Review: Canadian Mist Canadian Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

3 yrs
100% corn whisky blended with rye-heavy whisky
Distiller Canadian Mist (Collingwood, Ontario)

This 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.

Review (2014)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2014

Nose: Fruit comes nicely off the nose, with some white grape, granny smith apples,  gooseberries, and some bourbon nods. 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.  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. 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.

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.

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.

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.

Score: 70/100

Value: 70/100 (based on $26)

Review (2015; Blind)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2015

Interesting in style - a bit yeasty, with white wine notes, vanilla, floral soap, nail polish remover, and a bit of baking bread. On the palate, a bit sour and spirity, with fresh bread and some oily spice that comes with young whiskies, and a touch of bitterness and oak on the end. Some nuttiness comes through as well, though I don’t know if this is more from the alcohol than the grain itself (in the way that many vodkas are a bit nutty).

Value: I can’t recommend this one, even at the bottom shelf…

Review (2017)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2017

Probably a whisky I should stop following…oh well.

Some very interesting, rich spicy notes – sesame oil, toasted coriander, cinnamon – but also dried apricots, dried peaches, vegetable oil. The palate is full of vanilla, toasted coconut, dried peaches, and light confectionary notes, yet also a touch of dried cherry and dried apple. Nice earthiness. The finish is lightly spicy with earthy and spicy notes, and light saccharin.  But the youthful oiliness is still all over this…

There appears to be a candied fruitiness reminiscent of Canadian mist – it’s in the Collingwood products too. Interesting.

Value: I can’t recommend this one, even at the bottom shelf…