While some folks still use the terms "rye whisky" and "Canadian whisky" interchangeably, most modern Canadian whiskies only contain a small percentage of rye. But, with the U.S. market experiencing a rye-vival of late (think: Manhattans and Sazeracs), there are a few boutique blended Canadian whiskies hitting the market, too.
Pike Creek, 750 ml., $31.95
Produced at the Hiram Walker distillery in Windsor, Ontario, which makes brands like Canadian Club and Lot No. 40, this easy-drinking blended whisky is aged in American oak barrels in a non-climate-controlled warehouse and finished in vintage port barrels. While the nose is dominated by strong vanilla/cookie dough aromas, the port flavors are more pronounced on the palate, with rich, raisiny notes that dissipate quickly.
Legacy, 750 ml., $23.95
Encased in a Pendleton-esque rounded glass container, this blended Canadian whisky is imported and bottled in the United States by Sazerac Company, which also owns brands like Ezra Brooks and Buffalo Trace. Sweet and caramely on the nose, Legacy has hints of oak and whispers of pepper on the palate with a persistent, lingering heat. This whisky would make a suitable mixer.
Collingwood, 750 ml., $28.95
If you can get past Collingwood's packaging--it's shaped like a giant bottle of men's cologne--and marketing copy like, "some call Collingwood the smoothest whisky ever made," you'll find a not-too-offensive blended Canadian whisky. Distilled at Brown-Forman's Canadian Mist Distillery in Collingwood, Ontario, and aged in white oak barrels, Collingwood adds toasted maplewood to further mellow the whisky after it's been matured and blended, making for an almost rum-like whisky with sugary, floral notes on the nose and more sweetness and hints of baked squash on the palate.