History: John Molson built Canada's first whisky still in 1799, and other distilleries soon popped up. The industry suffered a slight setback during Canadian Prohibition, 1916-17, but survived to illegally aid Americans through their own temperance period several years later

Specifics: A spirit that must be mashed, distilled and aged at least three years in Canada in a wooden barrel no larger than 700 liters

Where it's from: Canada, especially Ontario

How it tastes: Often lighter and smoother than other whiskies

Common brands: Crown Royal, Black Velvet, Canadian Club, Seagram's VO