Are there any straight Canadian,,,,,,

Talk about Tennessee, American and Rye Whiskey here.

Moderators: Brewer, brendaj

Are there any straight Canadian,,,,,,

Unread postby sevenmag » Sun Mar 20, 2005 12:01 pm

Whiskies?

I wouldn't mind giving a couple a shot at making the regular line up but I'm not a fan of blends. That's why I drink Bourbon, it's honest and pure and I find Crown Royal to be the most over rated and over hyped adult beverage on the planet. Well, Chivas might hold that honor but it's in the top two.

Anyhoo, are there any?
sevenmag
 

Unread postby gillmang » Sun Mar 20, 2005 12:45 pm

Straight is not a term used or defined in Canada. Until the early 1950's, distillers here did sell whiskies that were made in the same way as U.S. straights (e.g. Seagram sold an 8 year old rye whiskey at 100 proof that was "real" rye), but these brands left the market and after that only the blends remained. In recent years, Lot 40, made by Alled Domecq (it owns Canadian Club), was available, a hearty rye whisky that either incorporated a lot of, or was 100%, straight-style rye whisky. It tasted somewhat like Old Potrero or Overholt, kind a cross between the two I'd say. It is no longer produced but bottles can still be found in some of the larger U.S. stores. Then there is 40 Creek of Grimsby, Ontario which makes Barrel Select and Three Grain. These are made in one run apparently in a pot still. 3 whiskies are made, an all-corn, all-rye and all-barley malt, and these are blended to form Barrel Select which has a good mature quality and Three Grain which is fruitier, seemingly younger. Both are excellent and available in many U.S. outlets. They offer a stronger flavour than Crown Royal but not quite the full-on taste of a bourbon or straight rye. But they are good.

Gary
User avatar
gillmang
Vatman
 
Posts: 2140
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:44 pm

Unread postby mickblueeyes » Sun Mar 20, 2005 12:48 pm

When you use the word blend, I think you need to qualify it. Like Scotch, there are blends of straight whiskies and "grain whiskies" (Scottish for "3 year old neutral grain spirits), which will be your typical Crown, Seagrams, Windsor, etc. I believe that the Canadians are able to add up to 15-20% "grain neutral spirits" before declaring it on the label.

However, there are blends of various grains, which are straight whiskies. Great examples include: Gooderham and Worts, Lot 40, Pike's Creek, Forty Creek, Pendleton and Tangle Ridge.
In spiritus veritas
mickblueeyes
Registered User
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 8:44 pm
Location: Knoxville, TN

Unread postby mickblueeyes » Sun Mar 20, 2005 12:52 pm

Gillman,

The Lot 40, Gooderham and Worts and Pike's Creek are still being brought into the US. I work for one of a handful of select retailers in the US that get some. The US distributor (McCormick) informed me that only 10 six pack cases are brought into the states each year.
In spiritus veritas
mickblueeyes
Registered User
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 8:44 pm
Location: Knoxville, TN

Unread postby sevenmag » Sun Mar 20, 2005 1:08 pm

Thanks for the info guys.

When I say "blends" I mean NGS added. From what I understand with Scotch if it's a mixture scothes from different disstilleries but still 100 % malted barley that's where"Pure Malt" is used, and if it's single malt it's all from a single disstillery. The term "Blend" is used when NGS are mixed in with whiskies from a few disstilleries.

Hope that makes sense.

It's just up to this point, I've never met a blend (in that definition) that I liked.
sevenmag
 

Unread postby gillmang » Sun Mar 20, 2005 3:17 pm

Thanks all for your input. Mick, good to hear Lot 40 (at least) is still available. (By the way, call me Gary). It has been delisted by Liquor Control Board of Ontario. I suspect there is unsold stock that is being sold slowly in the export markets. I'd be surprised if more is being bottled but if so, that's great. The whiskies you mentioned in the Allied Domecq "craft" series other than Lot 40 like Gooderham & Worts are not bad but I would be very surprised if they were low-proof straight-style whisky or a blend of same. They tasted very light to me, quite similar to Special Old and the other regulars in the Hiram Walker range. But Lot 40 was different, there was really an attempt there to do something different (for Canada).

Regarding GNS, all Canadian whisky must be at least 3 years old, is my understanding. So new GNS can't be added. Up 10% (more or less) can be added I understand of sherry or prune wine or other such flavourings but not (new) GNS. It remains true that Canadian whisky, except for the straight whiskey component, i.e., the flavouring whiskies, which however are a small percentage of what goes in the bottle, starts out more or less as GNS. But by minimum 3 years aging it acquires oak character.

There is no GNS in scotch whisky, like Canadian whisky it may contain (all the blends do) some high proof grain whisky but it must be aged, I don't recall the minimum number of years for the aging, it is probably 3 years but may be more.

Single malt is (low proof) pot still whisky from one distillery. Pure malt or vatted malt is a blend (mixture) of single malts.

Gary
User avatar
gillmang
Vatman
 
Posts: 2140
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:44 pm

Unread postby angelshare » Sun Mar 20, 2005 3:32 pm

gillmang wrote:In recent years, Lot 40, made by Alled Domecq (it owns Canadian Club), was available, a hearty rye whisky that either incorporated a lot of, or was 100%, straight-style rye whisky. It tasted somewhat like Old Potrero or Overholt, kind a cross between the two I'd say.


Thanks for the info, Gary. I'm fairly sure you can get Lot 40 in VA state stores. I'll check the list. If so, maybe I'll give it a try. I also recently saw it in MD, so it's a least in the general region.
Dave & Tina
angelshare
Registered User
 
Posts: 530
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 9:09 pm
Location: Luray, VA

Unread postby TNbourbon » Sun Mar 20, 2005 3:59 pm

I've found all of Lot 40, Gooderham and Worts and Pike's Creek (Lot 40 in quite a lot of stores) locally and area-wide. Hard to believe nondescript Columbia, TN and its environs is the habitat of that many 'select retailers'. Must be old stock.
TNbourbon
Registered User
 
Posts: 430
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2004 10:11 pm

Unread postby mickblueeyes » Sun Mar 20, 2005 4:28 pm

Good info Gary. I don't doubt your knowledge, but I might have to argue with you. I know that I have some bottles of cheap Canadian at the shop that say X% straight whiskies and X% GNS. I will try to find the brands out on Mon or Tues and let you know.

Though I don't trust a lot of what he writes, I believe that Jim Murray mentions the addtion of GNS in his whisky book. I will try to find it.

Great info nonetheless!
In spiritus veritas
mickblueeyes
Registered User
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 8:44 pm
Location: Knoxville, TN

Unread postby cowdery » Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:00 pm

There is some confusion about the use of GNS in Canadian whiskey and I'm not sure where to get a definitive answer. Michael Jackson's "World Guide to Whiskey" says GNS can be added but John Hall of Forty Creek who does make the stuff and has a pretty good handle on the regs, says GNS cannot be added. My understanding, not wishstanding the Jackson book, is the same as Gary's.

One thought: If the corn whiskey component of Canadian whiskey is distlled at 95 percent or more, as I believe it is, that would legally be "neutral spirits" under U.S. law. That may be the explanation, but I'm not sure that is it.

At any event, that "spirit," whatever you call it, must be aged, either in a mixture with the other whiskies, or separately. (Historically, Seagrams did it one way and Hiram Walker did it the other way.)

It is possible that in Canada there is a product which, like American Blended Whiskey, does contain some GNS, but that fact has to be noted on the label.

Whatever you call it, the basic idea of Canadian Whiskey is the same as the basic idea of blended scotch, which is to take a nearly characterless alcohol and flavor it with favorful aged whiskey.
- Chuck Cowdery

Author of Bourbon, Straight
User avatar
cowdery
Registered User
 
Posts: 1586
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 1:07 pm
Location: Chicago

Unread postby mickblueeyes » Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:44 pm

Good information Chuck. That actually makes sense that it could be different terminology than is used in the US. Now I am anxious to get to the shop to find out!
In spiritus veritas
mickblueeyes
Registered User
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 8:44 pm
Location: Knoxville, TN

Unread postby gillmang » Sun Mar 20, 2005 8:41 pm

Gents, Chuck explains it exactly as I understand it. All Canadian whisky must be aged. It starts as (mostly) GNS or near-GNS, and it ends up being flavoured with tannin from wood. The only way I can see that new GNS can be added is if that rule that allows up to 10% additives includes amongst them, GNS. That rule generally means putting in some prune wine, or caramel, but maybe it includes new GNS, that is possible. It should be easy to pull the regs from the net, I'll try.

Regarding blended whisky U.S. style, what is sold as Canadian in the States may be different than what is sold here as Canadian. Our laws apply here, not in the U.S. So possibly a U.S.-style blended whisky is being sold in the States which is called a Canadian whisky (because made in Canada). But I have never seen such a thing here, i.e., with GNS content marked on the label.

I would be interested to see what those percentages are, Mick, and the brand names of those bottles. Once we know that we should be able quickly to figure this out.

Gary
User avatar
gillmang
Vatman
 
Posts: 2140
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:44 pm

Unread postby gillmang » Sun Mar 20, 2005 10:42 pm

Okay, I had written an earlier answer but it is not complete so I wiped it and here is the final answer. Division 2 of the Food and Drug Regulations, enacted under the Canadian Food and Drugs Act, lays down standards for Canadian whisky and rye whisky (considered synonymous). As I said earlier, they include that the whisky must be aged in "small wood" for at least "three years". Also it must have the aroma and taste characteristic of Canadian whisky (from here on I won't quote textually but take it from me this is what it says). The regs also say caramel or flavouring can be added. Flavouring is defined in the these same regulations as any domestic or imported spirit or wine. Spirit is not defined. It also says that the Excise Act defines further what amount of flavouring can be added. In the Distillery Regulations, enacted under the Excise Act, it states, (here I will quote in part), that you may add flavouring to spirits (including whisky) and are not required to indicate on the label the time for which the addition was aged if the flavouring, i.e., the "additional domestic or imported spirits or wine", "does not exceed 9.090% of the total quantity of ethyl alcohol in the final product".

In other words, you can add more than that percentage of ethyl alcohol but if you do you lose the benefit of claiming on the label the age of the whisky as it was before the addition was made. So in practice distillers hew to the 9.090% rule because they will want, say a 6 year old whisky to which such flavouring is added still to state 6 years old on the label.

Based on my knowledge of whisky blending, which extends to reading a number of early manuals on the subject, e.g. Joseph Fleischman's book from 1885, fruit-based additives were macerated in grain neutral spirit. Fleischman specifically advises, for each fruit preparation for which he gives a recipe (made from varying combinations of prunes, currants, raisins, peaches, etc.) to prepare the extracts in "spirit" (i.e. GNS), and fairly large quantities, too. Likely this was done to preserve the fruit extract or possibly to better leach out the fruity taste, since there is an old expression, "fruits drink alcohol" (guys, I've been studying this stuff for a long time, maybe too long :)), i.e., the alcohol goes in, the fruit taste goes out into solution. So, to allow for that traditional way fruit-based whisky additives are made, I believe the regulation was, a long time ago, crafted to include this reference to spirit.

However as things stand now, clearly only "wine" or "spirits" can be added. I note later in the Distillery Regulation "wine" is defined to mean amongst other requirements something fermented from "grapes". Fruit wines are allowed but must (in effect) be called "fruit wine", "apple wine", etc. So it seems clear only true wine such as dry red wine or (more likely in practice) sherry or port (the wine part of the regulation seems to allow addition of spirits to wine, which is what port and sherry are) can be added to whisky as "wine". I don't think "prune wine", today at any rate, qualifies as a flavouring if I read these laws correctly. Probably at one time prune wine could be added but I suspect the regulations were tightened over the years so that now only "wine" (grape-derived) or "spirit" (any kind) can be added to whisky and other spirits within the bounds mentioned earlier above - and caramel, as stated earlier above. But not say cinnamon or licoriec, probably in that case you would have to say on the label that the product is flavoured specifically in this way and a different part of the regulation would apply. Probably this is the situation regarding the spiced and other-flavoured whiskies we have in this country, i.e., they just don't say "whisky" on the label but (I surmise) have to say more to explain to the consumer how they are confected.

Do the regs therefore mean that manufacturers or dealers can cut aged Canadian whisky with only GNS and still call it, say 6 year old Candian whisky if the whisky being added to was that age and provided the limit of 9.090 % ethyl alcohol added is not infringed? Clearly yes, so you are right Mick. Under our law, the addition is deemed to be aged for the requisite period as long as the whisky to which it is added is, so no issue arises about indicating the addition here on labels. Maybe in the States that is different and possibly as I said earlier even more than 9.090% ethyl alcohol can be added from this source (GNS) to Canadian whisky and still allow it to be sold as Canadian whisky in the U.S.; if so that is a result allowed by U.S. law for U.S. purposes.

But I tip my hat to your knowledge, Mick, and to you Chuck who spotted in Jackson's 1980's World Guide To Whisky that statement about the possibility of adding GNS to Canadian whisky. One thing people here know about me or should know is I always want to learn more, and I always welcome suggestions how I can expand my knowledge. We are here to educate each other and thus expand the public knowledge base in the area.

Gary
Last edited by gillmang on Mon Mar 21, 2005 4:25 pm, edited 4 times in total.
User avatar
gillmang
Vatman
 
Posts: 2140
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:44 pm

Unread postby gillmang » Mon Mar 21, 2005 9:23 am

Just a note that last night I gave an incomplete answer to the question of whether GNS can be added to Canadian whisky. I now have the final answer but for those who read last night's post (i.e., my immediately previous) please read it again because I rewrote it to give the full answer in one place.

Gary
User avatar
gillmang
Vatman
 
Posts: 2140
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:44 pm

Unread postby cowdery » Mon Mar 21, 2005 2:33 pm

Bravo, Gary.

Don't you think a good slogan for a law firm would be, "we read laws and regulations so you don't have to."
- Chuck Cowdery

Author of Bourbon, Straight
User avatar
cowdery
Registered User
 
Posts: 1586
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 1:07 pm
Location: Chicago

Next

Return to Non-Bourbon Whiskey

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests