Large swaths of Americans have been searching “how to move to Canada”, causing a 500% spike in Google searches. And while we at Wine Enthusiast have been so busy in our endless pursuit of potable perfection that we haven’t looked up long enough to see exactly what’s inspiring this northerly interest, we have a feeling it might have something to do with the current state of the American presidential race, and/or Canada’s national heartthrob and newly elected Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.
Either way, in preparation for your arrival to the Great White North, or in case you can’t make the move after all, we’ve rounded up four delicious top-rated Canadian whiskies reviewed by Spirits Editor Kara Newman. These bottles get our vote.
Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel; $55, 98 points. One of 50 component whiskies that go into the standard Crown Royal blend, this complex, delicious sipping whisky starts out with maple and vanilla aromas that then transition into enticing notes of tropical fruit and Sherry on the palate. It finishes long, warming and spicy.
Collingwood Blended Canadian Whisky; $27, 93 points. Noted for an aging process that unusually includes maple wood, this light, easy-sipping whisky is distinctly sweet and mapley on the palate. Bold vanilla and brown sugar flavors are sprinkled with baking spice accents on the drying, lip-smacking finish.
Alberta Rye Dark Batch Whisky; $30, 90 points. This Canadian whisky is blended with high-rye Bourbon and a touch of Sherry, yielding a deep amber hue and unusual notes of herbaceous, almost amaro-like sarsaparilla and allspice. The finish shows dark notes of toffee, spicy Mexican chocolate and crème brûlée, plus a brush of alcohol heat.
Dillon’s The White Rye; $38, 89 points. Made with Canadian-grown rye but without wood aging, this clear spirit has a sweet, slightly floral fragrance and shows surprisingly delicate on the palate. Notes of pear and white flowers lead into spicy hints of ginger and white pepper spice on the finish. A nice change from often-rough “white dog,” mix this well-structured white whisky into citrusy drinks.
Meanwhile, if You’re Looking for Wine…
Beyond being the rye whisky capital of the near-Arctic, Canada also has a notable wine country. The Okanagan Valley, in British Columbia, has 8,619 acres planted on its own, and while primarily renowned for its icewine, there are more than 60 grape varieties planted in the region, covering most styles of wine. Check out our Buying Guide of highly rated wines from the region, including many 90+ point bottles and entries featured on our coveted Editor’s Choice list.
If You Need a Help Getting Around Montreal…
Wine Enthusiast‘s Executive Editor Susan Kostrzewa has put together your guide to Montreal. With world-class restaurants and a craft beer scene that rivals the U.S., you’ll want to make the most of your new culinary home.