Canadian whiskey has gotten a really bad reputation in the US over the years, largely in part to the extremely loose definition of what you can call “Canadian Whiskey”. Not only are some Canadian whiskeys blended with high proof “grain spirit,” but some also contain non-whiskey flavorings including sherry, sweeteners, colorings, and even concentrated fruit juices. The tide on Canadian whiskey has begun to change and higher quality whiskeys are starting to find their way onto the American market.
Caribou Crossing Single Barrel Canadian Whiskey (80 proof $50) is one of these high quality Canadian Whiskey products. Owned and distributed by the Sazerac company, this Canadian whiskey gives a glimpse into the promise of the category and gives us hope that more great Canadian whiskeys could find their way to the US. The nose on the Caribou Crossing is sweet, light, and fruity with notes of orange, vanilla, and caramel with a soft undertone of oak. The entry is soft, sweet, and smooth, carrying many of the flavors from the nose into the taste. In the mid palate it picks up the slightest bit of rye spice, nothing too intrusive or overwhelming. The finish is extremely easy and leaves the palate with a light, sweet orange and vanilla taste and a very cool mouthfeel.
Caribou Crossing Single Barrel Canadian Whiskey probably won’t make converts out of hardcore bourbon or scotch lovers, but it does offer a very affable and easy way for new whiskey drinkers to get their feet wet with whiskey. The price point is a little high as an introductory whiskey, so odds are Caribou Crossing will more likely find its way more to existing Canadian Whiskey fans than anyone else. Still, it’s a nice, easy drinking whiskey with nice flavors and a very pleasant finish. Solidly Recommended