In the 18th and 19th centuries, Canada’s first European settlers introduced distilling techniques that would later be used to create Canadian Whiskey. For much of the 19th Century Canadian Whiskey outsold America’s Bourbon whiskey, so during the US prohibition era, Canadian Whisky production suffered a sharp decline. The spirit was kept alive however, by bootleggers who devised creative ways to smuggle it across the US border.
Spirits labelled “Canadian Whisky”, “Canadian Rye Whisky” or “Rye Whisky” must be mashed, distilled and aged for a minimum of three years in Canada and most are blended with multiple grain spirits containing a large percentage of corn. As with Scotch whisky and Irish whiskey, the alcohol content of the spirits used may exceed 90%.