Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Ensign Red Fine Canadian Whisky

Hello Single Malters, today I am reviewing Ensign Red Fine Canadian Whisky. I will present some facts about this Canadian Whisky & the fun part- tasting notes. This whisky I believe is a store brand of Total Wine which is why there is not much information about it online. It is a rye whisky, which makes sense as rye is winter hardy crop grown in colder places. No wonder it is made in Canada.
Slow aged in Oak barrels claims the label in the bottle.I am highly skeptical about the authenticity of this whisky because there is not clear information on how long it is aged or who the master distiller is. In other words it does not have substance nor personality like a Crown Royal. Anyway this is where SJ comes in , to sample one bottle at a time. Enjoy my tasting notes!

Vital Stats- Ensign Red Fine Canadian Whisky
Price- $19.99 for 750ml ($0.99 for 50ml sampler bottle pictured)
Age- NAS(No Age Statement)
ABV- 40%
Region- Canada
Bottled by- K.D Distilling Co, Louisville,KY 
Awards won- Silver Medal,

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glencairn Whisky Glass
Serving style- Neat
Appearance- Medium Amber

Aroma- Very pleasant oak, fruity goodness, rye spices, peppermint
Flavor- Sweet, oak, fruity, hint of spices
Body- Light
Finish- Short, sweet & non-lingering
SJ's Rating- Middle Shelf
It is an ok drinkable whisky, nothing special about it. I might enjoy it once in a while if there was no choice of anything else. 
Occasions Best Enjoyed- Casual
Cocktails- Enjoy it in many ways with a splash of coke,club soda or any other whisky based cocktail
SJ's Pro tip- Go for Crown Royal if you are looking for similar Canadian whisky but which is much more enjoyable and original. 

If you have tried this let me know your experience below. Cheers! Enjoy Responsibly! 
Not in the mood to read, listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast Instead. 


  1. As most REAL Canadian Whiskey drinkers know, all Canadian Whiskey must be aged at least 3 years. Interestingly, that's all Crown Royal will admit to. The real difference in the many, many 3 year old Canadian Whiskeys on the market is what goes into the blend. Personally, I think Crown Royal tastes like gasoline. But, then, I also don't care much for the 18 year Wisers. The Ensign Red is smoother that both; and I suggest it on the rocks.

    1. Quite an interesting take on Canadian whiskey. I have not reviewed Crown Royal so can't compare but will try soon and find out. Thanks for your nugget of information.

  2. Odd. You claim to be highly skeptical regarding the authenticity of Ensign Whiskey, due to your not being able to locate details about the aging process or who the master distiller is. You then knock Ensign Whiskey in saying that you "might" enjoy Ensign only if there were no other options available. You also stated Ensign lacks substance and personality compared to CR, and note CR is much more enjoyable and original, which is why you recommend going with CR over Ensign.

    Yet when a guest commented their knowledge of Canadian Whiskey in general, and their experience with CR, you responded that you had not reviewed CR and therefor could not give a comparison. That said, if anything is highly skeptical of lacking authenticity, it would be your review.

  3. Hi, thank you for pointing that out. I accept it is my mistake that I wrote a contrasting comment. After all "To err is human". However, With over 150 reviews I firmly stick to my recommendation of Middle shelf. There are several dozen more whiskies that I have tried but not posted in my blog since it was before I started writing. With this many reviews I don't quickly recall every drink that I have on top of my head.
    What I actually meant in the comment is that I have not posted Crown Royal in my blog as a review but I have definitely tried it in the past and had enjoyed it. Also, POST Crown Royal review soon as well!
    I will continue my commitment of reviewing whisky one bottle at a time.

  4. As an avid ensign drinker I always appreciate a good whiskey, ensign has by far proven so by its light body and smooth taste. Although it may not have the complexity and/or taste of a crown royal it still brings a well blended taste either on the rocks or mixed. Ensign has also proven it can step out of its comfort zone and introduce different flavors to its arsenal in which I also do enjoy very much. Overall, if you are looking for a nice blend whiskey at mid price ensign is your go to! Enjoy all apple, birthday cake, pineapple, peach, mango, and watermelon.

    1. Appreciate your response and that you enjoyed this drink. Taste is a subjective thing and the more diverse the opinions the better.

  5. I'm a Crown Royal fan, but my first bottle of Ensign Red has been a very enjoyable experience, either on the rocks or neat.

    1. Hello, thank you for sharing your experience. I am glad you enjoyed Ensign Red & would love to hear more in my other blogs.

  6. Haven't tried Ensign Red, but absolutely love Ensign Red Black. After years of being a CR drinker, I was introduced to CR XO. Much tastier and smoother than CR but much more expensive. I find ERB to be smoother and better than CR but lesser than XO. Still I will buy and drink ERB as an alternative.


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