Gooderham & Worts Four Grain Canadian Whisky

The original G&H was a large Toronto distiller established in 1832 and which merged with Canadian mega conglomerate Hiram Walker in 1926. It functioned as a Hiram Walker plant until it was closed for good in 1990. The eponymous brand was re-released by current Hiram Walker owner Pernod Ricard in 2015 and is now distilled by Corby Spirits (which is mostly owned by Pernod Ricard) in Windsor, Ontario. …

Pike Creek Canadian Whisky (Port Finish)

Pike Creek is another in a spate of Canadian whisky brand revivals along with Lot 40 and Gooderham & Worts from Corby Distillers. From 2012 until 2016 or so, Pike Creek was available as a 10 year-old Port Finish edition in Canada and a Port Finish edition in the US which is only aged 7 years, although this is not disclosed on the label. The US version is younger because the producer felt that demand for the new brand would outstrip supply. Thanks, Canada.

Treaty Oak “Red Handed” Rye (10 year)

The rye has a bit higher ABV at 50%, and an actual age statement at a resounding 10 years. That’s pretty high for rye in the current market. A bit of digging revealed that this rye is from the Schenley distillery, at a mashbill of 53% rye, 39% corn and 8% barley. I spent a little too much time researching this, as the name Schenley is both a storied name in American whiskey and also awash with confusion…

Canadian Club 100% Rye

Canadian Club 100% rye is distilled by Alberta Distillers … although the Canadian Club brand is owned by Beam-Suntory. The 100% rye whisky is aged in a combination of casks: brand new American white oak barrels, previously-used bourbon barrels, and barrels that previously held Canadian whisky. The resulting batches are bottled at 40% ABV.

Forty Creek Barrel Select

The entry-level product from the upstart Canadian distillery, Forty Creek. As it’s positioned as a direct competitor to the entry-level Crown Royal, the flavor profile makes sense. It definitely tastes like a “higher end” Crown for not much more money. It’s also cheap enough to mix with. Forty Creek ages their copper pot-still components (rye, corn, and barley) in separate barrels and then carefully blends them together for the final product, an unusual approach.

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye

The Northern Harvest Rye bottling itself is a blended Canadian whisky comprising a high percentage (90%) of rye. (Most Canadian whisky contains rye, to some extent.) The packaging claims the rye used is from fields that over-winter under cover of snow which, we’re expected to believe, leads to smoother whisky. The result is bottled at 45% ABV. That’s pretty much all Crown has revealed. So, am I about to taste the world’s best whiskey?