Diageo has blended the most expensive Crown Royal whisky ever.

Speaking yesterday (3 May), the drinks giant said that the whisky has been made to mark Queen Elizabeth II's visit to the 2007 Kentucky Derby. The blend will retail for no less than US$10,000.

The company described how Crown Royal blender Andrew MacKay selected the rarest remaining barrels with some of the highest rye content and supervised production of what has been named the 'Crown Royal XR Extra Rare Heritage Blend'.

The initiative also involved commissioning glass designer Casey Hyland, at Louisville's Glassworks, to create a custom glass decanter etched with 24K gold leaf.

Crown Royal brand director David Tapscott said: "We have accomplished something unique and special with creating the most expensive Crown Royal whisky we have ever made, then using local craftsmen to express the very special message we wish to bestow upon Her Majesty to commemorate Her visit to Churchill Downs."