Canadian whiskeys are a distinctive whiskey blend product of Canada, made under Canadian government supervision in accordance with the regulations governing the manufacture of whiskey in Canada. Canadian government sets no limitations as to grain formulas, distilling proofs or maturation time.
Although thought of primarily as a rye whiskey, Canadian is generally made from corn and lesser amounts of rye, wheat and barley malt. The proportions of each in the grain formulas are trade secrets of various distillers.
Enthusiasts for Canadian whiskey have a long inferred that the product was distilled from mash of wheat and rye grains. It may have been so, but not any longer.
The big difference involved in Canadian obviously lies in the production processes and in the Canadian water.
Canadian rye, barley and a small amount of wheat are also used by the industry. Since these are grains that have been developed to withstand the rigors of the Canadian climate, they are slightly different and may contribute a certain degree of distinction to Canadian whiskeys. Canadian blends are not a blend of straight whiskeys and neutral spirits as they are In this country. Their lightest spirits distilled at 785 proof would be legally defined as whiskey (rather an neutral spirits in the U.S.).
Aging is done typically by putting whiskey into wood casks of barrels which may be charred on the inside, during the aging process a number of low components of the whiskey evaporates the wood brings about a mellowing process.
Certain wood sugars and tanin are extracted from, the wood and its these extracts which give the whiskeys its golden coloring.
Low proof distillate is stores at about 105 U.S. proof high distillate, 125- 140 U.S. proof. They are generally bottled at 6 years of age or more. If the Canadian is less than four years old its age must be listed on the label.
The proportion of each grain in the mashing formula remains the distillers trade secret; otherwise, the process is substantially the same as is found in the major distilleries in the U.S..
Since they are blended, they are not designated as straight whiskey. Canadian whiskeys are light bodied and though delicate in flavor they nevertheless retain a distinct positive flavor. It is skill of the master blender that makes possible the final achievement-a uniform, pleasant product with a unique taste and aroma.
Legally no Canadian whiskey may be sold until has been aged in wood for at least 2 years. When sufficiently ages various batches of whiskeys are married, this is an art resulting in a product that is carefully and expertly tested and tested for quality. Once approved the whiskey is filtered many times bottled, labeled, package and is ready for market.
The phrase “distinctive product of Canada does not mean all whiskeys are alike there are now approximately 20 distilleries operating in Canada and each has its own distinctive product.