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Canadian Whiskey Vs. Bourbon (Brief)


When it comes to the world of alcohol, specifically whiskey and bourbon, there are some key differences that you must understand. While whiskey and bourbon have always been closely related, they are essentially different forms of the same spirit. Canada produces its own form of whiskey called Canadian whiskey, while bourbon is primarily produced in the United States because in order for a spirit type to be considered bourbon, it must be grown within the United States.


When it comes to Canadian whiskey, there are significantly fewer requirements for Canadian whiskey, which leaves you with many more options to choose from than its American counterpart. One of the main requirements for producing bourbon in the U.S. is that it cannot exceed 80 proof, and it must also meet certain aging requirements. Canada has a rather interesting history when it comes to its relationship with American whiskey, especially during the Prohibition era.

 American bourbon

Depending on your preferred taste preference, Canadian whiskey and bourbon have different tastes, but they are very similar, especially because they are fermented and aged in essentially the same way, but there are some key differences. One of the main things that makes Canadian whisky different from standard whisky is that it is spelled and labeled without the "e" in the name of the whisky.


This means that a Canadian whisky labeled as "straight bourbon" may not actually be a "straight bourbon" blend, which is very different from the strict labeling and fermentation guidelines that American whiskies must undergo.


Canadian whiskey varieties also tend to be distilled at very neutral proof values, so their flavors are usually more generic and not as intense as other whiskey options on the market. With American whiskeys, there are very strict rules and guidelines for how much alcohol you can add to the entire blend, whereas Canadian whiskeys allow you to add almost any type of alcohol content you want to create the final blend of your bourbon of choice.


American whiskey

If you are someone who is interested in learning about the main differences between Canadian whiskey and bourbon, you have come to the right place. In this guide, we'll cover all the key details about the differences between Canadian whiskey and bourbon so that you can understand which option suits your specific taste preferences and desired drinking style.


First, let's look at the history behind Canadian whiskey and the main differences between it and the kind of whiskey you'll find in the United States.


Key differences between Canadian whiskey and bourbon

The main difference between Canadian whiskey and bourbon is this.

Canadian bourbon


Canadian whiskey has a spicier flavor, while bourbon has a mellower, softer flavor.

Canadian whiskey can be aged in charred or uncharred barrels, while bourbon is only aged in new oak barrels.

Canadian whiskey must be aged for at least 3 years, while bourbon must be aged for at least 2 years to be considered a straight bourbon.

On the other hand, you will find Canadian whiskeys that choose to be distilled using a mixture of molasses, maple syrup, butterscotch, cloves, nutmeg, and brown sugar. Most Canadian whiskeys choose to come from one distillery, while many American bourbons choose to come from different distilleries around the country.


Canada also has some very strict laws that mention what can be considered bourbon or whiskey in their country, and Canada is a very large producer of corn in the world, and given that corn mash makes up about 51% of bourbon, this is a really important factor when considering the overall quality of any bourbon or whiskey you might choose.


Canadian whiskeys cannot be labeled as bourbons because most blends contain less than 51% corn. You will find several different Canadian whiskey blends on the shelves, and it is important to understand the differences between all of these blends before you go out and choose a bourbon or whiskey option that suits your particular taste buds.


Canadian whiskey

Top Canadian whisky options

66 Gilead Dark Red Rye Whiskey


66 Gilead Crimson Rye Whiskey is made up of real rye and other powerful components such as oak and chocolate, which provide a smooth and rich flavor to the whiskey as a whole.


This whiskey has a hint of earthy tones that are infused in the bottle as it is aged in red wine barrels.


66 Gilead Crimson Rye Whiskey is the perfect blend component for those who don't normally like rye whiskey options but want to try something new.


The history behind Canadian whiskey and bourbon


Bourbon and Canadian whiskey have very intertwined histories in terms of how they were created and how they are marketed, but they also have very different histories. In the following section, we'll cover all the major differences between the history of Canadian whiskey and bourbon so you can decide which is best for you.


The History of Canadian Whisky

Canadian whisky has its roots in agriculture, and in some parts of Canada, wheat was very plentiful. Canadian whiskey began its fermentation process, and once it was ground into fine grains and turned into flour, it was placed in a mill for distillation.


The entire process of creating Canadian whisky was largely due to creativity and the need to produce a proprietary selection of whisky that Canadians did not need to rely on imported from the United States. German and Dutch farmers would then immigrate to Canada, who then took the available wheat grains and whisky by-products and made a blend of premium rye.

China whiskey


To this day, Canada does not add rye to its whisky blends, but some distillers will add rye to their blends just for flavor. Prohibition was one of the main catalysts for Canadian whisky production, but Canadian whisky has a rich history that far predates the Prohibition era.


When the American Civil War began, the United States was forced to obtain whiskey supplies from its partners in neighboring Canada, which is what led to the rise in Canadian whiskey production.


An interesting fact to note about Canadian whiskey is that as of today, it is one of the most popular blended whiskeys in the United States. Canadian made whiskey is also very different from American whiskey because the regulations surrounding its production are much more lenient compared to the bourbon produced and manufactured in the United States.


In order for a selection of Canadian whiskey to be classified as whiskey in the Canadian legal system, it must contain barley, corn, wheat and rye, which are fermented in separate barrels before the mixture is added to the distillery at the peak of its flavor.


The difference between Canadian and American whiskey


American whiskey must contain at least 51% rye to be classified as a rye blend, while Canadian bourbon options can be labeled as rye without containing any rye at all. In order for Canadian whiskey to be classified as a whiskey selection, it must be created using a grain mash, stored in small barrels for no less than three years, the entire process must be manufactured and fermented in Canada, and the alcohol content cannot be less than 40%.


Once the distillation process is complete, the final Canadian whisky blend must have an alcohol content of 90% or more. Some distillers will even reduce the alcohol content of the final whisky blend to around 40%, which is achieved by mixing the whisky with water or less powerful spirits, which also reduces the overall color and taste of the whisky blend. In order for it to be considered a whiskey of choice, the final blend must be aged in barrels made of wood for at least two years before the entire fermentation process is completed.


History of Bourbon Whiskey

Bourbon whiskey produced in the United States has stricter rules and restrictions regarding the preparation and bottling of the blends than the Canadian whiskey selection. In order for bourbon to be legally considered bourbon in the United States, it must meet a certain alcohol content and be made from very specific wheat grains.


American bourbon is made from a specialized blend called "wort" that includes corn, rye, barley and wheat. Another really important factor that must be considered when making American bourbon is that at least 51% of the alcohol content of the final blend comes exclusively from corn.


American bourbon must also be selected using 80% neutral spirits, which include any type of distilled product made from corn, beets or molasses, which should then be added to the final mixture, in addition to a maximum of 2% spices, which can include lab-produced chemicals, but Canadian whiskey cannot contain either of these elements.


Some other really important factors to keep in mind when looking at American whiskey is that it must be distilled to 80% ABV or 160 degrees of alcohol. The barrels used in the distillation process for American bourbon varieties must be made of used charred white oak or new charred white oak.


All of these factors and variables can vary greatly depending on the distiller and the type of whiskey being produced, so be sure to keep this in mind before making your final buying decision on which whiskey is best for you.


The history of bourbon and whiskey around the world is rich and varied, so you'll have no problem finding exactly the right match for your specific taste needs and flavor interests almost anywhere. The history of whiskey and bourbon is important because it gives you an idea of how the drink came to be, adding to the overall experience of drinking from a glass.


Now that we've covered all the important factors to consider when choosing a bourbon, it's time to look at some of the obvious differences you'll find between American bourbon choices and Canadian whiskey choices.


If you want to learn more about China whiskey, you can click boleded words.


Edition: Rubick L.