As we noted back in April, it's more than a little ironic that a Canadian rapper who goes by "Champagne Papi" has chosen a whiskey called Virginia Black as his personal liquor brand. But then again, Drake's ascent from Degrassi: The Next Generation star to Lil Wayne protegé to one of the biggest rappers in the world and an outright cultural phenomenon has been anything but predictable.
No matter how perplexing some of the specs about his whiskey might be, Drake's foray into Stuff That Gets You Drunk has been surprisingly successful. According to the Toronto Sun, Virginia Black—which launched in Canada on September 30—broke records by selling 1,779 bottles on the day of its release, at a price of around 40 Canadian bucks per bottle. Since then, more than 775 cases, or 4,650 bottles, have been sold at 220 stores in Ontario alone. The whiskey will be sold in other provinces starting in late October. For comparison, P. Diddy's Ciroc vodka sold 1,855 bottles in its first week of sales when it hit Canadian shelves in 2015.
A spokesperson for the Liquor Control Board of Ontario—which controls and monopolizes sales of liquor, beer, and wine in the region—said, "We would certainly characterize it as the best launch day for a single spirits product that LCBO has had in recent memory."
HipHopDX reports that the LCBO was particularly aggressive about marketing Drizzy's whiskey due to the hometown pride that the rapper inspires in Ontario, and it seems to have paid off for all parties involved. However, some liquor industry figures have warned that a lot of the sales are probably due to "novelty" and that they may decline with time.
But for now, Drake's booze hotline is looking pretty blinged out.
Drake created the whiskey with beverage entrepreneur Brent Hocking, who founded and created ultra-premium DeLeón Tequila, which sells for up to $900 a bottle.
The two-, three-, and four-year-old bourbons blended to make Virginia Black aren't actually made in Virginia, but are from a distiller in Indiana called Midwest Grain Products, which also has ties to Bulleit, Templeton, and other popular brands. An initial taste test of the 80-proof whiskey by VICE staffers back in July found it to be "not bad" and "aggressively smooth."
Which is a way that you can also describe Drake, as Noisey editor-in-chief Eric Sundermann noted.
WATCH: VICE Staffers Try Drake's Whiskey, Virginia Black