Popular Brands of Canadian Whiskey

Popular Brands of Canadian Whiskey

The story of Canadian whisky began in the early 19th century when European settlers started making their homes in Canada. Making whisky was a way to use extra grain that couldn’t be sold or used in other ways. Unlike Scotland and Ireland, where whisky traditions were already established, Canadian whisky grew into its own unique thing with its special qualities.

The first records of whisky distillation in Canada go back to 1769 in Nova Scotia, where the first distillery started. But it wasn’t until the early 19th century that whisky production took off. Canadian farmers began distilling to keep and sell their extra grain crops.

A big moment for Canadian whisky came in 1840 when a law was passed allowing distilleries to be licensed. This helped the industry grow. One of the most famous producers then was Hiram Walker, who founded his company in 1858. They made Canadian Club, a very well-known Canadian whisky brand.

Canadian whisky is different from Scotch or American whisky. It’s often made from a mix of grains and is known for being smoother and gentler. Canadian laws also allow various production methods, contributing to its unique taste.

Here are some important things about Canadian whiskey:

  • Ingredients: It often uses rye, which makes it taste spicy and strong.
  • Aging: The changing weather in Canada makes the whiskey smooth and gentle.
  • Blending: In Canada, they blend whiskey to make it taste rich and complex.
  • Regulations: There are strict rules, like aging the whiskey for at least three years, to make sure it’s always good quality.
  • Global Presence: Canadian whiskey isn’t as famous worldwide as whiskey from the UK or Japan, but it’s still important because of its unique way of making and blending.

Crown Royal

Crown Royal Logo

Crown Royal was made in 1939 to celebrate the visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to Canada, which was a big deal back then. They wanted to make a special whisky showing how great Canada is. So, they mixed 50 different whiskies, creating a drink that tasted rich and complex. People love Crown Royal because it’s smooth and has flavors like vanilla, fruit, and spice. It’s great on its own or in fancy drinks. Plus, it comes in a fancy velvet bag with a royal-looking logo, showing it’s a top-notch whisky.

This whisky started just for Canadians and as gifts for big royal events. But over time, more and more people around the world wanted it. In the 1960s, it started being sold in the U.S., thanks to a country singer named Eddy Arnold, who thought it would be a hit there. Crown Royal took off thanks to smart ads and its fancy bottle and packaging. By the late 1990s, they sold over a million cases a year.

Crown Royal Bottle

Then, a company named Diageo bought Crown Royal, and they kept improving it. After over 75 years, Crown Royal is known worldwide as a fancy Canadian whisky. It’s a symbol of how good Canadian whisky can be.

Canadian Club

Canadian Club Logo

In the mid-1800s, Hiram Walker started something big. He made a whisky named Canadian Club, which was special because of how he made it. Instead of mixing grains and making whisky, he mixed the grains first and then aged the mix. This made his whisky smooth and tasty, with sweetness, lightness, and spice. People liked it a lot, not just on its own but in drinks too.

Walker’s whisky, first called “Club Whiskey,” became popular, especially in the United States. So, he changed the name to “Canadian Club” in the 1890s to show it was from Canada. Over time, the company joined with others, like Hiram Walker-Gooderham & Worts Limited in 1926, and later became part of bigger groups like Allied Domecq PLC and Beam Suntory. They did a lot of smart advertising, like the “Hide A Case” game and getting famous people to say they liked it. By the 1950s and 60s, Canadian Club was a big deal in the US.

Canadian Club Bottle

The Canadian Club logo, which stands for excellence and tradition, reminds people of the whisky’s long history and the quality drink Hiram Walker created. It’s a symbol known around the world for great taste.

Black Velvet

Black Velvet Logo

Black Velvet is a famous Canadian whisky known for being very smooth and having a great taste. They make it by carefully choosing the best grains and aging them in special barrels. This makes their whisky nice to drink. The Black Velvet logo looks fancy and shows they care a lot about making good whisky.

The story of Black Velvet started in 1951. Back then, it was hard to find Scotch from other countries because of World War II, so they wanted to make a good, affordable Canadian whisky. They made a blend that lasted three to five years, and people in western Canada liked it. By the 1970s, many more people were buying Black Velvet, and it became one of the top whiskies in Canada.

Black Velvet Bottle

In the 1990s, a big company called Guinness bought Black Velvet, which helped more people worldwide learn about it. But there were some tough times, and the brand changed owners a few times. In 2009, Heaven Hill bought Black Velvet and worked hard to make it popular again.

Now, more than 70 years after it first came out, Black Velvet is loved by people worldwide. It’s known for its rich flavor, but it is still something many can buy.

J.P. Wiser’s

J.P. Wiser's Logo

In 1857, John Philip Wiser started making a special kind of whisky in Canada called J.P. Wiser’s. He had a smart idea to let the whisky sit for a while to make it taste better. This way of making whisky helped J.P. Wiser’s become famous for its rich flavors and smooth taste. The J.P. Wiser’s logo today shows how proud they are of making top-notch whisky for a long time.

J.P. Wiser’s got its start in a town called Prescott, Ontario. Back then, Canada had a lot of grain, perfect for making whisky. By 1884, the Wiser family made it official with their own company. They kept making whisky, even when it was hard during times like when alcohol wasn’t allowed in Canada and during the big economic crash.

J.P. Wiser's Bottle

For a long time, especially in the mid-1900s, many people in North America loved J.P. Wiser’s whiskies because they were smooth. But in the 1990s, things got tough, and another company called Corby Distilleries helped them out. Later, two more companies, Allied Domecq and Pernod Ricard, took over, but they kept making whisky like John Wiser did more than 165 years ago. So, whenever someone drinks J.P. Wiser’s, they enjoy a piece of Canadian whisky history.

Alberta Premium

Alberta Premium Logo

Alberta Premium is a special kind of whiskey from Canada, made from the best rye grain. This whiskey is known for its smooth taste, with hints of toffee, dark fruit, and spice—people who know their whiskey love Alberta Premium for its rich flavors and high quality. The logo of Alberta Premium shows how classy and top-notch this whiskey is.

The Alberta Distillers facility, where Alberta Premium is made, was started in Calgary, Alberta, by a guy named Sam Bronfman in 1946. It’s one of the first big distilleries in Canada, focusing on making whiskey from rye grain. In the 1950s, Alberta Premium came out as a whiskey made entirely from rye, different from other whiskies at the time; it was lighter and mixed with other grains. Its taste is full of spice and aromas because of the special rye they use and how they age it in barrels.

Alberta Premium Bottle

Even after Alberta Premium changed owners a few times, with Diageo buying Seagram in 1987 and then Beam Suntory taking over in the early 2000s, it kept making whiskey the traditional Canadian rye way. The work Sam Bronfman started still influences Alberta Premium, making it a symbol of Canadian whiskey history. It has won awards for staying true to rye whiskey’s classic, rich taste. The logo of Alberta Premium tells the story of its long history and commitment to making quality whiskey, promising a bright future in Canadian whiskey.

Gibson’s Finest

Gibson's Finest Logo

Gibson’s Finest is a top-notch Canadian whiskey known for its rich vanilla, spice, and oak flavors. It’s made with care and aged in the best barrels, offering a fancy drinking experience. The logo of Gibson’s Finest is all about luxury and high-quality whiskey making.

The Gibson’s story started in 1856 with John Gibson, who opened his distillery near the beautiful Monongahela River in Pennsylvania, USA. He made good rye, wheat, and malt whiskeys, especially his rye whiskey. But when Prohibition hit in 1920, he had to close down, and everything from the distillery was sold off in the 1930s.

Gibson's Finest Bottle

Years later, in 1945, the Gibson’s brand got a second chance in Quebec, Canada, thanks to Schenley Distillers Corp. They started making quality whiskey again. In 1972, fifty years after their original distillery had to sell everything, Schenley returned Gibson’s name, using Canadian whiskey from Valleyfield. Later, the brand got even bigger when William Grant & Sons bought it.

Gibson’s Finest is made today at the Hiram Walker distillery in Windsor, Ontario. It keeps the spirit of John Gibson alive, overcoming the tough times of Prohibition and still standing for excellent quality. The logo of Gibson’s Finest shows its proud history and dedication to making the best whiskey.

Forty Creek

Forty Creek Logo

Forty Creek is a special kind of whisky from Canada known for being different and good. They make their whisky by trying new things and focusing a lot on making sure it tastes great and is interesting. The logo for Forty Creek looks bold and shows that they like to think outside the box.

John K. Hall started Forty Creek in Grimsby, Ontario, in 1992. He spent much time making his whisky recipes better and determining the best ways to mix them. When he finally shared Forty Creek with everyone, people liked it. It won some big awards and became famous around the world.

Forty Creek Bottle

In the 2000s, more and more people in Canada wanted Forty Creek whisky, so the company grew. They built a new place in 2005 with even better equipment for making whisky, which helped them make more without losing any good taste.

By 2014, after winning Canada’s Whisky of the Year in 2011 and 2012, a big company named Gruppo Campari decided to buy Forty Creek. This helped Forty Creek get known in even more places. Today, it’s still one of the best whiskies from Canada because it keeps the special touch and ideas that John Hall started with, even as it reaches whisky fans worldwide.


Seagram's Logo

In the late 1800s, Joseph E. Seagram started Seagram’s whisky brand in Canada. It quickly became known for making good whisky. Seagram’s whisky was special because they carefully mixed different grains like rye, corn, and barley. Then, they aged this mix in special oak barrels to make the whisky smooth and full of different flavors. This made it a hit with people who loved whisky and even those trying it for the first time.

Seagram’s began in a small place in Waterloo, Ontario, in 1857. A few years later, in 1883, they made a whisky called “Wiser’s,” which helped them get noticed in Canada. Joseph’s son, Edward F. Seagram, took over and made the company even bigger. During the 1920s, when alcohol was banned in the United States (Prohibition), Seagram’s started selling in the US, which made them popular worldwide.

Seagram's Bottle

After Prohibition ended in the 1930s, Seagram’s grew in North America. Later on, the Bronfman family, who owned Seagram’s, decided to try new things beyond making whisky, like getting into the entertainment business. This showed they were willing to change and try new ideas. But in the early 2000s, they stopped making Seagram’s whisky, ending nearly 150 years of their whisky story.

Even though they stopped making whisky, the Seagram’s logo reminds people of their great whisky and its history. It’s a symbol of quality and tradition in making whisky, loved by many who enjoy a good drink.

Lot No. 40

Lot No. 40 Logo

Lot No. 40 is a special Canadian whiskey that honors Canada’s long whiskey-making history. It has a spicy taste with a little caramel and wood flavor, making it a favorite for people who love a strong and full drink. The logo of Lot No. 40 shows its promise to make excellent whiskey the way it’s always been in Canada.

The story of Lot No. 40 starts with Joshua Booth, one of the first people to make whiskey in Canada. He got a piece of land; the fortieth one was given out, and that’s where Lot No. 40 comes from. Many years later, a relative of his, Michael Booth, decided to bring back the family’s whiskey-making tradition. In 2012, with the help of Hiram Walker & Sons, where Michael worked as a Master Blender, they started making Lot No. 40 again. This whiskey is about using 100% rye, just like Joshua Booth did long ago.

Lot No. 40 Bottle

They age the whiskey in oak barrels for over nine years for its strong and lively taste. Michael Booth wanted to remember and honor the hard work and spirit of Joshua Booth and keep the family’s tradition alive. This effort shows in the taste of the whiskey and the logo that connects the past with now, showing how tradition and new ideas come together in making Canadian whiskey.

Pike Creek

Pike Creek Logo

In the peaceful area of Pike Creek, expert whiskey makers carefully create a whiskey that’s both smooth and full of rich flavors. They age the whiskey in different kinds of barrels, giving it a unique sweet and spicy taste. This shows Pike Creek is all about trying new things while still honoring the old whiskey-making methods. The Pike Creek logo represents this mix of old and new.

Pike Creek first came out in 1998, aiming to be a top-notch Canadian whiskey, but people weren’t quite ready for something so different. In 2012, Corby Spirit and Wine brought Pike Creek back, finishing the whiskey in Port barrels to add more depth and interesting flavors.

Pike Creek Bottle

In 2016, Pike Creek took another new turn by using Rum barrels, which added a new and exciting taste to the whiskey. Now, Pike Creek is seen as a premium whiskey brand, always looking for new barrel finishes to make their whiskey even more special. This means they keep coming up with whiskies that each have their special taste.

The Pike Creek logo, which mixes old-fashioned and modern looks, shows that Pike Creek respects the traditional ways of making whiskey but is also open to new ideas. Each bottle proves Pike Creek’s commitment to making high-quality, unique whiskey.

Shelter Point

Shelter Point Logo

Shelter Point Distillery is a special place in Canada where they make good whisky. It’s on Vancouver Island, and everything about it shows how beautiful and natural Canada is. The whisky is made using things from the area, like water and grains, and they work hard to ensure every bottle feels like a piece of Canada.

In 2008, they started building the distillery, a big, modern place where they make the whisky. It took three years to build. They use special equipment made by experts from Scotland to make sure their whisky is top-notch. In 2011, they made their first whisky; since then, they’ve been known for making great drinks.

Shelter Point Bottle

Shelter Point is more than just a place to make whisky; it’s like a treasure for people who love whisky and want to see how it’s made. They welcome visitors to come and see how they make whisky and to enjoy the beauty of the place. Their logo, which has the Shelter Point name, shows how much they care about making quality whisky and being true to where they come from.

Two Brewers

Two Brewers Logo

Two Brewers is a unique whisky brand from Canada that mixes old-school whisky-making with new ideas. They make their whisky in small batches and are known for trying new things and being passionate about their work. Their whiskies are special because they offer exciting flavors and smells, made for people who want something different. The Two Brewers logo is simple but creative, showing their approach to making amazing whiskies.

Bob Baxter and Al Hansen started Two Brewers in 1997 in Whitehorse, Yukon, as a brewery. They first became famous for their creative beers. In 2009, they decided to make spirits, using their background in engineering and creativity to switch from brewing beer to distilling whisky. Like their beers, they wanted their whiskies to have unique flavors and textures.

Two Brewers Bottle

By 2016, after lots of experimenting, Two Brewers introduced their first whiskies. They blended the world of beer and whisky, creating drinks with the deep, rich taste of whisky with interesting beer-like flavors. The Two Brewers logo, simple but meaningful, shows their dedication to making whiskies that are not just different but also celebrate the craftsmanship of distilling.

Stalk & Barrel

Stalk & Barrel Logo

Stalk & Barrel is a whisky brand from Ontario, Canada, that started making waves worldwide in 2009. This brand began at the Still Waters Distillery, the first small-scale distillery in the area. They started making vodka and gin, setting high standards for their work.

In 2015, Stalk & Barrel decided to make whisky, too. They used special Canadian barley to make their whisky stand out. Then, in 2017, they made a new kind of whisky with a smoky flavor, using grains from Canada. This showed they were ready to try new things and make different kinds of whisky.
Over time, Stalk & Barrel kept experimenting, using barrels that had held bourbon and maple syrup to age their whisky and even trying barrels used for wine and rum. This helped make their whisky taste interesting.

Stalk & Barrel Bottle

Stalk & Barrel is logo shows how much they care about making great whisky in a traditional but new way. It tells whisky lovers and people new to whisky that Stalk & Barrel is about quality and creativity. Their logo promises you’re getting something special, made with great care and attention to detail. Stalk & Barrel invites everyone to try their whisky and see how they’re making a name for themselves in Canadian whisky.


Macaloney's Logo

In Canada, a whisky place called Macaloney’s Distillery is doing something special. It was started by a man from Scotland named Graeme Macaloney. He moved to Canada and wanted to make a new kind of whisky that mixed Scottish traditions with Canadian ingredients and creativity.

This distillery began in British Columbia in 2012. They’re picky about using the best Canadian stuff and special equipment made in Scotland. By 2014, they made their first whisky, and by 2016, they created a special drink aged in old wine barrels.

Macaloney's Bottle

Over time, Macaloney’s kept doing amazing things. In 2020, they made a smoky whisky that got lots of praise. Then, in 2022, they released very special whiskies that had been aging for 12 and 18 years, showing off how good their drinks could get over time.

Macaloney’s is known for blending Scottish traditions with Canadian flair, making some of the best whisky. Their logo shows their commitment to quality, tradition, and new ideas, making them stand out in the whisky world.

Highwood Distillers

Highwood Distillers Logo

Right at the foot of the big, beautiful Rockies, Highwood Distillers makes some of the best Canadian whiskey. They use clean water and fresh air from the mountains and stick to the old whiskey-making methods. People love their whiskey because it’s smooth and tastes great, showing how much care and hard work goes into making it. The Highwood Distillers logo shows they promise to make top-notch Canadian whiskey, and whiskey lovers everywhere think it’s great.

Highwood started in 1974 when a group from Calgary decided to make a distillery that would stand out. They even got help from a distiller from Germany to start making whiskey in Calgary, calling it Sunnyvale Distillery at first.

Highwood Distillers Bottle

In 1985, they changed the name to Highwood Distillers, and things started to take off. They made many different Canadian whiskey types, always trying new ways to make their whiskey even better, like using special stills and barrels to add more flavor. Highwood became known as one of the best places in Canada to make whiskey thanks to its focus on making good, high-quality drinks.