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: Bender’s Whiskey Small Batch Rye 7 Years Old Batch #2

By Christopher Null | March 5, 2015 |

What we’ve got here is Canadian rye, aged for seven years, then shipped off to San Francisco’s Treasure Island for bottling by a craft distilling operation, Treasure Island Distillery. The label says seven years, but actually for this second batch, the mashbill has been updated (now it’s 92% 9 year old rye, 8% 13 year…

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Review: Tap Rye Sherry Finished Canadian Rye Whisky 8 Years Old

By Christopher Null | February 4, 2015 |

The Canadian Tap brand is back with a third expression of its finished rye whiskies: Tap Rye Sherry Finished. As with the maple and port versions of Tap, “finishing” here means the addition of actual amontillado sherry to the blend of rye whiskies, not aging in ex-sherry barrels, the traditional definition of “finishing.” (That said,…

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Review: Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel

By Christopher Null | January 30, 2015 |

And now for something completely different from Crown Royal — no, not another flavored whiskey — it’s Crown Royal’s first ever single barrel expression, straight from the cask! The catch: It will only be on sale in Texas (and only through retailers who sign up to buy a full barrel of the stuff). Off-the-rack Crown Royal…

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Review: Crown Royal Regal Apple

By Christopher Null | January 18, 2015 |

Apple is the cinnamon of 2015, showing up in all kinds of spirits but, particularly, whiskey. This familiar, nostalgic flavor seems to be a big crowd-pleaser, offering tartness, sweetness, and Americana all in a single package. Now it’s Crown Royal’s turn, with its latest expression: Regal Apple. Regal on account of the crown, I guess. The…

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Review: Tap Rye Port Finished Canadian Rye Whisky

By Christopher Null | August 20, 2014 |

Astute readers might recall Tap 357 Maple Rye Whisky — made with maple syrup, natch — which we reviewed a few years ago. Now Tap is back, ditching the 357 for its second product, a Canadian rye that’s been intriguingly finished in Port wine barrels. Limited production information is available. This is a blend of pot-distilled Canadian…

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Review: Crown Royal Monarch 75th Anniversary Blend

By Christopher Null | July 19, 2014 |

Crown Royal is one of the most popular whiskeys on the planet, and for deserved reason. It’s a straightforward, balanced, and dare-I-say-smooth spirit. It mixes well, and it’s an easy straight sipper. Who doesn’t like Crown? Crown Royal’s history dates back to 1939, when a Canadian entrepreneur crafted a local whisky for the then-royal couple, King…

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Tasting Report: Whiskies of the World Expo San Francisco 2014

By Christopher Null | May 16, 2014 |

Wet weather didn’t stop the masses from crowding onto the San Francisco Belle this year, a rite of passage for Bay Area whisky lovers attending the annual Whiskies of the World Expo. Lots of great stuff on tap this year, particularly from independent Scotch bottlers. Without further ado… Tasting Report: Whiskies of the World San…

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masterson's trio

Review: Masterson’s Straight Barley 10 Years Old and Straight Wheat Whiskey 12 Years Old

By Christopher Null | January 11, 2014 |

The folks at Masterson’s — made by California-based parent company 35 Maple Street — make what has already become a cult rye whiskey, Masterson’s 10 Year Old Straight Rye. Now the company is back with an even stranger pair of siblings: two well-aged whiskeys, one 100% wheat, one 100% barley. Both are straight whiskeys made…

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Review: Collingwood 21 Year Old Rye Canadian Whisky

By Christopher Null | November 25, 2013 |

Who, who, whoooo is putting out 21 year old rye? At a price of 70 bucks (or less)? Collingwood, that’s who. Collingwood is best known for bottling its spirits in what look like oversized perfume bottles, but it should be known for the quality of the spirits inside. Standard Collingwood, a young Canadian blend, offers…

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Tasting Report: WhiskyFest San Francisco 2013

By Christopher Null | October 24, 2013 |

WhiskyFest 2013 is now in the books, and my what an embarrassment of riches this show was. While I heard grousing about the show not having as many hits as usual (most of the independent Scotch bottlers like Samaroli were absent), I managed to find a ton of them. Driven this year perhaps by a…

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