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  1. #11
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    Re: Canada - only blend?

    Gary, I haven't tried it yet, but I'm looking forward to it. It probably won't be one of my favorites because I'm and Islay fan (Ardbeg, Lagavulin, Laphroaig - love it or hate it). I'm pretty much the same way with bourbons. I seem to prefer the stronger astringent ones that a lot of folks don't like, but I also like a good wheat based bourbon s well. Stu

  2. #12
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Canada - only blend?

    By your definition, Gary, Canadian Club is not a blended whiskey. You are entitled to your opinion, even to your own private language, but the rest of the world understands blended-at-birth Canadian Club to be blended whiskey.

    The following is from the Canadian Club web site:

    "The original light and versatile blended whisky, Canadian Club® is the only Canadian whisky blended before aging in white oak barrels. This allows the flavors of the rye, rye malt, barley malt and corn to merry (sic), giving CC its unique, smooth taste. Canadian Club® is ideal for any occasion and goes perfectly with your favorite mixer."

  3. #13
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Canada - only blend?

    Well we kind of drifted in the thread. The original question was can a Canadian whisky that advertises itself as single cask be truly unblended.

    I suggested that it could because many distillers in Canada blend before the bottling stage. Therefore, if the 12 year old Hirsch Canadian whisky I bought was made, say, by Seagram or Kittling Ridge, it unquestionably is unblended (since they blend before bottling, not from inception). I don't know who made it though. If it was made by Hiram Walker, the matter is different and here I offered the view that a single barrel of CC, say, is arguably unblended because when the spirits in it were mingled they weren't whisky and wouldn't be whisky for at least 3 years.

    This was a subsidiary point and I acknowledged that CC calls this a blended whisky and I referred to its website in this regard.

    Gary

  4. #14
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    Re: Canada - only blend?

    Im not sure if I understand all the goings here, but can we at least conclude that a Canadian whisky that advertizes itself as a 'single cask' is not the same as a single barrel bourbon or a single cask malt whisky?

    When I first heard the term single cask canadian whisky I regarded it as a contradiction in terms but now I think I get the picture. (hopefully.)
    Delighted to see you if you can find me!

  5. #15
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    Re: Canada - only blend?

    I would say products identified as Canadian single cask whisky are different from single barrel bourbon or single malt whisky in two ways:

    i) in volume, since there is so little Canadian single cask the category almost does not exist! The only examples I can think of are the aforestated Hirsch which was never sold in Canada as far as I know (and which may not be a "true" single cask if blended at birth by Hiram Walker or another distiller) and a brand I bought in Winnipeg last year but cannot remember the name of. I'll have to check my Century Reserve 21 years old to see if it may be single cask, but even if so, we are talking about very few products so in commercial terms the idea hardly exists here;

    ii) in its nature, since Canadian whisky is typically different from bourbon or malt whisky.

    Gary

  6. #16
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    Re: Canada - only blend?

    I searched in the SB archive and the single cask bought in Winnipeg, Manitoba last year was Century Reserve Single Cask 13 years old. I recall it had a light, clean taste typical of Canadian whisky.

    Gary

  7. #17
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Canada - only blend?

    I may be introducing some more drift here, but the subject of Canadian whisky can be mystifying. I have frequently heard American distillers take potshots at Canadian whisky and their implication is that the only thing the Canadians actually distill is the nearly-neutral "base" whiskey. The flavoring whiskies are bourbons, American straight ryes and Scottish single malts that they buy in bulk. These comments are always snide asides and I never have had the opportunity to pursue them in greater depth. I have even been told that Canadian law requires such a thorough removal of fusel oils that base whisky is the only thing they can make. Don't ask me to explain these comments. I can't, and am repeating them here because I'm confused by them and am looking for clarification if anyone here can offer any.

  8. #18
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    Re: Canada - only blend?

    Well, that is interesting.

    Unquestionably some of the flavoring whisky used is simply bourbon or rye brought in in bulk from the U.S.. I understand when Seagram owned Four Roses it sent bourbon from there to Montreal to be blended into Crown Royal, for example (not sure what they do now in regard to flavoring whiskies).

    In Jackson's 1987 World Guide to Whisky, he stated that flavoring whiskies also were made in-house for the purpose, i.e., in Canadian distilleries and these could be corn, rye or barley (malt whisky-type) whiskies. These would have been low proof, straight whiskey-like products except not all if any were aged in new charred wood. Apparently Lot 40 is an example of a rye flavoring whisky, one used to flavor the Corby whiskies.

    As for distillation to remove fusels, I believe no legal rules state what type of distillation must take place, it can be any type I think.

    The thing about Canadian, and I too welcome more information, is its flavor comes not just from flavoring whiskies but sometimes from other things added (e.g. sherry, caramel or similar things) and from the wood taste imparted by the mandatory 3 years aging. All the whisky must be aged at least 3 years in small wood, i.e., both low proof and high.

    I don't doubt that the high proof base is quite neutral tasting before aging because I understand it is distilled to something like 96% ABV.

    But the complexity such as Canadian gets can be interesting from the combination of barrel tastes, added flavorings if used and of course flavoring whiskies. That gives the blender a pallette of flavors to work from especially when one considers that different woods are used (per Jackson again) such as used bourbon wood, new oak, new charred oak, etc.

    Gary

  9. #19
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    Re: Canada - only blend?

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    . . . I have even been told that Canadian law requires such a thorough removal of fusel oils that base whisky is the only thing they can make. Don't ask me to explain these comments. I can't, and am repeating them here because I'm confused by them and am looking for clarification if anyone here can offer any.
    I don't have any actual knowledge about it (I too have always been mystified by Canadian whiskey, although some of it tastes pretty good), but I can't believe that there is any such law since it would certainly preclude a pot-still malt whiskey distillery like Glenmore. (I believe that's the name of the joint that makes Glen Breton; please correct me if I'm wrong.)

  10. #20
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    Re: Canada - only blend?

    I thought the attached would be of interest, which states (as far as I can tell) the oft-referred to 9.09% Canadian flavoring rule.

    As I read this, it means, if say, a Canadian whisky (aged, mashed and distilled in Canada as required under regulations to the Food and Drug Act) is 4 years old - it must be a minimum of 3 - any domestic or foreign wine or spirit can be added and if, say, a foreign spirit is added in an amount not to exceed the 9.090% ethyl alcohol limit mentioned the blend is still considered 4 years old even if the addition was younger than that.

    If the addition is older than the age of the Canadian whisky it is added to, the deeming rule arguably is not applicable (again as I read it). In that case, the first part of the blending rule would apply that any domestic or foreign spirit or wine can be added.

    This is presumably in any amount so long as (presumably again) the article blended still has the aroma and taste characteristics of Canadian whisky (as required by said Food and Drug Act regulation).

    So I think the 9.09% limit can be exceeded if what is added is at least as old as the whisky it is added to. However I am not 100% sure of this. Maybe the 9.090% rule is absolute so that the effect is, no matter the age of what you add, the age of the blend is deemed to be the youngest whisky that was in it before the addition. Under this interpretation, the 9.09% rule is an absolute limit. I just don't know how this seemingly simple rule is interpreted in the industry here.

    Gary
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    Last edited by Gillman; 12-02-2006 at 09:58.

 

 

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