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: Whiskey in the Wild Flavored Whiskeys – Original and Orange

By Monica Uhm | May 25, 2023 |

An introduction to the origins of Whiskey in the Wild sounds a bit like the opener to the standard bar joke: “a food chemist, pro hockey player, biotechnician, and physician walk into … er… the woods.” And they start a whiskey company. Or rather, they start a whiskey-centered lifestyle company catering to like-minded consumers with…

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Review: WhistlePig Single Malt 21 Years Old The Beholden

By Christopher Null | April 12, 2023 |

WhistlePig is famous for its rye whiskeys, so the launch of a single malt comes as a big surprise. Even bigger than that, however, is its age: 21 long years in barrel. Formally known as The Béhôlden, this whiskey comes with plenty of punny, anti-Scotch goofiness that comes across as a bit of smoke and…

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Review: Daru Canadian Whiskey

By Christopher Null | March 30, 2023 |

Daru has a picture of a lion on its label and a map of India on its reverse but — surprise! — it’s actually a Canadian whiskey. “Inspired” by the flavors of Indian whisky and created by the two children of an Indian emigrant, the brand dates back to 2020. The brand’s only bottling is…

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Uncle Nearest Single Barrel Rye Bottle

Review: Uncle Nearest Single Barrel Rye

By Frank Dobbins | February 15, 2023 |

Uncle Nearest has had quite a precocious start as a nascent distillery, and they kicked their output into overdrive to cap off 2022. The brand did so by introducing the world to their ’12 Weeks of Christmas’ campaign which saw the Uncle Nearest add three permanent expressions to its national portfolio: Uncle Nearest Straight Rye…

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Review: Canadian Club Chronicles Edition 1 41 Years Old

By Drew Beard | February 13, 2023 |

Fans of exceptionally old Scotch or Irish whiskey have lots of options in today’s booming hyper premium whisky market — that is as long as they have ungodly sums of money to exchange for the pleasure. Fans of Canadian whisky, on the other hand, have a hard time finding anything north of 18 years, if…

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Review: Uncle Nearest Straight Rye

By Drew Beard | January 22, 2023 |

  Uncle Nearest began its foray into rye whiskey earlier this fall with the limited release of Uncut/Unfiltered, a burly, cask strength bruiser that I came to appreciate (with some revisiting and a healthy splash of water). For their next addition to the rye side of the portfolio, the distillery is introducing Uncle Nearest Straight…

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Review: Alberta Premium Rye

By Christopher Null | January 11, 2023 |

Alberta Premium has been attempting to live up to its name in recent years, pumping out a series of annually released cask strength versions of its iconic rye whiskey — made with 100% rye in the mash — as well as very old age-statemented offerings like this 20 year old. Today, we take a step…

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Review: Pendleton Directors’ Reserve Canadian Whisky 20 Years Old

By Christopher Null | November 15, 2022 |

Hood River Spirits, based in Oregon, has been slowly moving upmarket with its Pendleton Canadian Whisky brand, which we’ve covered at length. Recently it dropped its oldest expression ever, a blended whisky carrying the name of Directors’ Reserve and a 20 year old age statement. (The directors in question are the heads of Oregon’s annual…

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Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye

Review: Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye (2022)

By David Tao | November 6, 2022 |

Long an under the radar producer for much of North America’s sourced rye (at least for U.S. consumers), Beam Suntory-owned Alberta Distillers has been leaning into their house brands under the Alberta Premium banner since 2020. That year marked the first American release of Alberta Premium Cask strength, and in 2022, the brand’s 80 proof…

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Review: Crown Royal Extra Rare 18 Years Old

By Christopher Null | September 11, 2022 |

Crown Royal takes a break from its Noble Collection with this new release, an 18 year old whisky dubbed Extra Rare. The whisky is billed as “an exquisite blend of three of the brand’s most exceptional whiskies” — but beyond that, details are scarce. The softness endemic to Canadian whisky is amply present here, a…

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