Canadian whiskies don't always get the respect they deserve. In certain circles, Canadian whiskies have achieved a reputation as a light, fruity and one dimensional spirit. In spite of that view, there are some very high quality Canadian whiskies on the market. Here are the top five available now;
- Seagrams VO - Light, fruity and made for mixing, try this with soda for an easy cocktail. Sure, Seagrams VO may stylistically be "typically Canadian" but that's not a bad thing in this instance. Be careful though, this is such a light whisky it tends to disappear in the presence of strong liqueurs. Seagrams VO works best in simple cocktails. It is an easy sipper and a good introduction to the world of Canadian whisky. ($15.45)
- Canadian Club Reserve - Also known as 10 year, this is a great Canadian whisky at an attractive price ($16.45). A wonderful mixture of dark fruits, vanilla, leather, fruitcake and walnuts, this mixes well but does even better on its own. Try this one in a Manhattan.
- Crown Royal Reserve - At twice the price of Crown Royal ($54.45 vs. $27.45) this should be twice as good as Crown Royal and it is. This whisky is head and shoulders above Crown Royal and is the best representation of Canadian whisky in the Crown Royal family. Choose this whisky to celebrate a promotion or anniversary. One ice cube and two fingers of CR Special Reserve and you'll be in heaven.
- Canadian Mist- Light, smooth and easy drinking, with hints of vanilla and spice, this mixes well in a classic highball cocktail. ($11.95)
- Canadian Club 30 Year- Simply the finest Canadian whisky and arguably on of the finest whiskies ever produced. Warm, luscious and inviting, this whisky slowly unveils itself on your palate, revealing a mouthwatering bounty of dried apricots, caramels, grilled peaches and vanilla poundcake before offering a wonderful hazelnut finish that lasts over 20 minutes. Canadian Club 30 is one of the world's finest spirits. With only 3000 bottles released, it is a hard spirit to find but well worth the effort. ($200+)
Two other Canadian whiskies to look for are Canadian Club Sherry Cask, atypical for Canadian whisky but a great sipping whiskey and Crown Royal Black, rumored to be launching in early 2010. Details are sparse at this time but Crown Royal Black is expected to be 100 proof and packaged in an opaque black bottle for a completely different look from the rest of the Crown Royal line.
All prices reflective of the published retail prices of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission's April 2009 price list except Canadian Club 30 year.