Looking for the best Canadian whiskey? You’ve come to the right place!
Canada is known for many things, but there is one thing that is seen as a trademark of Canadian culture and has managed to pervade every corner of the globe. It has made its way to your nightclubs, rooftop bars, the liquor cabinet in your house, and most probably, in every party you’ve had until now. You might not even know it, but you’ve already had a sip of the best Canadian Whiskey.
Canadian whiskey is widely popular across the globe. Distilled and aged in the country itself, these expressions have been a favorite of bartenders, whiskey experts, and whiskey drinkers alike, for many decades.
A Canadian rye whiskey, sweet whiskey, a Canadian Club 100 rye, or any other kind of whiskey, they have tons of choices that will make you feel spoilt, and leave you wanting for the best Canadian whiskey the next time you drink.
That is why, here we give you a comprehensive guide to the best Canadian whiskey. What is Canadian whiskey? How to drink Canadian whiskey and judge it? and how to discover the best Canadian Whiskey? We will answer all your questions.
So without further ado, let’s dive in.
A. What is Canadian Whiskey?
Canadian whiskies grew in popularity after two inventive local distillers decided to innovate and do something different with the whiskey they were making. They added a higher quantity of flavourful rye to their mixes, which resulted in a stronger and spicier taste. This also now defines Candian whiskey as different from other kinds of whiskies around the globe.
What makes Canadian whiskies different is the delicate balance of ingredients that the distillers use for making their whiskey. Rye has now become a defining feature of many Canadian whiskies, so much so that the terms Canadian whiskey and Canadian rye are now used interchangeably in the Canadian whiskey industry’s lexicon. Some say that the best Canadian Whiskey can’t be complete without it!
B. How is it made?
Canadian whiskey is usually made up of certain ingredients like wheat, corn, and barley. Each of these components is mashed, fermented, distilled, and aged individually to reach their highest quality. Once these ingredients have peaked in their flavour, makers have a variety of choices of what to do with them. They are ready to serve but if the makers want they can also blend them or let them age a little longer.
At the final stage of the whiskey-making process, blending the ingredients allows distillers to adjust and play with the intensity of each ingredient, which results in widely experimental, and of course, tasty, concoctions.
This is what leads to the taste of the best Canadian whiskey!
C. How is Canadian whiskey rated or critiqued?
There are various ways to judge and find out the best Canadian whiskey. Those who are new to the world of whiskey tasting may find themselves out of depth but don’t worry, we have got you covered. There are essentially three things that you need to make a note of, to judge which one is the best Canadian whiskey:
- Nose – Nose is a term that is used to describe the smell of whiskey (Yes, the term is quite literal). Make note of how the smell feels to you, whether it is sweet or sharp, or whether it gives a burning sensation to your nostrils. This can help you determine your overall experience of the Canadian whiskey you’re having.
- Palate – Palate is a term that describes the first taste of a whiskey (Again, very literal). This taste is directly influenced by the ingredients used and can tell you about its making process. Whether the ingredients were aged or how well it has been distilled, the initial taste is a big provider of clues.
- Finish – The final note is the finish (Well, the industry is not so high on subtlety when it comes to terminology). This term describes the after-taste of whiskey. This is the final remark for your overall experience and we suggest that you should take time after having a whiskey to let yourself savour the flavours and the remaining tastes to have a total experience.
Just by making sure of these particulars, you can be a good judge of which one is the best Canadian whiskey to drink. You can find the best Canadian whiskey that suits you, and that too with complete assurance!
So to make your task easier, we have curated a list of whiskies that are in the running for the title of the best Canadian whiskey for you to try, and we hope that you taste them all and make your pick!
D. The 12 best Canadian whiskeys to drink!
1. Forty Creek Confederation Oak
This Candian whiskey comes from the region of Ontario. It uses the grains of rye, barley, and corn and has an ABV (alcohol by volume) percentage of 40%. An excellent option from the Grimsby, Ontario distillery, this one also has a little history to it. The Confederation Oak Reserve was created to commemorate the 1867 Canadian Confederation.
It is a blended Canadian whiskey by Forty Creek, which according to the distillery has a tighter grain because of the colder climate in which it is made. It may just be the best-blended whiskey you have had in a long time! You can look forward to finding tasting notes of praline, honey, and dark fruits on the palate during the tasting.
2. Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye
This Canadian whiskey comes from the region of Alberta and carries an ABV of 65.1%.
The Alberta Premium Cash Strength Rye is one of the most globally renowned Candian whiskies. It is a top-shelf Canadian whiskey. It has a strong taste and with such a high ABV percentage, it will hit you hard. The Alberta Premium is not just in contention for being the best Canadian whiskey, it is also one of the world’s leading drams, regarded as one of the world’s best producers of rye whiskies.
This might be a little on the costlier side compared to any other regular Canadian Whiskey, but it’s highly valuable and well worth the price.
3. Canadian Club 100% Rye
Similar to the previous one, this Canadian Club whiskey also comes from the region of Alberta, although with a lesser ABV percentage of just 40%.
The Canadian Club provides relatively affordable and widely popular blended whiskies compared to Alberta Premium. This 100 per cent rye whiskey is probably the best product offered by the Canadian Club and is rightly in contention for the title of the best Canadian whiskey. It has been aged in a few different barrel types and is a great example of Canadian rye at just $20 a bottle.
This might not make for the most intense rye whiskey experience, but at just $20 it’s certainly a bargain. You should look forward to the caramel and oak tasting notes this spirit offers.
4. Lot 40 Canadian Rye Whiskey
Coming from the region of Ontario, this Canadian whiskey includes grains of Canadian rye and malted rye. It has an ABV percentage of 43.
As you might have understood by now, there are many Canadian rye whiskies to choose from. But, as I promised every rye whiskey listed here is in the running for the title of the best Canadian whiskey you could ever try, and Lot No. 40 is a strong contender for the same.
It is made from a mash bill of 100 per cent rye, which is distilled in copper pot stills. There is a delicate balance of sweetness and spice on the palate, along with a buttery taste on the mouth and some tasting notes of fruit and vanilla.
5. Proof Two Grain Whiskey
This Canadian whiskey comes from the region of Ontario, with an ABV percentage of 42.
The Proof Two Grain Whiskey is quite popular on the clubbing scene, its flavours are quite similar to that of Japanese whiskey, with a nose of citrus and honey. Its palate of lemon, cinnamon, and clove are enhanced by the fiery finish it gives. This one would be a great start to introducing yourself and getting acquainted with the tastes of Canadian whiskey.
6. JP Wiser’s 15-Year-Olde
Coming from the region of Ontario, JP Wiser’s blended whiskey is made primarily from grains of corn and has an ABV percentage of 40.
This one is one of the best Canadian whiskies to drink out there. JP Wiser’s blended whiskey is considered a bartender’s favourite in the Canadian whiskey industry. It is aged for 15 years, after which it offers a great variety of flavours like dried fruits, spices, toffee, and green apples.
It is value for money, you surely won’t be regretting this one.
7. Pike Creek 10-Year-Old Rum Barrel Finished
This rye grain whiskey also comes from the distillery-rich region of Ontario, with an ABV percentage of 42.
Made at Corby Distilleries, the rye whiskey by Pike Creek is put through interesting barrel finishes after its initial maturation. One of the best ones is this 10-year-old blended rye whiskey which is finished in rum barrels. This secondary maturation brings to the fore tasting notes of banana and brown sugar mixed with caramel, spice, and dried fruit flavours.
8. Caribou Crossing Single Barrel Canadian Whiskey
This single-barrel whiskey belongs to the region of Quebec. It consists of grains of corn and rye and had an ABV percentage of 42.
This is a special Single barrel Canadian whiskey which is why it is also one of the costlier ones on this list but is worth every penny. What makes the Caribou Crossing Single Barrel Canadian whiskey special is that it’s a single barrel release, which means that each bottle comes from one particular barrel instead of being a blend of many casks.
This also makes every bottle taste slightly different, but overall, you can look forward to finding tasting notes of vanilla, honey, and spice.
9. Gooderham & Worts 49 Wellington
Another one from Ontario, this whiskey is one of the most historic additions on this list. The 49 Wellington consists of several grains like unmalted rye, rye malt, malted barley, wheat, corn, and red winter wheat. It has an ABV percentage of 49.
The 49 Wellington comes from one of the most historic distilleries in Canada. Gooderham & Worts was set up by James Wort and William Gooderham in 1831, initially as a milling company. They later expanded to brewing and distilling. By the late 1800s, it had become the largest producer of whiskey in the world, regularly churning out whiskey blends of corn, barley, wheat, and rye.
The 49 Wellington is a product of a distillery that has been producing quality whiskey for nearly 200 years. It requires a variety of grains for the making, and the result is a dram that is loaded with tasteful spice and sweetness in equal measure. You can look forward to tasting notes of spice, honey, and white pepper.
10. WhistlePig Rye 10 Year
This rye whiskey comes from the region of Vermont and has an ABV percentage of 50. The WhistlePig 10yr Rye Whiskey is a popular whiskey in Canada. It goes through a meticulous process of ageing, which gives it its fan-favourite taste.
There is also a legend attached to this whiskey. As the brand legend goes, they found a stock of rye stored in a Canadian distillery. They decided to rescue it and age it in new American oak and then bottle it. This led to the making of an excellent expression, which is complex, and honey-packed.
You can look forward to the tasting notes of rich spice and warm wood in this whiskey.
11. Pops Canadian Whiskey
This one is a unique Canadian whiskey. It comes not just from one but two regions which are Quebec and Texas. It uses grains of corn and rye and has an ABV percentage of 42%.
This whiskey is as Canadian as it gets. The distillery was founded in 1943, at the South of the Canadian border, and relies heavily on Canadian-made, 14-year-old ryes for the blends. The rye is delicately made in Quebec and then it is brought down to Austin to blend with limestone-heavy Texas water. No sugars, flavourings, or colourings of any sort are added.
To balance out the large quantity of Rye, younger corn whiskies are added which gives it a lighter feel when drinking. You can look forward to tasting notes of cereal, and sweet vanilla in this Canadian whiskey.
Maybe a different distilling process may make it the best Canadian whiskey you ever had!
Gibson’s 12-Year Finest Canadian Whiskey
This whiskey also comes from the region of Quebec, consisting of grains of rye and barley. It has an ABV percentage of 40.
John Gibson founded this distillery in Pennsylvania in the 1830s. It thrived until the prohibition forced the distillery to shut down. Fortunately, it was taken up by a Canadian company, which decided to transplant it to Quebec. The location helps the distillery greatly, as they use Quebec-grown corn and grains.
The 12-year-old is the centrepiece of the brand. It is made by blending various finished expressions, which are usually the higher-proof corn whiskey and the lower-proof rye. It is light on the palate, and you look forward to notes of confectionary, caramel, warm oak, and marzipan.
Now there you go. We have given you a carefully curated list of great Canadian whiskies to get your hands on, so give it a shot, and do let us know about your experience and if you found which is the best Canadian whiskey out there!Why Try Out Rocket.net - IcyCanada's recommended hosting provider