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 Mist Flavors – Peach, Cinnamon, Maple

By Christopher Null | September 4, 2013 |

Canadian Mist is well known for its very affordable, basic blended whisky, so it makes sense that it would leap into the flavored whisky business along with so many others. CM arrives with a whole new line of ultra-cheap flavored spirits (“Canadian Mist” is actually hard to find on the label), each of which blends…

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Review: Pike Creek Canadian Whisky

By Christopher Null | August 1, 2013 |

Newly acquired from Corby Distilleries — a growing Canadian whisky producer whose products continue to be difficult to find in the U.S. — by Pernod Ricard, Pike Creek is the brainchild of one Don Livermore, who has a Ph.D. in — wait for it — wood science. That science has clearly taught Livermore a thing…

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Review: Black Velvet Toasted Caramel Canadian Whisky

By Christopher Null | March 26, 2013 |

A funny thing happens when I try to type “Canadian.” I always mistype “Candian” instead. Never has that been a more apropos typo than with Black Velvet’s Toasted Caramel Whisky. Flavored with a hefty dose of “natural toasted caramel flavor,” this sugar bomb is so dense with sugar it’s actually difficult to swallow it. The…

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crown royal maple finished

Review: Crown Royal Maple

By Christopher Null | November 30, 2012 |

“Finished” has a particular meaning in the world of whisky, normally implying that a whisky has been moved from one type of barrel to another, usually a different type of wood or, more commonly, a barrel that once held another spirit or wine. “Maple finished” has actually been done before: Woodford Reserve made a maple-finished…

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crown royal xr 2012 lasalle edition

Review: Crown Royal XR Extra Rare “Blue Label” – 2012 LaSalle Distillery Release

By Christopher Null | July 2, 2012 |

In 2006 Crown Royal released its first XR bottling, a whisky that didn’t joke when it used the “extra rare” moniker on the label. Crafted from whiskies salvaged from its Waterloo distillery, which had actually burned down, it’s safe to say that if you haven’t picked up the 2006 Crown Royal XR by now, you…

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Review: Pendleton 1910 Canadian Rye Whisky 12 Years Old

By Christopher Null | May 31, 2012 |

With 1910 Pendleton (based in Hood River, Oregon) takes its Canadian whisky upmarket, bottling this 100% rye after a lengthy 12 years in oak. (The name is a reference to the first ever Pendleton Round-Up rodeo, which took place 102 years ago.) I’ve previously discussed the standard, blended Pendleton bottling as overwhelmingly sweet, but things…

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Tasting Report: Whiskies of the World Expo San Francisco 2012

By Christopher Null | April 19, 2012 |

Kudos to Douglas Smith for putting together this event, easily the best installment of the Whiskies of the World show that I’ve experienced since I started this blog six years ago. Loaded with whiskies you rarely see in the U.S. or even at whisky shows, WotW 2012 also had plenty of long-time favorites on hand…

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Review: Tap 357 Canadian Maple Rye Whisky

By Christopher Null | April 16, 2012 |

The name says it all, pretty much: Canadian Rye whisky (a blend of whiskys aged 3 to 7 years — the 3, 5, and 7 refer to barrel ages) blended with Quebecois Canada 1 Light maple syrup (and caramel color). Distilled four times, it is aged in used Bourbon barrels and bottled at an odd…

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fireball cinnamon whisky

Review: Fireball Cinnamon Whisky

By Christopher Null | December 19, 2011 |

“It tastes like heaven, burns like hell.” Cinnamon spice isn’t usually what people have in mind when they say a whiskey “burns,” but this 66-proof flavored oddity, made in Canada and bottled by Kentucky’s Sazerac Company, certainly doesn’t have much going on in the alco-burn department. But if you’re a fan of Hot Tamales candy…

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Review: Rich & Rare Reserve Blended Canadian Whisky

By Christopher Null | October 23, 2011 |

Sazerac’s Rich & Rare Canadian Whisky is a fast-growing brand — the fastest-growing U.S.-bottled Canadian brand last year — but one that is available in only about a dozen states right now. It’s also dirt cheap: The standard bottling sells for about $7.50. The line is already expanding to add a Reserve bottling which will…

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