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Canadian Distilling

Spirits of the land

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Made with the finest ingredients the land can offer, Canadian distilled spirits — from Canadian whisky to liqueurs — are among the world's best. They're steeped in tradition, too, because we've been refining our craft since the first Canadian distillery was founded in Québec City in 1769.

Our distillers' tradition grew deeper as Canada journeyed toward nationhood, and by 1840 our distinctive Canadian rye whisky had already secured a notable reputation for excellence. Today, Canadian distillers produce not only Canadian whisky but also a wide range of other fine spirits including rum, vodka, gin, brandy, liqueurs and coolers. There are now close to 1,000 domestic brands of spirits available.

The taste of distinction

The most famous of all our distilled spirits is our Canadian whisky. It's the only spirit in Canada whose origin and production techniques are protected by law. Whisky is "appellation protected." This means if it says "whisky" on the bottle, you know it comes from Canada.

What makes Canadian whisky so distinctive? It's partly our careful choice of water, which must contain just the right amount of minerals. It's also because of the carefully chosen corn and internationally recognized malting barley that our distillers use. Above all, though, it's the rye included in the blend that gives Canadian whisky its distinctive character. The grain's flavours meld with the sweet vanillins from the charred oak barrels in which the spirit is aged, and after a minimum of three years in the cask, it has mellowed into one of the smoothest whiskies in the world.

Standards of excellence

The success of Canada's distillery industry rests on our high product standards, our abundance of high-quality crops grown in fertile, clean soil, and our long tradition of proven distilling techniques. In addition, Canadian distillers operate under strict health, safety and quality regulations enforced by the federal government. These regulations and standards have helped Canadian distilled spirits earn their well-deserved international reputation for exceptional character and memorable taste.

Taste the Canadian difference

Whether it's Canadian whisky on the rocks, a Caesar with Canadian vodka or a cooler over ice, there's a Canadian spirit to suit everyone who takes pleasure in a fine beverage. For further information on Canada's distilling industry, please visit:

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