Rye and Canadian whisky

It is a common misconception that Canadian whiskies are primarily made using rye grain. Although many Canadian whiskies are labelled as "rye whisky", the use of rye grain is not dictated by law, and whisky products of all grain types are often generically referred to as (and may legally be labelled as) "rye whisky" in Canada. Under Canadian law, the term "Canadian rye whisky" is simply synonymous with "Canadian whisky", and the primary mash ingredient in most Canadian whisky is corn.



In contrast, America definition of "rye whisky" prevents a low rye content whisky from being labelled "rye" unless it is labeled as a "blended" rye whisky, and approximately 10% of such a "blended rye whisky" must still be from rye. America. also requires that if a whisky contains coloring, flavoring or distillates with 80% or greater alcohol content, this must be acknowledged on the label by including the term "blended" in the description on the label. Canadian law does not have these requirements. Moreover, American law requires at least 20% of the content of a blended whisky to be "straight whisky" rather than neutral spirits or "light" (near-neutral) whisky, This is not needed by Canadian legislation. But American law allows "blended" whisky to possess up to 80% un-aged grain neutral spirits, with an age indication on the bottle that relates solely to the "straight" part of the blend, while Canadian law demands that all of the spirits in Canadian whisky be aged for a minimum of 3 years.

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