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: Crown Royal Noble Collection Rye 16 Years Old

By Christopher Null | October 11, 2021 |

Crown Royal’s latest Noble Collection release eschews tricks and keeps it simple, bottling a straight rye at the age of 16 years. Bold butterscotch and brown banana notes lead the way on the nose here, though the sweetness quickly blows off and leaves more savory elements behind — bacon fat and some black pepper emerging…

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Review: Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye

By Christopher Null | May 27, 2021 |

If you’re drinking a rye whisky that was made in Canada, there’s a good chance you’re drinking whisky from Alberta Distillers, which is essentially the MGP of the north. Alberta makes vodka and blended whisky, but its best known for its rye whisky, which is made from a 100% rye mashbill and is bottled here…

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Review: Barrell Bourbon Infinite Barrel Project (Various 2020 Bottlings)

By Rob Theakston | February 14, 2021 |

Anyone passing even the quickest of glimpses over the latest lifestyle listicle or award competition winners would be aware Barrell has the hot hand coming out of Kentucky at the moment. With a prolific series of unique blends alongside their high-quality eponymous offering, they’ve offered something for nearly every taste and preference on the spectrum.…

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Review: Crown Royal Salted Caramel

By Christopher Null | April 29, 2020 |

Crown Royal has been churning out flavored expressions in recent years, and this might be its most decadent to date: Crown Royal Canadian whisky blended with salted caramel flavoring. As with other flavored expressions of Crown Royal, the guy in charge of doctoring the whisky has certainly done so with a heavy hand. The nose…

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Review: Crown Royal Noble Collection French Oak Cask Finished

By Christopher Null | November 12, 2019 |

Ready for more Crown Royal? Here we go: A new member has joined the Crown Royal family – Crown Royal Noble Collection French Oak Cask Finished. The fourth release in Crown Royal’s award-winning Noble Collection… the famed French oak used in Crown Royal Noble Collection French Oak Cask Finished is sourced from the renowned Vosges…

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Tasting Report: WhiskyFest San Francisco 2019

By Christopher Null | November 6, 2019 |

Another year is in the books for San Francisco WhiskyFest, a typically packed event with hundreds of whiskeys to explore… plus, for those confused on where they are, libations from The Mocktail Project. My dance card was full of whiskies from around the world, with highlights to be found in just about every region. My…

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Review: Forty Creek Unity

By Drew Beard | November 1, 2019 |

It’s been a while since we checked out another offering from Canadian distiller Forty Creek, so we thought we’d change that with a look at its 2018 limited edition, which hit shelves in September. For this release, dubbed Unity, the distillery wanted to create something that honored its fans. To that end, Forty Creek’s whisky…

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Review: Root Out Root Beer Flavored Whisky

By Christopher Null | September 12, 2019 |

Hey, though it may sound weird, this actually isn’t the first root beer flavored whiskey we’ve reviewed; we gave Uncle Bob’s version the once over way back in 2015. Root Out gets its start as four year old Canadian whisky, to which vanilla and various root beer flavorings have been added. The finished product is…

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Review: Ellington Blended Canadian Whisky (2018) and Ellington Reserve

By Christopher Null | June 6, 2019 |

We previously mentioned Ellington in our Drinking the Bottom Shelf series; the brand seems to be an exclusive bottling for Total Wine stores. We thought we’d take a deeper (or at least a separate) dive into this spirit, looking at a 2018 bottling — which is to say, a plastic mini we picked up at…

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Review: Crown Royal Peach

By Christopher Null | May 14, 2019 |

Crown Royal’s foray into flavored whiskies continues with its latest offering, Crown Royal Peach — and it’s a doozy. You probably already know what you’re getting into, but in case you don’t, here’s the introductory info: “Take the sweet, delicious flavor of a fresh Georgia peach and blend it with our famously smooth liquid for…

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