Canadian Club

Canadian Club

Infobox Beverage
name =Canadian Club
logo =
type =Canadian whisky
proof =80
manufacturer = Fortune Brands
origin =Canada
introduced =1854
variants =
discontinued =
related =

Canadian Club is a brand of whisky from Canada.Popularly known as C.C., Canadian Club began production in 1858. It was established by Mr. Hiram Walker, and was known as Walker’s Club Whiskey.


Hiram Walker founded his distillery in 1858 in Detroit. He first learned how to distill cider vinegar in his grocery store in the 1830s before moving onto whisky and producing his first barrels in 1854. However, with prohibition looming and Michigan already becoming "dry", Walker decided to move his distillery across the Detroit River to Windsor, Ontario. From here, he was able to export his whisky, continue to perfect the distillation process and start to develop Walkerville, a community that Hiram financed and sourced most of his employees from.

Walker's whisky was particularly popular in the late 19th century gentlemen's clubs of the U.S. and Canada; hence it became known as "Club Whisky." Walker originally positioned his Club Whisky as a premium whisky, pitching it not only on its smoothness and purity but also the length of the aging process (Walker’s whisky was aged in oak barrels for a minimum of 5 years). This was revolutionary at the time, as all of the U.S. bourbons and whiskies were aged for less than a year.

Club Whisky became very popular, and American distillers petitioned for the inclusion of the word “Canada” on the bottle to distinguish it from their competing American whiskies, thinking it would halt the popularity of Hiram’s. This backfired, only making Club whisky more exclusive. Hiram saw this and changed the label again in 1889 adding the word “Canadian” to the top of the label, distinguishing Walker’s recipe for his whisky from the other processes of the time (Scotch, Irish and U.S.). Hiram blended corn and barley in addition to rye before putting it in the barrels for maturation, a recipe that is now renowned throughout the world as that of Canadian whisky.

In 1890 the word “Canadian” was moved down from the top of the label and incorporated into the name of the whisky. This, however, was only temporary, as three years later the logo changed again, transforming from a bold font into the scripted typeface that we see worldwide today (See logo above).

It was not until the American government introduced the Bottled in bond law in 1894 that the people of America really started drinking Canadian Club. It was thanks to the passing of this law that all whiskies had to carry their maturation time. This re-affirmed the fact that aging whisky was not just a fad and that the older the whisky (generally speaking), the better the quality.

Hiram Walker handed down his distillery to his sons upon his death in 1899. Over the years they have branched out into other businesses. At one point they employed almost the entire population of Walkerville, where they built a police station, fire station, gave them running water and street lights. In 1890 the Canadian government acknowledged Walkerville as an official town, and in 1935 it became part of Windsor.

During the years of Prohibition one of the distillery’s most important clients was Al Capone, who smuggled in thousands of gallons of the drink - Canadian Club - through the liquor pipeline from Windsor to Detroit.

Canadian Club whisky has received the Royal Warrants of Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, King George V, King George VI, and Queen Elizabeth II. Hiram Walker & Sons was the only North American distiller to have been granted a Royal Warrant. [ [ Getting The Royal Treatment] ] . This was later withdrawn.

The Hiram Walker & Sons distillery remains in Windsor on the banks of the Detroit River, where it continues to produce fine spirits. Hiram Walker's main production is now Wiser's Whisky (Canada's best-selling whisky family), Polar Ice Vodka, Lamb's Rum and Malibu Rum.

Canadian Club is part of the Jim Beam portfolio. It is its 4th best-selling alcoholic product, behind Jim Beam, Sauza Tequila and DeKuyper.


Canadian club comes in 7 different varieties. All are 80 proof (40% abv) unless otherwise noted.
*Canadian Club 6 Year Old / Canadian Club Premium This is the most popular of the "Canadian Club" range, a "basic brand". Often used as a mixer, the whisky typically matures for, as the name suggests, "six years". It is sold in over 150 countries, and should be noted that the product sold within Australia and New Zealand is 74-proof (37% abv).

*Canadian Club Reserve The "reserve" line is matured for a decade, according to the company to give it a "richer flavour".

*Canadian Club ClassicA twelve year aged whiskey, it has hints of spices and vanilla.

*Canadian Club 100 Proof Matured for six years and distilled to 100 proof (50% abv), supposedly to give it a stronger, richer flavour.

*Canadian Club Sherry Cask Double matured, firstly in white oak barrels for at least 8 years, then sherry casks made from spanish wood . This whisky is 82.6-proof (41.3 abv) and is touted by the company the finest in the Canadian Club range.

*Canadian Club DryLaunched in Australia in April 2001, this ready to drink bottle is a pre-mixed blend of 6 year old Canadian Club and ginger ale, it is 10-proof (5%abv) and is served in a 330ml bottle.

Canadian Club is also produced in limited quantities in older agings (15 years and up) for special markets.

In Popular Culture

*Canadian Club is the drink of choice for the alcoholic character Glen Whitehouse (James Coburn) in the 1997 film "Affliction".
*Canadian Club was used by Curtis Salgado and, subsequently, "Joliet" Jake Blues in a vulgar sense to represent a penis in the song "I Don't Know".
*The longest reigning British monarch, Queen Victoria, used to enjoy drinking Canadian Club.
*In James Bond’s inaugural cinematic outing in "Dr. No", he can be seen sitting in the garden watching the sun set in Beau Desert with a tall, ice-filled glass of Canadian Club and soda water.
*The opening ski sequence in the James Bond film "The Spy Who Loved Me" – in which Roger Moore is pursued on skis by enemy henchmen only to escape their clutches by skiing off the edge of a mountain to his seemingly certain death, only to open a Union Jack parachute - was inspired by an early 1970’s Canadian Club television advert starring Rick Sylvester.
*Canadian Club is snooker star Ian McCulloch’s favourite drink.
*Canadian Club sponsor IndyCar racing team Andretti Green Racing and their driver Dario Franchitti, winner of the 2007 Indy 500.
*Canadian Club is the preferred drink of several noted Australian session musicians including Benedict Carter and Ignatius O'Dwyer.
*Canadian Club Classic won a double-gold medal at the 2003 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
*In the 2003 film "Festival Express", Canadian Club is the alcohol of choice on the train and journeys between cities for the artists – including Janis Joplin, The Band and Grateful Dead.
*Professional poker player Chris Moneymaker was the figurehead for Canadian Club’s “Dealing up a Smoother Night” poker tournament in the Summer of 2005.
*In the film "16 Blocks", Bruce Willis plays a cop with a penchant for Canadian Club and can be seen drinking/lusting after it at various points during the film.
*"Canadian Club" is mentioned in the Roxy Music song "Mother of Pearl" (from their 1973 album "Stranded").
*Tim Kasher laments over a night "spent alone with Canadian Club" in the song "Needy" from The Good Life's album "Album of the Year".
*Barry Melrose stated in an episode of his podcast on than he cannot even stand the smell of Canadian Club, having had a bad experience with it as a teenager.
*In the classic British sitcom "Only Fools & Horses", the dopey character Mickey Pearce is often seen ordering a 'CC Dry'.
*Mentioned in the first chapter of Denis Johnson's novel "Jesus' Son".
*Canadian Club is the drink of choice for the alcoholic character Tony Stark, also known as Iron Man.

ee also

* Gooderham and Worts Distillery
* Hiram Walker

External links

* [ Canadian Club Whisky]
* [ Walkerville Times]


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