Canadian Whisky Awards

While I focus primarily on American Whiskeys of various style, I also realize it’s a big wide world out there. Canadian whisky producers continue to put out some excellent, and under appreciated whisky. Just this past weekend I reviewed Masterson’s Rye, which is a sourced product from Canada. That’s really just the tip of the iceberg.

Perhaps more so than anyone, Davin de Kergommeaux has helped to prop up the Canadian Whisky industry with his fantastic website, In the last week or two, Davin produced his annual Canadian Whisky awards where he outlines the best and brightest from the previous year. Davin’s one of the best whiskey writers out there – take a peek at his annual whisky award link if you are interested in trying something new and different.

2011 Canadian Whisky Awards



  1. Bmac says:


    I have actually tried to find some ultra-premium Canadian Whiskeys but it seems they are mostly all available in Canada only. However, if you ever come across it, Forty-Creek Double Barrel is the best Canadian Whiskey I have had.

    If you come across Crown Royal XR…steer clear. It’s surviving whiskey from the now, burnt-down Waterloo distillery. Where as it might be rare…it doesn’t mean it’s good.

  2. DBMaster says:

    I’ll echo Bmac about Forty Creek. All of the whisky is made by John C. Hall at Kitterling Ridge Estate – a winery in Grimsby, Ontario. He has a very individual approach to whisky making. I have tried the Barrel Select. It’s a bit too sweet for my tastes, but a nice change of pace for $20 a bottle. Check out his YouTube video series. It’s worth the time.

    Truthfully, Canadian whisky only gained a toehold in this country due to prohibition. You can make some decent mixed drinks with the stuff. Don’t get me started on Crown Royal. To a lot of people I know Crown Royal is “whisky.” Yikes!

  3. DBMaster says:

    Sorry, I messed up again. Hall’s winery is called Kittling Ridge, not Kitterling.

  4. Dave says:

    I like Crown Royal Black….for Canadian Whiskey.

    Dave in Oklahoma

  5. DBMaster says:

    I do not want to make the mistake of stating in absolutes. There is nothing at all wrong with Canadian whisky. It has not been to my liking over the last couple of since the days I used to like standard Canadian Club (80’s). My tastes have changed and there is certainly nothing I can see wrong with anyone who likes anything Canadian. I don’t even really have a favorite American whiskey. I have a “Mr. Right v. Mr. Right Now” attitude toward whiskey. It keeps me feeling like my money has been well-spent. My favorite whiskey is still out there, waiting to be discovered.

    YOUR favorite whiskey is the one you enjoy, enjoyed the way YOU like to enjoy it. Period.

  6. SC Mike says:

    Crown Royal Black has a very off strong ‘hay’ smell and grainy taste….not my taste. Has anyone else noticed this? I like regular CR.

  7. Bmac says:

    I personally didn’t like CR black but couldn’t put my finger on why. SC Mike may have nailed it. It has that “chewing on a piece of straw” feel to it. It’s not off-putting per se, it’s just not the flavor profile I want in a whiskey…which is why I would never shell out nearly 400 dollars on Charbay’s beer whiskey. I understand it has a similar flavor profile of grass, and straw….and dirt. ugh…makes me ill just thinking about it.

  8. I haven’t tried CR black, but I’ve been LOVING a bottle of Crown Royal Cask No. 16 lately: plum pudding and oak spice. It’s oozing with black fruits in the nose and mid palate. It has an ultra dark hazelnut shell color supposedly from aging in cognac casks. (It doesn’t explicitly state “no additives” so I’ll assume there’s some caramel color in there too.

    I’ll ditto the Forty-Creek recommendation too. The base version isn’t that special, but there are number of special versions that are such as Confederation Oak Reserve, Small Batch, Port Wood Reserve, as well as the aforementioned Double Barrel. They are all hard to come by. Easier to find and worth trying are the Canadian Club Sherry Cask (not the regular stuff – the special Sherry Cask edition), and the Crown Royal “Reserve” (as well as the Cask No 16).

    Most normal canadians are too sweet and simple for my tastes – but some of these more wooded ones are definitely worth checking out.

  9. Bmac says:

    Hi Josh, I have a bottle of Crown Reserve, and it’s not bad. What I find interesting is that it tastes very similar to Mocambo 20 yr single barrel rum. who knew whiskey could taste like rum!?! It might be the sweetness.

  10. sam k says:

    It might also be that mysterious (and somewhat disconcerting) 9.09%.

  11. Since Mocambo 20 yr single barrel rum sounds like an excellent product that sounds like praise. Spirits that spend a long time in wood take on a lot of wood flavors. This can produce similarities. I’ve always thought the high rye mashbill 4 Roses single barrel offerings tasted a lot like cognac (and considered that high praise).

    Although, as Sam K says, we can’t be sure they aren’t putting something else in CR – like maybe rum!

  12. JWC says:

    davin has a great site. i prefer bourbon and scotch but some of my favorite whiskey is canadian: all the great ryes (lot no. 40) and then there’s bush pilot =)

  13. Davin had a stroke a few weeks back so keep him in your thoughts. He’s a really swell guy and is recovering well.

  14. Andy – thanks for posting this. It seems he is doing well as you mention and a great guy.

    Go Hilltoppers!

  15. Davin de Kergommeaux says:

    Thanks for your well wishes guys. Indeed I am well into a nearly miraculous full recovery. I think the word ‘stroke’ makes it sound a lot worse than it is. I am moving a bit slow, but no loss of faculties. Thanks for your kind words, and for thinking of me.

  16. Great to hear Davin!