Our neighbors to the north boast a long history of distilling, which was started by Scottish immigrants. The big break for Canadian whisky brands was America’s Civil War, which, of course, hampered production of bourbon
in the US and created a huge demand for Canadian whiskey in the States.
Contrary to popular belief, Prohibition wasn’t a huge boon for Canadian distillers, according to Don Livermore, master blender at Ontario’s Corby Distilleries. Even though the dry period made many bootleggers rich, it was a tough period for Canada’s legitimate distillers—so tough that liquor salesman Harry Hatch was able to buy four of the country’s five biggest distilleries for bargain-basement prices.