Canadian Club (Walkerville)

Canadian Club is the most successful Canadian whisky brand regarding commercial results. It is sold in over 150 countries worldwide and an award-winning label, offering a wide range of different releases. Home of Canadian Club is Windsor, Ontario, where the distillery is situated on the banks of the Detroit River that serves as a frontier between Canada and the US.

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Information about the Distillery
63 Bottles
Canada
-83.011381 42.324013
Active
Average tasting notes Tasting Notes
Calculated from 40 Tasting Notes
i
Nosing
Spices:
Sweet:
Vanilla:
Clove:
Cinnamon:
Fruit:
Oak:
Peat Smoke:
Alcohol:
Nuts:
Malt:
Wheat:
Caramel:
Berries:
Sherry:
Dried Fruit:
Raisin:
Barley:
Pepper:
Date:
Floral:
Oil:
Fig:
Anise:
Herbs:
Tasting
Spices:
Sweet:
Malt:
Wheat:
Nuts:
Pepper:
Oil:
Vanilla:
Oak:
Fruit:
Salt:
Maritime Notes:
Nutmeg:
Clove:
Chili:
Sherry:
Dried Fruit:
Peat Smoke:
Caramel:
Honey:
Alcohol:
Raisin:
Date:
Ginger:
Fig:
Cinnamon:
Finish
Malt:
Wheat:
Spices:
Oak:
Sweet:
Clove:
Cinnamon:
Peat Smoke:
Fruit:
Alcohol:
Berries:
Sherry:
Lemon:
Vanilla:
Nuts:
Raisin:
Pepper:
Caramel:
Oil:
Chili:
Cake:
Zitrus:
Details about the Distillery

The Whisky

Canadian Club is an exceptionally smooth and versatile whisky. It is different to other blended whiskies because of its unique kind of blending: in contrast to other labels the blending doesn’t happen after but before maturation. For Canadian Club corn, rye, rye malt and barley malt are mashed, fermented and distilled separately and then these different spirits are blended before being filled into barrels. Hiram Walker, father of Canadian Club Whisky, considered this to be the best way to meet the requirements of the different grains and get the best aromas out of them. 

The corn distillate is the “base whisky”, because the spirit is nearly odor- and tasteless. It makes up the majority in Canadian Club whisky. Rye whisky and malt are used to bring character and flavor into the blend. 

Each of the different releases of Canadian Club is blended following its own unique recipe so that each one has its own unique taste. 

The most famous and best-selling release of Canadian Club is the 1858, which is produced the same way as it was done when Hiram Walker started in 1958. It is fresh and soft, brings up sweet vanilla and spicy aromas, paired with hints of rich oak. Bottled with 40% ABV (80 proof) it is an easy-to-drink whisky.

Canadian Club Small Batch: This is a complex and fully balanced small batch whisky, aged for 12 years, seasoned, char-treated oak bourbon barrels. Creamy vanilla, honey, fruits and spicy notes complement each other in a delicate way.

Canadian Club Chairman’s Select 100% Rye: Produced from 100% single grain rye this premium whisky has a very spicy character, balanced with caramel, oak and creamy notes. This is a whisky with warm and complex aromas.

A Cupboard of Canadian Club whisky
A Cupboard of Canadian Club whisky

The Production

The Canadian Club distillery
The Canadian Club distillery

The Mashing and Fermentation

Mashing and fermentation of the different grains is done separately.

The Distillation

The continuous stills that produce the spirit for Canadian Club are provided with the beer that leaves the fermenters and still at this point in time the different grains are not mixed. The corn, rye and malt beer is distilled separately. Only before the spirit is to be filled into the casks it is blended following the old traditional recipes.

A show still of Canadian Club
A show still of Canadian Club

Warehouses

Canadian Club Whisky is matured in white oak American bourbon barrels. That’s the reason for the nice and distinctive, but not pronounced oak flavor of the Canadian Club. The Angel’s Share (evaporation into air) is about 3% here. After three years and more of maturation the bottling of the whisky is also done here at the Canadian Club Distillery.

A Canadian Club warehouse
A Canadian Club warehouse

The History

Hiram Walker was a very successful grain merchant in Detroit. He bought land on the other side of the Detroit River. There in Ontario he built a distillery and started production in 1858. When Walker began selling his whisky throughout Canada and the US he was the first whisky producer to label his bottles with his special brand. First it was called “Hiram Walker”, but as the whisky got more and more famous in the gentlemen’s clubs it became known as “Club Whisky”.  American bourbon producers were not very pleased about this Canadian competitor and this lobby induced the government to bring up a new regulation: Canadian whisky had to be labeled with their origin so Hiram Walker’s whisky became Canadian Club Whisky.

During the prohibition the Detroit River was a paradise for smugglers. It is told that probably 75% of all smuggled alcohol came in from Canada to the US here on the waterways. Canadian Club Whisky was the number 1 of the smuggled whiskies. 

Today the Canadian Club Distillery belongs to Pernod Ricard, the whisky label Canadian Club itself is hold by Beam Suntory.

The old office of Hiram Walker
The old office of Hiram Walker

Visitor Center

The Canadian Club Heritage Center in Ontario is the heart, the soul, the center and the historic memory of the company. It was completed in 1894 and the ground and buildings are a touristic attraction. The Offices of Hiram Walker and his sons are perfectly preserved in their old style, there is an art gallery and all the whiskies the company has released are displayed.

Tours are offered; you can have tastings here or even marry in this impressive ambience.

The Canadian Club Visitor Centre
The Canadian Club Visitor Centre

Chronological rating history

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