Canadian Whisky is a type of spirit produced all across Canada from grains, corn, and rye. Historically, Canadian whiskies are generally a blend of single grain whiskies (such as corn and rye), but also wheat and barley.
If a distillery is making flavored whiskies, mash bills of multiple grains can also be used. The abundance of American corn around the country has led it to create the base whiskies with flavoring whiskies blended in. The main 3 types are single malt, blended, and rye.
History of Canadian Whisky
The history of the spirit dates all the way back to the early 1800s when whisky mixtures have risen in popularity among locals. In the late 1800s, is started getting exported to the States. Later, during prohibition in the US in the 1920s, two-thirds of all the whisky came from Canada, which amounted to somewhere close to $40 million.
The final breach of the US market was done by Seagram’s in the 1930s when the distilleries fought the prohibition in court, which ended up getting repealed in 1933. This led to VO and Crown Royal becoming one of the most popular Canadian Whisky brands for years to come (and even up to this day).
Difference Between Canadian Whisky and Bourbon
Unlike Scotch, Irish whiskey, or Bourbon the Canadian spirit doesn’t have nearly as many legal requirements. In fact, Canadian whisky and Canada rye whisky are often used interchangeably. As long as there is rye added (which adds a strong rye flavor to the spirit), it’s okay to be called rye whisky. Unlike the United States, for example, where rye whisky has to have at least 51% rye in the mash bill.
Canadian Whisky Standards
Don’t get the wrong idea - Canada not the Wild West of whisky. There are still plenty of legal requirements for the spirit to get on the shelf of your favorite liquor store. For instance, Canadian whisky is to be aged for at least 3 years in its native country, Canada, in wooden barrels of no more than 700 liters. It also has to be mashed and distilled in Canada. It’s allowed to add a notch of artificial flavoring and caramel coloring, and the final product has to be 40% ABV.
If you’d like to get a bottle of the world-famous Crown Royal or the local brand, buy Canadian Whisky in our store in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, or online!