There is a mystery surrounding the origins and naming of Seagram’s V.O., one of the most well-known whiskies produced at Joseph E. Seagram’s former Waterloo Distillery. Family tradition states that “V.O.” stands for “Very Own,” as this was a whisky blend created for Joseph E. Seagram’s own family. Others claim that the initials stand for “Very Old” in keeping with the distillers assertion that is was a blend of very old Canadian Whiskies.
The story tells how Joseph’s son, Thomas, had the distillery’s blender, William Hortop, prepare a whisky blend for his personal use to celebrate his upcoming marriage in 1913 to Dorothy Pearson. Upon tasting the special blend, Joseph insisted that the family blend be put on the market. It went on to become one of Seagram’s biggest sellers.