quality inspector, noses a sample.

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Finished bottles move down an assembly line.

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Workers pack finished bottles.

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Rob Tuer, director of operations, shows off sample bottles.

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The finished product.

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