Canadian Club Chronicles 41-Year-Old whiskey is the oldest bottling of Canadian whiskey on the market. It is Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible 2019’s Whiskey of the Year. It is a sought-after limited-edition whiskey, with hints of caramel, toasted oak, vanilla, spice, dark plum, and subtle rye. It comes from a proprietary mash that has aged since 1977 in Canadian oak barrels. It is liquid gold, boasting a complex taste that’s both smooth and satisfying.
What Is Canadian Whiskey?
Canadian whiskey is a unique type of liquor. One of the factors that distinguishes Canadian whiskey from other types of whiskey is that it doesn’t have nearly as many legal requirements as bourbon or Irish whiskey. While bourbon must come from the United States and consist of a grain mixture with at least 51% corn, Canadian whiskey has no such legal requirements. Corn is still the majority grain, but it does not have any requirement based on percentage. The requirements of Canadian whiskey are as follows:
- Aged a minimum of three years in its native country
- Wooden barrels must be no larger than 700 liters
- Manufacturers must mash and distill the spirit in Canada
- Alcohol content can exceed 90%, so blends are allowed
- May add caramel coloring and artificial flavoring
- Must have alcohol content of at least 40% when finally bottled
Unlike bourbon, which manufacturers must age in new, charred oak barrels, the type of barrel does not matter for Canadian whiskey. The barrel can be charred, uncharred, new, or old. Canadian whiskey consists of several different grains, but (again, unlike bourbon) each grain goes through fermentation, distillation, and aging separately. Manufacturers do not blend the grains together until the very end of the process. This means the amount of rye whiskey creators add to each blend can vary significantly.
History of Canadian Whiskey in the U.S.
During the Civil War, the shutdown of American distilleries moved much of the business to Canada. That shut down sent many early distillery pioneers to Canada to continue to hone their craft. By 1900, Gooderham & Worts had grown to one of the greatest distilleries in the world. It produced around two million gallons of Canadian whiskey annually at the time.
Canadian whiskey entered the United States for the first time during the Prohibition. At first, it was far from a hit – American distillers could purchase Canadian whiskey distilleries for cheap, showing the lack of demand for the product. One liquor salesman at the time, Harry Hatch, bought four of the five largest distilleries in Canada at once: Gooderham & Worts, Corby, Wiser’s, and Hiram Walker. The fact that just a salesman could buy the majority of industry leaders is a testament to Canadian whiskey’s initial lack of popularity. Eventually, the blended whiskey gained popularity and has continued to hold a special place among whiskey drinkers.
In 2017, Canadian whiskey generated almost $2 billion in revenue in the United States, with over 17.5 million nine-liter cases sold. Canadian whiskey is the largest imported whiskey type in the United States, worth around $4.8 million retail. Recently, consumers have been experimenting with a wider range of Canadian whiskies. Both high-end premium and super-premium Canadian whiskey brands saw sales growth in 2017 (38% and 48%, respectively).
Tasting Notes on Canadian Whiskey
Canadian whiskey is not “brown vodka,” as a common misconception goes. It has a dynamic and complex taste, with a variety of selections aged in many types of barrels with varying recipes. Canadian whiskey is one of the most interesting types of spirits thanks to the leniency of the legal requirements. Makers can craft different flavors and tastes by varying the recipe and barrel used for aging. Each bottle can taste brand new.
Despite the almost limitless taste options, most Canadian whiskey distilleries stick to age-old recipes and production processes. Canadian distillers offer quality products they’ve made the same way for decades. Most Canadian whiskies have a majority of corn spirits, along with rye grain. Flavorful rye grains became so popular in the recipe that many people began referring to Canadian whiskey as “rye whiskey,” and today the two terms are still interchangeable.
Canadian whiskey is generally lighter and smoother in taste than other types of whiskies. Most distilleries use majority corn and rye grains, but some recipes also incorporate triticale, barley, or wheat grains. Canadian whiskey tastes delicious straight, but it is also a preferred spirit for mixing into cocktails and highballs. It is a versatile drink with a rich history and a bright future. The recent popularity of brand-new Canadian whiskies – straight rye, spiced, and small-batch – is proof of the drink’s longevity.
The Silky-Smooth Canadian Club Chronicles 41-Year Whiskey
Canadian Club Chronicles has been distilling spirits since 1858. Hiram Walker, an American entrepreneur, initially founded the company as a way to continue his whiskey business during the U.S. Prohibition. Soon, however, the brand turned into one of Canada’s top choices. It has been distilling spirits for over 160 years. The 41-Year Whiskey is the oldest whiskey Canadian Club has ever released. The bottle’s other name pays homage to the company’s headquarters in Windsor, Ontario: “CC Chronicles Issue No. 1: Water of Windsor.”
Canadian Club Chronicles 41-Year Whiskey hit the market in November 2018. It is the very first limited-edition release from the “CC Chronicles” line. It has a 45% ABV, and was blended with small portions of rye, cognac, and sherry. Those lucky enough to have enjoyed a taste of this special whiskey have described it as complex and deep. The aroma is a delicate blend of caramel and toasted oak, with a hint of vanilla and spice. The palette boasts more vanilla, caramel, and oak, along with notes of dark plum, tobacco, and rye spiciness. It leaves behind a warm, lingering finish of caramel and spice.
Experts have called this whiskey, “silky smooth,” “exceptionally balanced, “harmonious,” and “extraordinary, yet subtle.” The 41-Year Whiskey taps into the burgeoning market for high-end and premium whiskies in the United States, and comes in a special-edition decanter-style vessel. Each bottle holds 750 milliliters. It is a very limited-edition whiskey, and one consumers are sure to reserve for only the best occasions and once-in-a-lifetime achievements. Treat yourself or surprise a loved one – get your bottle today before they’re gone forever.