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Canadian Whisky

Canada’s whisky-making history mirrors that of the United States. Its earliest farmers first began distilling rye in the eastern territories (in the late 1700s), but as western Canada was settled in the following centuries, corn and wheat also became popular. Canadian whisky came to prominence during Prohibition, when it was illegally smuggled by boatloads and carloads to those American masses thirsty in the south. While there are strict U.S. requirements for when a specific grain can be referenced on a label, a bottle of Canadian whisky can be labeled as “rye whisky” even if there is little or even no rye in the mashbill. This is due to the use of rye as a flavoring grain throughout much of Canada’s whisky-making history, which was so well-known that “rye” and “whisky” became interchangeable. The only legal requirements for Canadian whisky are that it must be made in Canada from a fermented cereal mash that is then aged in wood containers for at least three years and bottled at 80 proof or higher.

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