Frequently asked questions about Canadian whisky

Frequently asked whisky questions

March 28, 2013


Frequently Asked Questions About Canadian Whisky:

The mail piles up, often with the same requests waiting for my reply. Sorry, it takes time to respond so here are some of the questions I get most frequently, along with my responses:

What is Canada’s best whisky?

What is the top rated Canadian whisky?

What is the best whisky in Canada?

What Canadian whisky has the best ratings? And so on.

There are many great whiskies made in Canada. Here are 25 of my favourites (I have plenty more):

  • Forty Creek Port Wood Reserve
  • Gibson’s Finest Rare 18 Years Old
  • Crown Royal Reserve
  • Alberta Premium Dark Horse
  • Highwood Calgary Stampede 25 Year Old
  • Masterson’s French Oak
  • Masterson’s Rye
  • Lot No. 40
  • Wiser’s Legacy
  • Alberta Springs 10 Year Old
  • Century Reserve Lot 15-25
  • Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve
  • Canadian Club Reserve
  • Still Waters 11+1
  • Gibson’s Finest 100th Grey Cup Limited Edition
  • Wiser’s Small Batch
  • Crown Royal Black
  • Forty Creek John’s Private Cask No. 1
  • Caribou Crossing
  • White Owl Whisky
  • Canadian Club Twenty Year Old
  • Wiser’s 18 Year Old
  • Pike Creek
  • Danfield 21 Year Old
  • Collingwood

I found an old bottle of whisky in my grandfather’s garage.  How much is it worth?

Is old Canadian whisky worth a lot of money?

There is no collectors’ market for old Canadian whisky so no matter how old it is or how good its condition an old bottle of whisky is not worth very much. Probably less than $100.  As well, it is very difficult to find a buyer.  My advice?  Save it for a special occasion and drink it with friends and family.

Does Canadian whisky have gluten in it?

I am not qualified to answer this. Ask your doctor or a nutritionist.

How many calories in a glass of whisky?

I am not qualified to answer this. Ask your doctor or a nutritionist.

Is there any genetically modified grain (GMO) in Canadian whisky?

Probably but who knows?  Grain is sold to brokers who store it until they find a buyer. They do not keep individual harvests separate. Distillers buy grain based on price. It is very unlikely that the increased cost of sorting grain and the necessary increase in the price of a bottle of whisky would offset the number of customers who would simply buy other brands that are less expensive.

What is the best mixer for Canadian whisky?

That is a matter of taste. I like the way ginger ale complements the spicy notes and I like the way a drop or two of maple syrup brings out previously undetectable oak tones.

Where can I buy Canadian whisky?

I am a whisky writer.  I do not make or sell whisky, and I am not affiliated with any whisky brand.  So I am sorry, I am not able to help you find a retail outlet for any particular brand. Also, by law, I cannot ship whisky to you. Sorry.

How much is a Texas Mickey of Canadian whisky?

I am a whisky writer.  I do not make or sell whisky, and I am not affiliated with any whisky brand.  The prices on my website come from the LCBO at the time the review is published, or from information provided by the manufacturer. Generally, prices listed are for a 750ml bottle. I cannot tell you the price of a Texas Mickey. They are not popular in my area.


32 Responses to “Frequently asked whisky questions”

  1. Rob:

    Awesome list Davin. Didn’t realize how strongly you felt about Gibson’s grey cup addition. Have yet to try a Maple whisky. It’s on the to do list now. I know whisky from the past has not increased value , but thanks to people like you and John K Hall the awareness and class of Canadian whisky is on the rise. I believe many of the special additions will be worth something in the future and we’ll likely have you and a select few others to thank for that.

    • Davin:

      Let me know what you think of that Gibson’s. The maple is VERY subtle.

  2. Should not asked you the price for the bottle of Bush Pilot 1982 ?

    Did i piss you off ??? !

    lol lol lol !

    • Davin:

      I didn’t make that quote up, I just copied it!
      Your questions are welcome anytime.

  3. Rob:

    Here’s something I’ve wondered for a bit. If Crown Royal Reserve is on your favourites list, how come you haven’t written a review on it? I really like Crown Reserve myself, possibly more than Cask 16 or even dare I say XR but I am very curious how you feel Reserve stacks up in you star rating scale.

    • Davin:

      It’s just a matter of time. Eventually I’ll get to it. Great whisky though.

  4. Brian:

    You’re a big fan of the Gibson’s Grey Cup edition, which is interesting–now I’m curious whether you’ve got any opinion about the new Crown Royal Maple. I’ve been considering picking up a bottle, but wanted to wait to see how you assessed it, since I’ve found our opinions often seem to align.

    • Davin:

      The two are very different from each other. In Crown Royal Maple you can taste the maple syrup and it is quite sweet while in Gibson’s Grey Cup edition you’d hardly know it was there if they didn’t tell you.


    Why is it that forty creek can see premium product starting at 55$ when they are based half an hour from my home and century reserve’s lot 15-25 sells for 30$ and they’re half way across the country? Why do prices reflect how they do?

    • Davin:

      Hi, This completely baffles me. I agree that 15/25 is at least a $60 whisky. The other one is Alberta Premium Dark Horse. $30? Really? I think as a category Canadian whisky is hugely underpriced and frankly, I am taking advantage of it to stock up. Pike Creek? Lot 40? Come one guys, if this was Scotch it would be over $200. Gibson’s 18? And I have at least 4 each of the premium Forty Creeks.

  6. Yello to Mello:

    Those health questions about gluten and calories are trivial.

    For older Canadian whisky, I would offer a small premium for some bottles (and have) as long as the seller knows I plan on opening and tasting it.

    Hopefully Canadian whisky wont see a price increase any time soon. Perhaps not until [you know who] starts scoring multiple Canadian whiskies 97+ ratings. ;)

    I just finished salting away bourbons last year in time as even non-BTACs are selling out upon release now.

  7. Rob:

    To further support Davin’s comment earlier Canadian Club 20 year at $50 is an absolute steal. If this was priced at $100 I’d still buy it, but don’t tell the LCBO that.

  8. kevin mckay:

    Wondering who sells white owl whiskey near Moncton, n.b


    Good morning.

    i need to know why Seagrams 7 Crown is Whiskey and Seagrams VO is Whisky.

    Thank you very much for your information.

  10. Diane bassford:

    I have a sealed bottle of CANADIAN TEN from 1953. Ever hear of it ? I can’t seem to find any info.

    • Davin:

      Sorry, I am not familiar with it. any other details on the label?

  11. Diane bassford:

    It has a crown with Canadian Ten written underneath on like a shield. Under the shield and on the sides it says Canadian Distillers Limited. It says Aged 6 Years.
    On the back is a label saying
    Handmade Florentine Crystal

    Then another label
    88 proof. 4/5 quart
    This WHISKY is 6 years old blended and bottled under the supervision of the Canadian government Canadian Distillers, limited
    Imported by
    Calvert Distillers Company
    375 Park Ave., New York Port 10 D
    That’s the whole bottle! Thanks for your time!

    • Davin:


      Sounds like a Seagram’s Canadian whisky for the US market. Since it was imported by Calvert I would guess it was distilled at the Calvert distillery in Amherstburg (now used as a bottling plant). Calvert’s headquarters were at Seagrams in Montreal. Since old Canadian whiskies do not go up in value it is safe for you to crack it open and see how it tastes. I hope that helps.


  12. Diane bassford:

    Thanks for the info! Maybe we will try it after all!

  13. Robert:

    I have an old (pristine) bottle of “Order of Merit”. Can you send me any known history on this product. I’ve had it since the early 80′s and it was sealed in 1969. Still sealed. Thank you very much.


    • Davin:

      Hi Robert,
      That is a very nice bottle. Eventually I will publish a piece about Order of Merit but I have nothing at hand that I can send you right away.

  14. Andrew:

    Hello Davin,

    I love your website and I noticed Canadian Club Reserve on your favorites list. I think it is a great Whisky for the price. I’ll be honest, I’m a cheapskate. I was wondering if you could recommend some very good bargain priced Canadian Whiskies. Canadian Mist? Seagrams VO?


    • Davin:

      Thanks Andrew,
      Quality control is rigourous at all the distilleries so there are no “bad” ones, but the less expensive ones generally taste best with cole or ginger ale. I generally tell people to spend a little more to get a whole lot more whisky,

  15. Andrew:

    Thanks Davin,
    Can I ask what the least expensive whiskies are that you would enjoy sipping?


    • Davin:

      Prices vary so much from one place to another that I just can’t say what might be least expensive in your area. If you want to go cheap, why not just drink vodka with a mixer? If you are sure you want whisky, then buy some and try until you find those that you enjoy. In the end you get what you pay for.

  16. Andrew:

    Okay, fair enough. I need to go do my own legwork.


    • Davin:

      Quality control is so tight in Canadian distilleries that you won’t get and “bad” whisky, just some that is a lot more flavourful than others.

  17. lucas:

    found an unopened bottle of alberta springs sipping whiskey 1976 in the box with everything in it. would anybody have an idea how much it would be worth?


    • Davin:

      $30 – $40

  18. Kim C:

    Have unopened bottle of Canadian R and R whiskey from 1960s bottle says registered at distillery and a number on it. Is there any value?

    • Davin:

      Not really. Better to drink and enjoy it.

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