(Popular brands: Canadian Mist, Black Velvet, Rich & Rare)
Canadian Whiskey is distilled from a fermented mash of wheat, corn, rye, and/or barley. Each ingredient accounts for less than 50% of the whiskey’s formula. It is a common misconception that all Canadian whiskey is straight rye whiskey. Canadian whiskies are blended. While Canadian whiskies are made from a combination of grains, more corn is usually used than any of the other grain. Each distiller has their own secret recipe, varying the proportions of grain used in the production of their whiskey.
Most Canadian whiskies are light-bodied, slightly pale, and mellow. They have traditionally been very popular because they are easy to mix with other ingredients in mixed drinks. Most Canadian whiskies are bottled at eighty proof. According to United States regulations, Canadian whisky must be produced in Canada, must be aged at least three years in oak barrels, and must be a blend.
After aging, the product is dumped into large blending vats. Here, distillers blend a combination of whiskies of different batches and ages with grain spirits (twenty or more whiskies may be blended together to produce Canadian whiskey). By blending different ages of whiskies, the distiller produces a consistent taste from batch to batch. After blending, the product is usually returned to the barrel to allow the mixture to fully combine. A blended whiskey’s age is determined by the age of the youngest whiskey in the blend.
Some Canadian whiskies are bottled in Canada and then shipped to the U.S. These whiskies tend to be more expensive (in most cases they are also aged four years or more). Over half of the Canadian whiskies consumed in the U.S. are shipped here in bulk (in barrels) and then bottled here.