Windsor Canadian Whisky

Windsor Canadian Whisky Review

Meet Luke

Luke is a Level I Certified Whiskey Specialist with a passion for exploring and unearthing the best whiskeys around. Luke has a preference for Rye whiskeys but has tasted over 250 different whiskeys to date varying from bourbons to scotches. He continues to expand upon his whiskey knowledge by tasting dozens of bottles monthly and reviewing them here on Barrel and Brew as he pursues his Masters of Whiskey certification.

Alright, so today we are trying some budget Canadian whisky. Windsor Canadian Whisky is less than $15 for a full 1.75L handle, and we’re going to find out if it’s any good or not. I don’t expect it to be, but maybe it’s better than Kentucky Deluxe.

We’re going to briefly touch upon some history and distilling processes before jumping into the tasting notes of Windsor Canadian Whisky.

Windsor Canadian Whisky

Windsor Canadian Whisky History

Windsor Canadian Blended Canadian Whisky is produced by Alberta Distillers Limited and was just recently purchased by Prestige Beverage Group from Beam Suntory.

Beam Suntory, however, does still own the Alberta Distillers Limited distillery, just not the Windsor Canadian brand.

Windsor Canadian was originally launched in 1963 as Windsor Supreme, but after changing hands a couple times became Windsor Canadian.

Production & Distillation

Alberta Distillers Limited is located in Calgary, about an hour or two east of the rocky mountains.

Alberta Distillers uses 100% Canadian rye grains and cuts their whisky with glacier water from the Rockies. The whisky is then aged in ex-bourbon barrels for a minimum of three years.

Windsor Canadian Whisky Overview

  • Spirit: Blended Canadian Whisky
  • Owned By: Prestige Beverage Group
  • Distilled By: Alberta Distillers Limited
  • Aged: 3 years
  • ABV: 40%, 80 proof
  • Mashbill: unknown
  • Price: $14 for a 1.75L

Alberta Distillers uses 100% Canadian rye grains, but I’m not sure if the Windsor Canadian mashbill is 100% rye. Canadian whisky is known to call any whisky with rye grains, rye whisky. So, there’s a possibility that there’s various rye grains, wheat, or other cereal grains as well.

One nice thing is that this is 100% whisky. A lot of American whiskey in this price range will use up to 20% neutral grain spirits blended with straight bourbon. This is all whisky.

Lastly, the most important piece of this is price. A full handle of Windsor Canadian will cost right around $14. There’s also cheaper options to go with 1L, 750ml, 375ml, or the 50ml shooters.

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Windsor Canadian Whisky Tasting Notes

Alright, enough talking. Is a $15 bottle of Windsor Canadian worth drinking? Is it better than Kentucky Deluxe? Or should you just shelve out the extra $5-10 on something nicer?

Nose: Honey, dusty straw, alcohol, musty, citrus. Not great.

Palate: Thin and metallic. Butterscotch, hay, and citrus peel.

Finish: It’s not a harsh finish by any means, just very bad. Medicinal and musty.

Windsor Canadian Whiskey

Taste Summary – Windsor Canadian Whisky and Coke?

I didn’t expect this to be good, but I’ve read a lot of reviews online, and a lot of people swear by Windsor Canadian as being a really good cheap whisky. Of course, many of them explained that it’s not the best neat or on the rocks. I am confirming that. It’s not good at all.

However, most people buying $14 handles aren’t planning on drinking whiskey neat, so I decided to add some Coke and ice and see how it was. And… it’s still not good, like at all. Not even a generous pour of Coke is ridding the musty, metallic, thinness of Windsor Canadian.

I hate to say it, but I think I’m taking Kentucky Deluxe over Windsor Canadian.

Windsor Canadian Whisky Summary

I don’t consider myself to be too much of a whiskey snob. I mean, don’t mix my good and expensive whiskey with soda… that’s about my only rule. I still drink my fair share of Rebel, Jim Beam, Evan Williams, or other bottom-mid shelf whiskey and have no problems enjoying it.

Unless money is a huge concern for you, I don’t see why you wouldn’t spend an extra $10 on something that doesn’t have bad flavors seep through Coke.

It’s safe to say that this is a whiskey that I won’t ever get again. In fact, I’m not even going to finish the 50ml shooter I got for $1.

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  1. Thanks for reviewing Windsor. This is actually my favorite Canadian whisky and Coke and was disappointed you didn’t like it. But, everyone has different tastes. For years I was a bourbon and rye guy (still am) but a couple of years ago I decided to check out several budget Canadians – Windsor, CC, VO, etc. All very similar but something about Windsor I liked. I read that it has two different pot stilled rye whiskies blended with the high proof corn, so maybe that’s what I’m tasting as I do like rye. Contacted Prestige and suggested they consider a 6 year 90 proof Windsor Reserve. We’ll see.

  2. While I certainly agree that Windsor is bottom shelf, the review is flawed by a critique of the smallest available retail format. Many of the off-flavours could be attributed to thoughtless packaging for the “shooter” format. It’s safest to review from a standard size bottle.

  3. It is funny, I am in Canada and sometimes we don’t find these Canadian whiskeys in Canada and only in US. It was a good review, at least I know what to avoid if I see Windsor Canadian brand somewhere.

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