Following Prohibition’s enactment in 1920, the Canadian Club distillery was the locale of many backroom deals, border-crossing car chases, and immense profits. Lore has it that influential customers, including Al Capone, spurred sales of the whisky in the U.S. CC became the “unofficial” Whisky of Prohibition. During this time Canadian Club was the most copied whisky bootlegged to America. To insure customers like Al Capone
received the authentic CC, elaborately coded orders were sent to Bill McCoy, a Capone henchman working the shipping dock, who took care of his boss. Word of this got out and soon others were insisting they also receive the “Real McCoy”, and not a fake.
- Ray Pearson, Curator, Whiskey Tours Worldwide