O Canada! Home of Great Whisky

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It seems that these days there is always a new international Whisky on the rise to challenge the position of Scotch as the worlds most loved Whisky.

From the mountains of Japan to the rainforests of Taiwan and even all the way to the dusty plains of South Africa or Australia, the popularity of global Whiskies is ever increasing.

One of those Whiskies is Canadian.

Not usually one to be placed alongside global efforts such as the mighty Japan or even America, but Canadian Whisky is pretty good stuff.

Although you might be hard pressed to find a bottle or two lying about your local Tesco, when you do get your hands on one you’ll be mightily impressed.

Canadian Whisky has been around for at least a good century or two.  With the American Prohibition it saw a rise in popularity.

If you can’t drink on your own turf, then a quick hop over the border will do just fine.

Canadian brand Hiram Walker’s Club, now known as Canadian club, took advantage of the mighty Delaware River running between the two countries.

This was the perfect route for getting contraband to eager smugglers on the other side.

Such was the popularity of Hiram Walker’s at the time that the infamous Al Capone was able to procure a case for only $7 and sell it on for an incredible $75.

So with a long history of international export (legal and illegal) where is Canadian Whisky today?

Today it is doing pretty well for itself.  The US remains Canada’s biggest Whisky importer and it is only expanding its reach.

In the past it has taken it’s time to innovate and create a new image, but recently it has been making great headway and finding it’s popularity increasing.

Canadian Whisky is famed for it’s smooth and light mouth-feel, as well as the subtle rye flavouring that has become a tradition amongst distillers.

But one cannot rely on tradition for too long, and Canada has not been known for it’s great creativeness in the past.

Now it is changing all that.  Although it has been slow, there has been a rise in craft distilleries and small batch bottlings.

This is tapping into the recent obsession with hipster culture and niche products that has swept the US and is making its way across the globe.

The majority of Canadian Whisky production has been swallowed by only eight distilleries, but craft distilleries are now becoming more popular.

There were around 30 new craft distilleries at the end of 2014, showing the rise in interest for such brands.

Forty Creek, one of the big eight, also released a small batch offering, and although they are one of the few to do so this could spark a movement towards more exclusive launches from Canada.

So while they may not be a big player just yet, Canada is certainly one to look out for in the future.

With some rave reviews behind them and an increase in interest, Canadian Whisky might yet overtake their southern cousin’s global influence in the market!

Tags: CanadaCanadian clubCanadian WhiskyGreat WhiskyWhisky
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My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

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