Canadian whiskey was once defined by USA’s period of prohibition when Canadian whiskey was smuggled over the border in huge quantities. The boom times didn’t end there at the end of prohibition the American Federal Alcohol Administration (FAA) ordered over 3 million litres of whiskey most coming from Canada. In most of the USA, Canadian whiskey is still referred to as ‘Rye’ however this description is misleading as far from all Canadian whiskey are 51% rye.
The confusion doesn’t end with the required rye content but also the ageing of the Rye whiskey is different in the US than in Canada. In Canada the whiskey must age for 3 years but in the US the requirement is only 2 years for ‘Straight Rye’. However Canadian whiskey differs from the American ‘Straight Rye’ further in that most Canadian whiskey is blended often with spirit derived from corn. There can often be as little as 3 or 4 % ‘Straight Rye’ in Canadian whiskey. So the majority of Canadian whiskey is not rye at all but is likely to contain some, as well as other distilled spirits and flavourings and it can be matured in a variety of casks like Scotch or Irish whiskey.
As with Scottish blended whisky the Canadian Distilleries will produce a wide range of product from Bourbon type whiskies, some with un-malted rye some with malted rye to create the best product possible The largest of whiskey producers in Canada Seagram’s will make over 50 straight whiskies for blending and most Canadian whiskey will contain around 15 to 20 whiskies.
If you are looking to buy whiskey online today the Scottish Whisky Store currently has a limited range of Canadian whiskey available online and will be adding to our range over the coming months.