Whisky Magazine Issue 138
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What else is happening on the Canadian whisky scen
Former Canadian featherweight boxer, Rick Nelson, recently found himself between a not-so-featherweight black bear and her cub. With the protective mother towering over him swiping, the 61 year old Nelson did what came naturally. Bobbing and swerving, he punched the bear in the teeth, then gave it a jab right in the snout. While mama and cub retreated, Nelson, who looked like he just played patty-cake with Freddie Krueger, walked it off.
A year ago, Canadian whisky experienced its own bear attack. A man and his bible declared Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye World Whisky of the Year. What should have been a celebration of Canadian whisky turned ugly when lovers of other whiskies bared their claws and snarled, “Canadian whisky can be up to 9.09 per cent fruit juice – prune juice!” When I mentioned this to Crown Royal Blender Joanna Scandella she was horrified. To be clear, Canadian whisky may include up to 9.09 per cent of two years old non-whisky spirit, but never prune juice or any other non-fermented liquid. And truth is, this 9.09 per cent rule is not as prevalent as some cynics suggest. Besides, I know for a fact that there is no prune juice in Crown Royal because I drink plenty and I'm still constipated.
American tax law provides significant financial incentives to foreign spirits that include some American-made spirits. The tax break is huge for high-volume bottom shelf whiskies, but for lower volume connoisseur whiskies, it's often not worth the effort.