Canadian Whisky

Canada’s whisky-making history mirrors that of the United States. Its earliest farmers first began distilling rye in the eastern territories (in the late 1700s), but as western Canada was settled in the following centuries, corn and wheat also became popular. Canadian whisky came to prominence during Prohibition, when it was illegally smuggled by boatloads and carloads to those American masses thirsty in the south. While there are strict U.S. requirements for when a specific grain can be referenced on a label, a bottle of Canadian whisky can be labeled as “rye whisky” even if there is little or even no rye in the mashbill. This is due to the use of rye as a flavoring grain throughout much of Canada’s whisky-making history, which was so well-known that “rye” and “whisky” became interchangeable. The only legal requirements for Canadian whisky are that it must be made in Canada from a fermented cereal mash that is then aged in wood containers for at least three years and bottled at 80 proof or higher.

Top Canadian Whisky Posts:

Crown Royal Deluxe Blended Canadian Whisky
Lord Calvert Black Canadian Whisky
Drinking the Bottom Shelf Vol. 2: Canadian Whisky – Ellington, Black Velvet, LTD

Review: Canadian Club Sherry Cask

By Christopher Null | December 18, 2008 |

The top of the Canadian Club line, this limited-run Canadian whisky is made in small batches and aged a minimum of eight years in white oak barrels and finished in old Jerez sherry casks. Bottled at 82.6 proof into traditional and elegant bottles (complete with natural cork closure), it’s a long way from the Canadian…

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Review: Snake River Stampede Canadian Whisky

By Christopher Null | December 14, 2008 |

Designed in all ways — from the name to the bottle to what’s inside — Snake River Stampede Canadian Whisky is a frontier-styled cowboy whiskey through and through. Aged eight years, though, this ain’t saloon rotgut but rather a surprisingly erudite whiskey that would be at home in a high-class bar as it would on…

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Review: Crown Royal Cask No. 16 and XR “Red Label”

By Christopher Null | November 23, 2008 |

Two additional Crown Royal bottlings for your consideration. This classic  Canadian whisky continues to expand its portfolio upward and onward, with rarer and more expensive blends. (See also our review of Crown Royal Reserve.) Both of the below whiskies land at a perfectly accessible 80 proof. Crown Royal Cask No. 16 – This is a…

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Review: Crown Royal Reserve

By Christopher Null | October 23, 2008 |

Crown Royal is no Johnny Come Lately in the whisky world — though I’ve had a vague grudge against the brand since my family was mistakenly and bizarrely charged for 11 glasses of said whisky at Tony’s in Houston, Texas. But who doesn’t love that little purple bag? Crown Royal Reserve is, obviously, the reserve…

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Review: Canadian Club Classic 12

By Christopher Null | October 22, 2008 |

In case you haven’t been reading your glossy magazines, the venerable Canadian Club is working on a comeback, with retro ads touting the whiskey as what “your dad drank” in a broad appeal to both your machismo and your father complex. Sure enough, though, if you check Dad’s liquor cabinet, he’s probably got a half-consumed…

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Review: Pendleton Canadian Whisky 10 Years Old

By Christopher Null | February 5, 2008 |

Got a sweet tooth? Have I got a whiskey for you. Pendleton’s Canadian blended whisky (they spell it without the E) is aged for 10 years in barrels and bottled at 80 proof. Oddly, it is made from Oregon water and bottled in Oregon, to boot… yet it’s a Canadian whisky. Go figure. Sip #1…

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