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 Reserve 10 Years Old

By Christopher Null | February 6, 2011 |

The 10-year-old version of this workhorse Canadian whisky (various expressions of which we’ve reviewed several times, see links below), offers a lot to like in an unassuming, easygoing package. A rush of raw alcohol on the nose (let it breathe for a few minutes before diving in to help matters) portends little good, but once…

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Review: Crown Royal Black

By Christopher Null | October 4, 2010 |

They say three of anything is a trend. Well, by my count, we’re at five. I’m talking about whiskeys with extra oak aging, particularly with the word “Black” added to the name. Crown Royal Black is, as you may expect, an added-oak version of the venerable Crown Royal Canadian whisky. In this case, “black” is…

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Review: Revel Stoke Spiced Whisky

By Christopher Null | September 8, 2010 |

You got your spiced rum… well now you got your spiced whiskey, too!. From Phillips Distilling in Minnesota comes Revel Stoke, a Canadian Whisky with “spice and other natural flavors” added. Relaunched after years of absence from the shelves (it was originally released in 2000 and was often written as “Revelstoke”), the cult classic (as…

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Review: Canadian Mist Black Diamond Whisky

By Christopher Null | August 30, 2010 |

Canadian Mist is known as a smooth, very simple, and, above all else, extremely cheap Canadian whisky. Now the company is trying to expand, broadening its product range and upgrading its image with more premium bottlings. Canadian Mist Black Diamond is billed — alongside a gold-etched autograph from the distiller — as “a richer, more…

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Review: Caribou Crossing Single Barrel and Royal Canadian Small Batch Canadian Whiskies

By Christopher Null | April 21, 2010 |

Two new whiskies from our friends at Sazerac and their compatriots north of the border. Both limited edition bottlings with unique pedigrees, these Canadian spirits are just now hitting the market. Caribou Crossing Single Barrel Canadian Whisky is a deceivingly light orange color, belying the amount of rich flavor it has inside. Big orange and…

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Review: Canadian Mist Whisky

By Christopher Null | April 11, 2009 |

Don’t laugh. Canadian Mist may not be a top-shelf name in the Canadian whisky world, but the spirit’s been picking up some surprising awards, including a Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco Spirits Competition this year — the only Canadian to win one in 2009. Not bad for whisky that costs 10 bucks a…

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Review: Canadian Club 30 Years Old

By Christopher Null | February 14, 2009 |

Celebrating 150 years of whiskymaking, Canadian Club recently put out a very limited edition 30-year-old bottling. With just 3000 bottles produced (there’s no mention of it on the Canadian Club website), finding it might be tough. But if you track it down, here’s what you should expect the experience to be like. Bright amber in…

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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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