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What's Canadian rye

Updated: Jan 28, 2023

Age statement and NAS (Non-Age Statement)

If the whiskey has a specific age declared on the label, the age statement must reflect the age of the youngest whiskey used. For example, if we have a bottle of the famous Old Reina 7 (I just made this up), one of the barrels used in the whiskey may be 21 years old, but unless declared on the label we will never know. The only obligation that the Old Reina distillery has for Old Reina 7 is to use whiskey that is at least 7 years old.

Sometimes a bottle of straight whiskey may have no age statement and it’s fair to presume that it has been aged for at least four years. However, the age statement could be declared on the back label and as long as it has been aged for at least two years it can still be called straight whiskey. Straight Rye whiskey, however, must not be confused with Canadian Whiskey which has different rules and is not just about the minimum age requirement.

Rye, Straight Rye, and Canadian Rye whiskey

The minimum age for Straight Rye Whiskey is 2 years, and the addition of HCFBM is not allowed. Rye whiskey on the other hand doesn't have a minimum age, and HCFBM is allowed up to 2.5%.

If you don't like the 2.5% of added flavors (due to the TTB's limitations), I guess you will like the addition of 9.09% of any imported spirits to your whiskey even less.

Here we have one of the most controversial and complicated government whiskey regulations concerning Canadian whiskey.

Canadian whiskeys are indeed subject to as many rules as any other whiskey. The only difference is that the regulations in divided into so many documents that it is a real challenge to put it all together. I tried to get a grip on those rules for you in a separate chapter. But for now, I leave you with the fact that Canadian Rye whiskey, has a minimum of three years of maturation, the grains are fermented, distilled, and aged separately after being distilled up to 95%ABV (190 Proof), can contain up to 9.09% of additional flavoring and it doesn’t even need to contain rye grain.

What do you think about the 9.09% rule?

What would you like to cover next about Rye Whiskey?

Let me know with a comment below and subscribe for an update on my next topic.

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