About Canadian Whisky

About Canadian Whisky
Canadian Whisky is made primarily from corn or wheat, with a supplement of rye, barley, or barley malt. There are no Canadian government requirements when it comes to the percentages of grains used in the mash bill. Unlike Bourbons, they are aged, primarily in used oak barrels. The minimum age for Canadian Whisky is three years, with most brands being aged four to six years. Virtually all Canadian whiskies (except the pot-distilled malt whiskies of Glenora in Nova Scotia) are blended from different grain whiskies of different ages. Bulk Canadian Whiskies are usually shipped in barrels to their destination country where they are bottled. These bulk whiskies are usually bottled at 40% ABV (80 proof) and are usually no more than four years old. "Bottled in Canada" whiskies generally have older components in their blends and are bottled at 43.4% ABV (86.8 proof).

Canadian whiskies, as with their American cousins, originated on the farm. These early whiskies were made primarily from rye. In time most Canadian distillers turned to corn, wheat, and other grains, but Canadians continue to refer to their whisky as "Rye" even though the mash bill for most Canadian Whisky is now predominantly a mix of corn, wheat, and barley, with only a modest proportion of rye for flavor, which results in a lighter-bodied spirit.

Top Picks for Canadian Whisky

Forty Creek Barrel Select Canadian Whisky
92 points
Best Buy
Golden amber color. Creamy aromas of flan, vanilla caramel sauce, orange zest, coconut shell and walnuts, and waffles with maple syrup with a soft, crisp, dryish light-to-medium body and a smooth, snappy olorosso sherry, roasted almonds, milk chocolate coated toffee, and jicama finish. A lovable creamy and vanilla forward Canadian whiskey to shoot or mix with friends.
Awards: 2017 Best Canadian Whiskey
92 points $21.99 Best Buy
Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve Canadian Whisky
91 points
Light amber color. Spicy aromas and flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and eggnog and crepes with a slightly chewy, crisp, dryish medium body and a peppery, buoyant finish with accents of buttered toast, rosewood, black pepper, and water chestnut finish. A spicy, bourbon-like Canadian whiskey that will be perfect for winter cocktails and tiki-twists.
91 points $54.99
Wayne Gretzky No. 99 Ice Cask Canadian Whisky
90 points
Clear golden amber color. Spicy aromas of pine and retsina, cinnamon, mace, and geranium with a glycerous, bright, fruity medium body and a warming, medium-length peach jam and caramel, sherry, honey coated cinnamon fritters, and wood barbecue finish. A Canadian whiskey that will serve as a great winter warmer.
90 points $46.30
Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve Canadian Whisky
90 points
Amber color. Aromas of buttered nuts, lemon rind, and peach soda with an oily, soft, dryish light-to-medium body and a tingling, momentary butter and apple butter finish. A sweet and friendly Canadian whiskey.
90 points $64.99
Caribou Crossing Single Barrel Canadian Whisky
89 points
Amber color. Aromas and flavors of candied walnut, butter pecan ice cream, and caramel drizzled brioche with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length finish displaying notes of hot buttered rum, cinnamon toast, allspice, and apple chips. A rock solid, round and mild Canadian Whisky with great concentration and texture.
Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve Canadian Whisky
89 points
Golden amber color. Sweet, toasty aromas and flavors of butterscotch, maple syrup, and waffles with a round, crisp, fruity medium body and an effortless, carefree finish revealing notes of nutella, marjoram, cappuccino foam, and golden graham cereal finish. A brunch-ready whiskey; perfect for hair-of-the-dog cocktails.
89 points $28.99
Royal Canadian Small Batch Canadian Whisky
88 points
Best Buy
Amber color. Aromas of bruléed orange, caramel latte, spiced pecans, and vanilla bean with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, breezy pink peppercorns and milk chocolate finish. A highly mixable Canadian Whisky that hits all the right notes.
88 points $19 Best Buy
Ensign Red Black Whiskey
88 points
Golden amber color. Aromas of berries and cream, egg custard, ginger candy, and milk chocolate with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dryish medium-to-full body and a warming, delightful, medium-length allspice, pineapple cake with candied ginger pieces, toasted coconut, and candied cherry and incense finish. A creamy, understated, pure rye-forward Canadian whiskey that over-delivers for the category.
88 points $27.99
Wayne Gretzky No. 99 Ninety Nine Proof Canadian Whisky
88 points
Bright golden amber color. Sweet aromas of pistachio paste, bubblegum, banana custard, butterscotch, and caramelized pineapple with a velvety, crisp, off-dry medium body and a tingling, breezy toasted coconut, caramel-coated nuts, maple syrup, and dried rose petal finish. A rum-like whiskey for cocktail play.
88 points $76.40
Bearface One Eleven Series Oaxaca Agave Spirit Blended Whisky
87 points
Pale gold color. Smoky aromas and flavors of grilled meats, dark grilled pecans, grilled citrus, maple syrup, nutmeg, and raisins with a supple, crisp, dry light body and a warming, captivating, medium-length finish conveying shades of baked apples. A totally unique Canadian Whisky with a smoky-sweet style; endless cocktail possibilities.