Review: Canadian Mist Canadian Whisky

Canadian Mist 1This whisky is distilled at Collingwood Distillery, a town about 150 km north of Toronto. It is a distillery owned by Brown-Forman (who also own Jack Daniel’s and Woodford Reserve) which was developed to create Canadian whiskies tailored to American palates. Initially, Canadian Mist was formulated for one market and made in this single distillery. The distillery now also produces Canadian Mist Black Diamond and Collingwood. According to Davin De Kergommeaux’s excellent book, Canadian Whisky, Canadian Mist is made from a single base nearly 100% corn whisky and a flavourful rye whisky (which we tasted the likes of in Collingwood 21 Year Old). The corn is fermented for a shorter time (about 3 days), bringing out cereal and nutty notes, and the rye is fermented for about 5 days, which enhances floral and fruity flavours.

Though this bottle was bought in Canada, it even says “Imported from Canada” on the label – it is all bottled in Kentucky. The bottle says it is at least 36 months old on the label, which means, for sure, that there is a good bit of young spirit in it. In Canada, the definition of “whisky” is that it is aged at least 36 months, so this doesn’t really add much to the value.

Nose: Fruit comes nicely off the nose, with some white grape, granny smith apples, and gooseberries. A bit of this “whitish” fruit is similar to that found in Collingwood, the premium brother to this whisky also produced at the same distillery. It’s a fairly light nose, with some bourbon nods and some corn aromas. There’s also a slight bit of malt coming through, and a good amount of dry oak as well. It’s a bit spirity, and has a bit of a meaty character, which detracts a bit. Vanilla, as usual, comes out increasingly as the glass sits. It has a bit of a spicy edge (which doesn’t meld too well with the harshness of the nose), though it doesn’t resemble clear spices to me. 22.5/30 (75%)

Taste: Still a decent amount of fruit, with some young corn flavours and rye spiciness coming in with more force than noticed on the nose. There is some movement, as the palate starts largely with fruit and moves towards more oak, maple, cedar, and vanilla near the end, with a bit of spice. It tastes quite young, which lends some harshness and raw-ness which doesn’t help the effort. Because I get many of the harsher, young notes, and still a decent amount of wood, I wonder if they blended some old whiskies into a generally young whisky blend to give some backbone. There’s also a really interesting flavour, perhaps from the yeast, that is reminding me of plain greek yoghurt, interestingly enough! At the end, there’s a bit too much undue bitterness – but it doesn’t detract as much as it might. Overall, as well, it is a bit sweet. 22/30 (73%)

Finish: The flavour does a good job of continuing on the palate after swallowing, but is a bit flat and fairly quickly fades off to a bit of bitterness, but doesn’t die out for some time. The finish is fruity, but a bit darker than the nose and the finish with some earthiness and a bit of rye spiciness. 14.5/20 (73%)

Canadian Mist 2Conclusion: One thing I like about this whisky is that there’s a bit of movement – the nose is light and fruity, and the palate goes a bit heavier and darker until, I find, the finish is the darkest and heaviest of all. However, it’s a bit raw and unpleasant – despite some promising elements of light fruitiness and some decent bourbon notes on the nose. 14.5/20 (73%)

Overall: 73.5/100

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4 thoughts on “Review: Canadian Mist Canadian Whisky

    • Well, preference comes down to an individual – the “right” way is the way that brings the most enjoyment, and for different people it may well be different. By numbers, most people likely drink whisky with some ice – which, in fact, was the first way that I liked to drink whisky. I personally (now) like to drink everything neat, with no ice and generally not even any water because the warmer temperature allows flavours to be more easily discerned (water can enhance and change flavour perception, though – but I still prefer mine without water unless it is too intense or spicy). Mixing whisky into cocktails is also an entirely different animal – and for some whiskies, it can bring out the flavours in a very different way than sipping it neat or on the rocks will.

      With this particular whisky, I’d want to hide some of the harsh elements and enhance some of the nicer fruity notes and spicy edges – so I’d mix it. But most nicer whiskies I would sip neat, and occasionally put in a very nice cocktail – but the cocktail shouldn’t bring the whisky down, of course…

      • Agreed. To each their own I always say. I was a diligent user in using ice cubes and ice spheres until I felt the presence of water interfered with the taste of some of my drinks. I’ve had buddies recommend whisky stones, balls of steel, or steel ice cubes but I’m a little skeptical if those too would hinder with the taste. Have you used any of these of non-water chillers?

      • I have – while it is true that they don’t add liquid to the whisky, I find I am always a bit suspicious of residue on them from previous drinks. Regardless, my tendency now is to prefer whisky (unless in a cocktail) neat, and thus at room temperature, so I haven’t extensively used or investigated them.

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