Premium Canadian Whisky?

Posted by: michael_d

Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/04/12 12:22 PM

OK my Canadian neighbors, out with it….. What’s the “good stuff”??? Not that crap Canada exports to the US either…. “I’d tell you but I’d have to kill you responses won’t cut it, I KNOW your secrets!!” First it was hording all the good beer and exporting watered down crap, now I find out you’re hording your Whisky! grin

I was content with Crown Royal for years, and then I got a taste of Pendleton’s (Oregon Canadian Whisky) and started drinking it in favor of CR. Last year a friend shared some Gibson’s “pure Canadian Whisky” with me and that pretty much ruined me…. I do still like CR Cask #16 and XR, but both are down right expensive…. I can’t stand CR Reserve and not a big fan of the Black. I don’t touch the other rot gut stuff like R&R and Canadian Mist/Hunter…

A few weeks back, I was BS’ing with a Canadian contractor doing some work for us. The conversation led to Whisky and what our preferences were. I mentioned that I really liked Gibson’s and he gave me a funny look; “You’ve had Gibson’s? Were you in Canada when you had it??” I responded, “Well no, it was here, a friend shared it with me. He was given the bottle by a friend of his from Canada.” And he responded, “Oh, he must have bought it in Canada because we don’t export Gibson’s to the US. If you liked Gibson’s, you’ll probably like Alberta Select, but we don’t export that either.”

So what other Canadian Whisky’s are good? And how can I go about getting some? The boarder isn’t too far away and I do have friends that travel through Canada quite often that would hook me up, but I believe we can only bring 1.5 liters across the boarder.
Posted by: 1sweetspot

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/04/12 08:21 PM

Gibson's Finest 12 year is good, the "rare" line is better. Forty Creek is good too.
Posted by: fredk

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/04/12 08:52 PM

Canadian Club (Hiram Walker) used to make some good whiskey. Its been a very long time since I could drink that stuff though.
Posted by: SBrown

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/05/12 09:03 AM

Alberta Premium Dark Horse is really good. 45%
Posted by: Murph

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/05/12 01:17 PM

So the word is now out for all to see
A single malt from this side of the sea
A lowland taste, or a highland smile, or the tang of the sea,
Like a malt from the Isle


I'm not a big whiskey drinker but I keep a bottle of "Glen Breton Rare - 10 Years" around for when I get the urge. Made by the Glenora Distillery in the highlands of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. It is definately my favorite. Im pretty sure they export to the US too, if I recall the mention when I did the tour a couple of years ago.

Edit: I forgot to mention that it is a single malt whiskey so perhaps more of a scoth vs. a standard fare whiskey. That's probably why I like it though.

Also. I found the web page.
Glenbreton Distilleries.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/05/12 01:59 PM

I can't believe that - after decades of dedicated drinking - I'm only now discovering this. Leave it to Mike, Murph and crew. Good thing I'm not an alcoholic.

Posted by: michael_d

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/05/12 04:13 PM

Originally Posted By: 1sweetspot
Gibson's Finest 12 year is good, the "rare" line is better. Forty Creek is good too.


Thanks for the suggestions guys!

Tom I ain't kiddn... Some of the Canadian Whisky's are wonderful. From what I gather, to be sold in the US, Canadian Whisky is required to be blended. I just found this out last week. Take a look at the labels, they all say blended. The Gibsons I had a while back was not 'blended'. Very different taste, but still super smooth. I'd say every bit as some as the CR XR.
Posted by: SBrown

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/05/12 04:27 PM

here is another one Michael http://www.canadianwhisky.org/reviews/lot-no-40-2012-release-43-alcvol.html


There is a good list of whiskey there too.
Posted by: oldskoolboarder

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/05/12 04:59 PM

You guys might like this. If I drank whiskey, I might've added this to my Xmas list.

http://uncrate.com/stuff/whisky-advent-calendar/
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/05/12 07:39 PM

It has been a number of years but we do still have "rye" in the bar. Canadian Club (CC) was my standard through university but found Crown Royal to be smoother. Since then i've had the Crown Royal Black and the CC 15 years aged.
I preferred the CC 15 years, but i see they also have a 20 and 30 years aged.

If i were to hazard a guess, the CC is what i would venture.
Posted by: fredk

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/05/12 08:26 PM

Originally Posted By: oldskoolboarder
You guys might like this. If I drank whiskey, I might've added this to my Xmas list.

http://uncrate.com/stuff/whisky-advent-calendar/

If I were a Scotch drinker this would be cool. Even better if every dram were consumed while listening to Traffic's version of John Barleycorn. Hmm... could set a new trend. Music and drink pairings.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/06/12 10:38 AM

Originally Posted By: oldskoolboarder
You guys might like this. If I drank whiskey, I might've added this to my Xmas list.

http://uncrate.com/stuff/whisky-advent-calendar/


Wow... Thanks for the link. They have numerous bottles of a particular Scotch Whisky that the misses likes that I have not had much luck finding before (Bunnahabhain)
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/06/12 10:47 AM

Originally Posted By: SBrown
here is another one Michael http://www.canadianwhisky.org/reviews/lot-no-40-2012-release-43-alcvol.html
There is a good list of whiskey there too.


I like that site! The Lot 40 is definitely gong on my shopping list. Thank you.

Does anyone know of an on-line store that might ship to the states?
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/06/12 11:51 AM

You and your "shipping".
Posted by: Murph

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/06/12 01:29 PM

Liquor sales and distribution are pretty tightly regulated in Canada. Technically, it isn't even supposed to cross provincial borders except to & from licensed resellers. I doubt you will find a legitimate shipper of Canadian liquor for private sale to the US.

Recently a bill went before senate to allow wine to be shipped to individuals across provincial borders. I don't recall hearing if the bill passed yet. I recall it looked promissing. Unfortunately, the back bencher who submitted the bill only worded it for wine. I guess that is all he drinks?
Posted by: CV

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/06/12 08:29 PM

The topic of whiskey came up at work today. Not my normal coworkers. I'm basically at a week-long set of meetings this week. One guy said he used to drink a different bottle of whiskey with his friends every Monday night. After they got up to over $100 bottles, they decided maybe it was too costly to drink all in one night. He says that now he takes cheaper whiskey and puts it through a Brita filter like 10 times, and it ends up tasting like the more expensive ones. The others involved in the conversation sounded interested in trying it.
Posted by: SBrown

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/06/12 09:46 PM

Better yet, would be bacon infused whiskey. Yum Yum
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/07/12 07:33 AM

Personally, I prefer my food to be flavored with beverages, rather than my beverages to be flavored with food.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/07/12 08:24 AM

I had a bacon infused martini once. It was surprisingly good. I'm not even a fan of martinis but I just had to try it.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/07/12 08:31 AM

This reminds me of another note on our liquor regulations. More and more bars now are challenging the law by infusing liquor to produce thier own flavors. If the letter of the law in most provinces was followed, this is technically a no-no because the law states that you can not add anything to liquor in it's bottle and that a drink must be mixed directly from the original bottles.

This was a good law at one time to prevent bottles from being 'watered down' but hopefully all the recent pressure to modify the regulation will pass so that barkeeps who want to be a bit more artistic with thier drinks to set themselves apart from the competition can do so.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/07/12 10:45 AM

IMO, whiskey is only good for marinating steaks.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/07/12 11:30 AM

Originally Posted By: Murph
Liquor sales and distribution are pretty tightly regulated in Canada. Technically, it isn't even supposed to cross provincial borders except to & from licensed resellers. I doubt you will find a legitimate shipper of Canadian liquor for private sale to the US.

Recently a bill went before senate to allow wine to be shipped to individuals across provincial borders. I don't recall hearing if the bill passed yet. I recall it looked promissing. Unfortunately, the back bencher who submitted the bill only worded it for wine. I guess that is all he drinks?


After looking into this a bit more, the only way to get Whisky into the US is to buy it in Canada and bring it home. Either that or have someone do it for me... It is due to Canadian regulations, not the US this time. Canada is missing the mark on that rule.

Originally Posted By: CatBrat
IMO, whiskey is only good for marinating steaks.


Thanks for sharing, very inciteful.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/07/12 11:33 AM

If that was a pun, Mike, it was a good one.

Are you close enough to Canada to pick it up yourself relatively conveniently?
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/07/12 12:53 PM

Originally Posted By: michael_d

Originally Posted By: CatBrat
IMO, whiskey is only good for marinating steaks.


Thanks for sharing, very inciteful.


You want to hear some more?
Posted by: Murph

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/07/12 01:27 PM

Hmm, there is a history of rum running in my family in that my grandfather was the wharf master in the early 1940s and no rum runners got to unload at night without a couple of bottles set aside for him.

"Hey Ho, no rum shall flow
Unless I get my due.
A bottle for Patty and another for spare
If you wants your load to pass through"


Perhaps I should renew & reverse some old traditions and begin sneaking whisky to the US.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/07/12 01:34 PM

Originally Posted By: Murph
Hmm, there is a history of rum running in my family in that my grandfather was the wharf master

Nucky Murphy?
Posted by: Murph

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/07/12 01:38 PM

Ha, I had to Google "Nucky." I keep hearing how good that show is but I have yet to watch it.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/07/12 01:39 PM

Hardly a connoseur on Rye/Whiskey but I do prefer Gibsons over Crown Royal and the slightly lower price of the Gibsons in Canada appeals to my cheapskate side of the brain.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/07/12 01:49 PM

Do want. I will remember this next time I get to Canada.

Or, you know, if any of my Canadian brothers ever come to the Pacific Northwest, you'll know what to bring, right? laugh
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/07/12 02:00 PM

Count on it, Tom!
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/07/12 02:05 PM

Tom, you can get whiskey from Adrian by sending him "roundie bits".
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/07/12 02:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken.C

Are you close enough to Canada to pick it up yourself relatively conveniently?


Not really.... The border is 350 miles away, and the closest town on the other side is Beaver Creak, Yukon. Not much going on in that little town. I'd have to drive to Whitehorse, which is another 300 miles or so.... My best option is to just get a shopping list of bottles to some friends and friends of friends who drive over the Alaska Highway.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/07/12 02:45 PM

New on HBO, Ice Road Rum Runners.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/08/12 11:34 PM

You gotta know some bush pilots, right? smile
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/09/12 12:43 PM

Why yes I do Peter. Not a bad idea.....
Posted by: Ray3

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/14/12 05:27 PM

Originally Posted By: pmbuko
You gotta know some bush pilots, right? smile


Now you're talkin'. Drink some good Canadian whiskey and then pilot some bush!!! I'm in.

Actually, Every time I stray, (and I have had Gibsons as well as the Canadian blends mentioned), I always end up returning to Gentleman Jack. Smoothest I have had.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/14/12 07:21 PM

Hmmm. He's always been just a good friend to me.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/15/12 07:01 AM

Zing!
Posted by: medic8r

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/15/12 09:26 AM

JEntlmann JAck adn a PRiVATE mASSaGE eqal Axiomoe hEAvan!!! turn upp teh AnalLOG and REFLECT!!!

[How did I do, Peter?]
Posted by: terzaghi

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 11/15/12 07:30 PM

I don't have anything important to say, other than at first glimpse I saw this thread as "Premium Candied Whiskey".

Thought that sounded pretty strange.

Anyway, just got a bottle of Glemorangie highland single malt scotch, ten years. Haven't tried it yet, but hoping it's decent. It was only $30. I'll take my scotch talk out of your canadian whisky thread now!
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 12/30/12 07:39 PM

Had both Forty Creek and Gibson's 12 Yr over the holidays. Excellent!
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 12/31/12 12:12 PM

I found some Forty Creek the other day. I dunno, kinda disappointed with it really. It reminded me of Canadian Club. But is was their generic line, so maybe they make better bottles.

I also found a Hirsch 20 year Rye, in Napa of all places (Dean and Daluca). Wow...outstanding! Highly recommended.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 01/30/13 09:00 PM

I've been reading Davin de Kergommeaux's book, Canadian Whisky, and rather enjoy it. It is very educational, detailing how it's made, the history of the distilleries and more. If anyone is even mildly interested in this subject, I highly recommend the book.

http://www.canadianwhisky.org/news-views/and-the-winner-is-canadian-whisky.html
Posted by: doormat

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 04/01/13 10:27 PM

Just though I'd revive this thread as it helped convince me that I do need to start drinking more whisky, as the doctor said. Having grown up on Royal Reserve and other people's Crown Royal, I didn't really have a high opinion of whisky; would try to drown the taste with ginger ale. Now that I am older and have more disposable income, I have discovered that better brands exist, and drinking it neat was the preferred option. I've recently picked up a number of the bottles in this thread and on the whisky review site and I never realized how vastly different they all could be. Fortunately for my wallet we have quite a few sales in this town (15 liquor stores for 14,000 people).

I'd just like to say thanks for bringing me back into the fold. I now carry a hip flask of Gibson's everywhere I go.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 07/07/14 04:10 PM

Bought some Pike's Creek hand crafted rye the other day, mainly because of Michael's recommendation. The LCBO had to order it special for me a couple of weeks ago, kind of pricey, but has a very smooth and subtle fruity taste vs the more vanilla overtones I'm accustomed to in Forty Creek's Barrel Select which is my usual go-to rye. Definitely worth a try, you will probably have to order it though.
Posted by: 1sweetspot

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 07/07/14 09:24 PM

Costco has a Kirkland whiskey now. Here in Edmonton it is $49.99 for a 1.75L (60oz) bottle. Really, really smooth. No mix required, maybe a rock or three. Still prefer Gibson's but this Kirkland is not so bad!
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 07/07/14 10:20 PM

Originally Posted By: Adrian
Bought some Pike's Creek hand crafted rye the other day, mainly because of Michael's recommendation. The LCBO had to order it special for me a couple of weeks ago, kind of pricey, but has a very smooth and subtle fruity taste vs the more vanilla overtones I'm accustomed to in Forty Creek's Barrel Select which is my usual go-to rye. Definitely worth a try, you will probably have to order it though.


Glad you liked it! I didn't think anyone paid attention to my recommendations...

Have you had a chance to try the Lot 40?
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 07/08/14 09:55 AM

Haven't tried that one, Michael. I'll look for it on my next visit to the liquor store.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 07/08/14 01:09 PM

All y'all are making me thirsty.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 07/08/14 01:35 PM

You have enough imbibing options in Tacoma as of today!
Posted by: exlabdriver

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 07/08/14 01:38 PM

In the old days, we called this nectar 'Rye'...

TAM
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 07/08/14 09:24 PM

Yes, a neighbor of mine has really been into the Sailor Jerry lately. Mind you, its a heavy alcohol spiced rum, not a rye.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 07/09/14 11:53 AM

Some Canadian whisky's are made with rye. Some corn. Some a little of both. Rye is more difficult and harder on equipment, so there are only a couple distilleries that use it.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 07/10/14 11:40 AM

I just realized this thread does not have my whisky tasting post in it, where it should reside.... After all, we were tasting Canadian Whisky.


Originally Posted By: michael_d
Last summer, I bought a new truck in Idaho and drove it back to Alaska, through Canada (duh). I picked up a few bottles of whisky that are not exported to the US. Five friends and I sampled all of them last week, along with a couple you can find in the US. One whisky we sampled is a Wisers 18 YO. You'll notice two bottles of this whisky in the photo, one is an exported bottle, the other bottle I bought in Canada.



Each of us had two small and identical tasting glasses. We'd pour about .5 oz for tasting samples and without any real rigor, just move down the line of bottles, taking some informal notes on flavor, finish, smell, mouth feel, etc...

We then ranked each from 1 - 11 in preferential order. All of our rankings were then tabulated to find out the overall ranking from 1 - 11. Of interest, is that all of our rankings were quite close. In no case were any of our rankings greater than two spots up or down from anyone else. In other words, my #3 was at most a #1 or #5 on anyone else's ranking.

The overall ranking was from left to right in the picture.

1) Pike Creek (purchased in Canada, but this is exported to the US) This whisky is finished in port barrels.
2) Lot 40, 2012 vintage (non export)
3) Crown Royal XR, Watterloo distillery (no longer available)
4) 40 creek, copper pot (bought in Canada)
5) Pendeltons (OR)
6) Gibson's Maple (bought in Canada)
7) Wiser's 18 YO, (bought in Canada)
8) Wiser's 18 YO, (import)
9) Century 21 YO (bought in Canada)
10) Wiser's Legacy (bought in Canada)
11) Hirsch Rye Whisky (import)

Interestingly, the Wiser's 18 YO that I brought back to the states was unanimously better than the import. It just tasted different, when drinking side by side.

The Crown XR is the one distilled at the Waterloo plant that burnt to the ground, sadly. The XR you normally see in liquor stores today comes in a blue box, and has a blue band at the neck. The Waterloo comes in a red box and has a red band at the neck. We have tried both of the XR's side by side before. They are different. The blue bottle tends to have a smoother finish, but lacks the character that the red bottle has.

The Gibson's Maple is nothing like the Crown Royal Maple that really has no place in this world other than on waffles... It is much, much better. Just a hint of maple and very smooth. (I hate the CR maple).

The Pike Creek was the unanimous favorite. Everyone ranked it #1. This whisky has so much going on, it's a real treat to sip. The Lot 40 is a whisky that also has great character. It is distilled each year, hence the vintage. It is by far, the best bang for the buck. Good luck finding it though.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 07/10/14 12:47 PM

Awesome. Thanks, Mike!
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Premium Canadian Whisky? - 10/18/14 12:09 PM

Tried the Lot 40 recently. It (to me) has a spicier flavour than the other ryes I've tried...it's hard to say, for me anyway, which I prefer overall. Sometimes I prefer one taste over another and vice-a-versa on a different day. Haven't tried many on Michael's list, but I concur with his and his fellow testers on the Pike's Creek.