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wadewood
03-12-2012, 12:35
http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/C.R.C.,_c._870/section-B.02.020.html

The above site covers the regulations for Canadian Whiskey. Section (v) states "be mashed, distilled and aged in Canada".

I've always thought Canadian whiskys, such as Crown Royal, blend in American made Straight whiskeys (straight bourbon or straight rye). The word was once going around that Diageo was sitting on lots of Stitzel Weller barrels that they used in Crown Royal. The above statement would imply this can not be true.

Of note, there is the additional statement of "(b) may contain caramel and flavouring.". Flavouring is not well defined and also not limited by a certain %. Who knows, the flavouring could be 99% of whiskey and as long as it meet other requirements then it could still be approved as Canadian whiskey???

wadewood
03-12-2012, 12:53
a little more Goggling and I find that our Gary Gillman has written an article about this:

http://www.distilling.com/PDF/WhiskeyArticle.pdf

I read the article and and frankly this 9.09% notion just makes me more confused.

sku
03-12-2012, 13:38
a little more Goggling and I find that our Gary Gillman has written an article about this:

http://www.distilling.com/PDF/WhiskeyArticle.pdf

I read the article and and frankly this 9.09% notion just makes me more confused.

Great article! I hadn't seen this before. Thanks.

Bmac
03-12-2012, 13:43
It depends largely on the brand of Canadian whiskey.

Some produce 3 separate aged grain spirits and then blends them together. Much like what gets shipped down here.

The flavorings, from what I have been told by some Canadians I work with, have been the addition of Sherry, Cognac, Sugar, Vanilla, and even Rum.

IN the case of Forty Creek, they are whiskeys that are typically 'finished' in various ways. The Double-Barrel expression I have is actually rather tasty and smooth.

The difference between regular Crown and Crown Reserve is minimal at best. Crown XR is just whiskey from the original Canadian distillery before it burnt to a crisp.

Honestly, to get the best Canadian whiskey, you have to go to some of the smaller "home-town" distilleries and buy it direct.

-Meh two cents:cool:

Gillman
03-12-2012, 18:52
Thanks Wade. Yes I wrote that some years ago and the ADI put it up on its site. Since then I've updated it somewhat. Most if not all of the info on the Canadian regs has been discussed on SB before by me, in similar if not greater detail. But the article also gave me the chance to expand a bit on the social history of whiskey, as I see it of course.

Gary

JayMonster
03-13-2012, 05:03
Very cool. I always wondered why my father and his friends always referred to all Canadian Whiskies as "Rye. "

The one thing this article points out, that I sort of lament is the apparent death of the Whiskey Sour. I guess I am old fashioned (or just old), but I have held this "tradition" of drinking Sours at bih social events such as weddings. Even during that period when my "standard" drink had switched to Vodka and later rum, it has just always been a foregone conclusion that a Whiskey Sour was what you drank at special gatherings.

It was actually Canadian Whiskey that brought me back from other spirits to Whiskey. My father, though not much of a drinker himself, always had a bottle of "Rye" around for use as "medicine" for when you got a cold. Something I always continued to subscribe to doing, until I decided it tasted good enough to continue after the cold was gone. Ultimately, I wanted more in rhetoric way of flavor on most occasions, but unlike some many that dismiss Canadian Whiskey as too meek, I continue to enjoy it as a nice. Change of pace (especially during cold and allergy season when bourbon comes across too harsh).

wadewood
05-13-2012, 07:32
I'm reading Davin's new book on Canadian Whiskey, http://www.amazon.com/Canadian-Whisky-The-Portable-Expert/dp/0771027435. He explains how the 9.09% rule came to be. He says it was the result of our US government offering subsidies an tax incentives for foreign spirits for companies that used small amounts of US spirits or wine. He says this subsidies were introduced when the Florida orange crop failed in the 1980s. Unsaleable oranges were distilled into orange wine which was effectively a neutral spirit. So, to gain these tax incentives, Canadian Whiskey manufacturers starting using some of this in their blends.

Note, this is from his book. Gavin does not any footnotes, so I can't verify. My initial google searches have not found much.

wmpevans
05-13-2012, 18:34
Gary, just read your article. Excellent read. Very well written also, of course I knew that it would be given your great interest in the subject and wordsmith vocation. :cool:

Bill.



Thanks Wade. Yes I wrote that some years ago and the ADI put it up on its site. Since then I've updated it somewhat. Most if not all of the info on the Canadian regs has been discussed on SB before by me, in similar if not greater detail. But the article also gave me the chance to expand a bit on the social history of whiskey, as I see it of course.

Gary

bllygthrd
05-13-2012, 19:19
I was raised on the Niagara River and have consumed a fair amount of prohibition era canadian whisky recovered from the bottom of the river. Your well written article filled in several "blanks" and answered several of my questions about canadian whisky. Thanks!

Gillman
05-14-2012, 03:25
Thanks all, and I look forward to reading Davin's book, it looks great. I've heard the story about orange wine too (can't recall where) and it makes sense although I don't know more about it than that...

That story about buried old whisky is very interesting. Was it similar in taste to modern Canadian whisky? Or was it more like straight rye, bourbon or malt whisky? How did it not get contaminated from the water?

Gary

bllygthrd
05-15-2012, 19:36
Thanks all, and I look forward to reading Davin's book, it looks great. I've heard the story about orange wine too (can't recall where) and it makes sense although I don't know more about it than that...

That story about buried old whisky is very interesting. Was it similar in taste to modern Canadian whisky? Or was it more like straight rye, bourbon or malt whisky? How did it not get contaminated from the water?

Gary
This is from memory ... It was when I was associated with a law enforcement underwater squad in the late 70's, early 80's. I didn't dive, worked on a "duck" crew.

The water temperature at the notion of the Niagara is very cold. A majority of the "dumped" bottles didn't survive, but some did. Some of the bottles still intact contained "swill" ... But many contained good whiskey. I was in my mid-20's, we thought it was God's gift to whiskey ... but honestly, I think we were greatly influenced by our own hype. Remember the excitement, but not the actual whiskey rate.

Gillman
05-16-2012, 05:15
Okay makes a lot of sense, thanks, very interesting.

Gary

tmckenzie
05-18-2012, 03:22
I just ordered Davin's book, should be a good read. I think the organe wine thing is legally described as other than standard orange wine. Most of you stuff like Southern Comfort are made out of it.

cowdery
05-18-2012, 17:11
I was told years ago that it was a blending spirit, used primarily to stabilze vodkas. Perhaps it has the same function in blended whiskey.

They were making it at the old Yellowstone distillery in Shively at one point, though not now.

Southern Comfort is GNS, sugar, and a fruit concentrate.

Gillman
05-18-2012, 17:22
Chuck, I thought some years ago it was reported on SB that Southern Comfort uses some bourbon in addition to GNS.

Gary

cowdery
05-19-2012, 16:27
That's true, but when I've asked official sources about that recently, I haven't gotten an answer, leading me to believe they stopped doing it. It was never more than a token amount. I know that when they got the brand in 1979, the recipe contained no whiskey.

tmckenzie
05-20-2012, 03:24
Well, I just have to add this while we are talking about soco. I was sweeping out the mill house late yesterday and right above it is the deck that comes off the tasting room. This guy says, oh, I love soco and sprite. Girl with him says, what is soco? He answers, it is this sweet bourbon like whikey thing. For some damn reason people think soco is bourbon. I never will forget my daddy buying a bottle one time. A whole half a gallon. He siad, this is the worse bourbon, it is too sweet. I educated him. He said, well, I am not throwing it out, you will have to help me drink it. We almost did throw it out before we finished it off. Never had any since.

Gillman
05-20-2012, 06:36
Thanks Chuck for that info. Tom, I used to blend soco 1:1 with bourbon for a kind of Rusty Nail and it's pretty good. There is an export version that does use 6 year old bourbon and it is quite nice too but even that is pretty sweet. Always surprised me the company doesn't release a high end version for the domestic market with a good dollop of decent bourbon especially as JD, WT, Beam and others have done something similar starting at the other side of the bridge so to speak.

Gary

tmckenzie
05-21-2012, 04:10
I am reading Davin's book, and one thing I found interesting is that some of the flavoring whiskey is barreled straight off the beer still. Not doubled. That should be some flavorful stuff.

wadewood
05-21-2012, 05:44
In Davin's book he says shortly after the 911 attacks, the U.S. passed legislation instituting strict security at manufacturing plants that ship goods into the U.S. by truck. As this applies to whisky, since then there has been a strict policy of NO VISITORS in Canadian distilleries. Yet, later on he mentions some distillers are open for tours.

Does such US regulation exist or is this just an excuse for some Canadian distilleries not to offer tours?

bllygthrd
05-21-2012, 10:38
This is from memory ... It was when I was associated with a law enforcement underwater squad in the late 70's, early 80's. I didn't dive, worked on a "duck" crew.

The water temperature at the notion of the Niagara is very cold. A majority of the "dumped" bottles didn't survive, but some did. Some of the bottles still intact contained "swill" ... But many contained good whiskey. I was in my mid-20's, we thought it was God's gift to whiskey ... but honestly, I think we were greatly influenced by our own hype. Remember the excitement, but not the actual whiskey rate.

I hate my android's auto-correct ... this should be:

The water temperature at the bottom of the Niagara is very cold. A majority of the "dumped" bottles didn't survive, but some did. Some of the bottles still intact contained "swill" ... But many contained good whiskey. I was in my mid-20's, we thought it was God's gift to whiskey ... but honestly, I think we were greatly influenced by our own hype. Remember the excitement, but not the actual whiskey taste.

cowdery
05-21-2012, 11:04
I was with Davin on a visit to Canadian Mist in Collingwood in March, 2011. They seemed simply weird about where they would and would not let us go and some of the excuses were pretty lame, such as saying that the room where the stills are is "too hot." Considering this was March in Canada and I've been in Kentucky distilleries in August, I think that may have been a fib.

They're certainly not set up for visitors and, truthfully, there isn't much to see.

Very weird trip on a couple of levels but a fun group.

StraightBoston
05-23-2012, 07:47
Not related to the regulations per se but I learned last week (as was also described in Gary's informative article) that Canadian Club blends unaged component whiskeys into the barrel rather than blending aged whiskeys into the bottle, and claims to be unique among Canadian distillers in doing so.

Also saw that the different expressions have different blending recipes (as opposed to mashbills) -- I find that interesting because it would seem to tie their hands somewhat in realigning aged stocks based on what is selling and/or what is at its peak.

cowdery
05-27-2012, 21:10
Canadian Club is unique in blending new make.

Canadians tend to feel their blending practices, which emulate the Scottish and Irish practices, give them more flexibility. The other Canadians, I should say. Canadian Club is more like U.S. producers, in that what goes into the barrel is the same as what goes into the bottle; whereas with most Canadians, what is in the barrel never goes into the bottle alone.

Bourbon Boiler
07-01-2012, 10:01
I think I'll need to find something from north of 49 degrees N. latitude today to honor Canada day.