By Doug Radkey, Foodable Industry Expert
Today, among more than 500 Canadian distilled spirit brands available, Canadian whiskey is the number one selling product category, which first started in Quebec City in 1769. To fully enjoy drinking whiskey, you first need to know some of the basics about the spirit itself — the various styles, flavours, and how to pick yourself a bottle.
To help you quench your thirst for knowledge, Foodable presents this list of the Top 10 Canadian Whiskey Brands!
How It Works
Foodable Labs, which is powered by the Restaurant Social Media Index (RSMI), indexes over 167K restaurant and hospitality brands, 240K foodservice terms, and 220MM consumers to provide global industry insights. The Top 10 Canadian Whiskey Brands ranking was based on the more than 18,000 whiskey consumers in Canada who discussed the spirit at least three times per month.
The whiskey drinker sentiment score measures each whiskey on its taste profile, price, availability, and finish. So, without further ado, it’s time to slide your glasses across the counter — here are Foodable Labs’ Top 10 Canadian Whiskey Brands and their sentiment scores to inspire your next sip after a long day.
|RANK||Whiskey Brand||Sentiment Score|
|1||Masterson's 10-Year-Old Straight Rye Whiskey||94.38|
|2||Lock, Stock & Barrel 13-Year-Old Straight Rye Whiskey||93.67|
|3||Lot No. 40 Canadian Whisky||92.72|
|4||WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey||92.3|
|5||J.P. Wiser's 18 Years Old Canadian Whisky||91.81|
|6||Alberta Rye Whisky Dark Batch||90.11|
|7||Pike Creek Canadian Whiskey||89.64|
|8||Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve Canadian Whisky||88.99|
|9||Collingwood 21-Year-Old Canadian Rye Whisky||88.66|
|10||Still Waters Distiller Stalk & Barrel Rye Whisky||86.21|
1. Masterson’s 10-Year-Old Straight Rye | Sentiment Score: 94.38
Masterson’s 10-Year-Old Straight Rye comes few and far between and this brand is proving to the market — as apparent by its No. 1 ranking by Foodable Labs — that aging can do wonders to a rye. Masterson's 10-Year-Old straight Rye Whiskey is named for Canadian-born, U.S. Old West lawman William "Bat" Masterson. This whiskey is described by expert Davin de Kergommeaux as “a carefully crafted panorama of grassy dry grain, moist earth and burlap sacks, along with zingy pepper, blossoming floral vanilla, fragrant leather and tobacco leaves.”
2. Lock, Stock & Barrel 13-Year-Old Rye | Sentiment Score: 93.67
Coming out of Alberta, this is a very limited release with just 3,000 cases of 107 proof whiskey. It is Canadian in origin, having been double-distilled in copper pot stills before being aged “in cold weather for 16 years in newly charred American oak barrels,” Nino Marchetti, founder of The Whiskey Wash, said. This is a rare, fine whiskey made using the best of techniques, winning the highest of honors at the 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
3. Lot No. 40 | Sentiment Score: 92.72
This Ontario-based whiskey is distilled in small batches and prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients. Using the single copper pot still method drives an “earthy and woody” taste which becomes full-bodied and complex with a “velvety vanilla oak finish.”
“Lot No. 40 has more going for it than rye. Unlike most Canadian whiskies, which are aged mainly in older, used barrels that have shed most of their oak essence, it’s matured in a high proportion of new wood,” Canadian columnist Beppi Crosariol said.
4. WhistlePig Straight Rye | Sentiment Score: 92.30
WhistlePig is wonderful whiskey that seems to continue winning one award after another. It doesn’t come without some controversy, though. Some question if it should be a “Canadian” whiskey, as it is actually bottled in Vermont. However, it is distilled in Canada, from Canadian rye, and then matured in Canada before being shipped to Vermont. The result of its origin is up to you to decide, but it is an excellent whiskey that will leave you wanting more despite its location.
5. J.P. Wiser’s 18 Year Old Canadian Whiskey | Sentiment Score: 91.81
The age of a blend refers to the youngest component of the whiskey and there may in fact be parts that are much older. This whiskey is well known for being blended with exact care and aged to perfection. If you want the best drinking experience with this whiskey that has an abundance of oak, autumn floral, and hints of fresh pine, it is best to enjoy straight, over ice, or with a small amount of water.
6. Alberta Rye Dark Batch | Whiskey Drink Sentiment: 90.11
With its coffee milkshake, pecan pie, and delicate spices that produce a rye toast, cream, mineral, and pepper finish, this whiskey is often referred to as the “dessert of whiskey” and won double gold at the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
7. Pike Creek | Sentiment Score: 89.64
A brand that claims they have an obsession with attention to detail when it comes to selecting their barrels, this Ontario-based whiskey — which has been aged for 7 years — provides a complexity of sweet dried fruits, underlying peppery spice, and subtle toffee notes with a pleasant port finish.
8. Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve | Sentiment Score: 88.99
Confederation Oak Reserve by Forty Creek is a remarkable drink aged in Canadian oak barrels, which were harvested from trees that first rooted themselves in Canadian soil 150 years ago during Confederation. Priced for the “reserved” whiskey drinker, this multi-award winning drink provides a full-body experience with vanilla, butter cream, and pepper spice, all nicely framed with oak, walnut, and smoke.
9. Collingwood 21-Year-Old Rye | Sentiment Score: 88.66
Classified as rare, this rye was produced in the beautiful area of Collingwood and was crafted exclusively from rye grains harvested in Ontario’s fertile farmland. Finished in Canadian maple casks, this hard-to-find gem has a nose that is elegant and inviting with notes of vanilla, raisins, caramel, and a hint of spice.
10. Still Waters Distiller Stalk & Barrel Rye | Sentiment Score: 86.21
Fresh, a word often used to describe this whiskey, is made from locally grown, 100-percent Ontario rye grain. Each barrel is bottled individually as a single cask that produces individually numbered bottles. You’ve heard the phrase “farm to table”? Think of this as “grain to glass”!