Whiskey of Canada is often observed with curiosity by the "purists" of whiskey, like a "poor cousin" of the powerful Scotch whisky. Even for those who have whisky as their typical drink, even without being connoisseurs, awakens suspicion.
But Canadian whiskey is one of the biggest on increasing its sales. Why?
The first factor that explains the difference between fame and sales is that most of the times the consumer is not aware that he is drinking Canadian whiskey. There is hardly any publicity associated with Canada and whiskey, so, many brands advertise themselves as "whisky" and not specifically as "Canadian whiskey." You might be a passionate consumer of Canadian whiskey and not even know it...
The other major reason is that the Canadian whiskeys are starting to be known for their quality. In general, Canadian whiskey is smoother and lighter than Scottish whisky or Irish whisky, but not as much as American bourbon.
The secret is the use of malted rye which gives more flavors and less harsh to whiskey. Moreover, as in bourbon, corn is often used, albeit as a part of the mix of malts and not as the main ingredient, so whiskey does not become sweet.
Origin of Canadian whiskey
It is said that the first place where barley was first malted to produce whiskey in Canada was in Montreal, which would be the the birthplace of Canadian Whisky. Development processes were quickly adapted to the most common raw materials, so they started changing the malted wheat, barley or rye to corn, but only in part.
Yet there was a difference, as in many things, on the way they adapted the uses in distillation between the Anglophone and Francophone part of Canada.
In the British area hey adopted the American style, resulting in a very smooth whiskey with sweet notes, like those in British Columbia, while in the Quebec area a different style followed, with a much more powerful flavor.
At present the distilleries in Canada continue to comply with the difference of style, although each one produces both varieties of whiskey.
All Canadian whiskeys are aged in oak barrels for a remarkably high period, although barrels are rarely used for a special purpose, as the Scots do with their whiskeys ageing them in sherry casks or Sauternes, for example. Therefore, the main differentiating factor in Canadian whiskey is the aging period, which must be indicated on the bottle.
Some breweries make use of terms such as "Rye Whisky" or "Canadian Rye Whisky" in the style of those is in the U.S. with bourbon, but this expression the only thing that shows us is we are facing a Canadian whiskey, and it is not a distinctive indication about its quality, or ingredients that have been used in its preparation, as it does with his southern neighbors.
Feel like a "Rye", a Canadian whiskey? Here you are 2 to start:
Canadian Club is the reference brand of Canadian Whiskey. And the Canadian Club is the paradigm of Canadian whiskey for its successful aging and smoothness.
Sam Barton is perhaps one of the best whiskeys in the world for its excellent value for money. Perfect for a mix drink.