Now, admittedly, I wasn’t actually planning on buying another bottle of booze this week but in an attempt to stay consistent, I ended up buying Canadian Mist Canadian Whiskey. I was standing in the CVS store in Lincoln Heights looking at the available selection of booze before me as usual and I was debating between trying out E&J Peach Brandy, Kessler’s Whiskey, and Evan Williams Bourbon (yes, I still haven’t tried this one yet despite the many glowing reviews from cheap booze snobs available on the World Wide Web), and Skinny Girl pre-made cocktails. All the while, I was thinking to myself, “I still haven’t finished the last three bottles of booze that I had bought in previous weeks.” Frankly, I’m at the point where I’m actually accumulating booze at home without actually fully finishing all of them the week in which I bought them. I still have Paddy Devil’s Apple, that E&J Apple Brandy, and El Jimador Tequila from the previous weeks. I’m still working on that bottle of Gran Legacy vodka as well.
Despite all of that, I’ve been meaning to get around to trying out Canadian Mist. This one, unlike other booze, were one of few that I actually decided to do some research beforehand since the label was pretty bear and I had never heard of this brand before. Based on my research, for a cheap ass booze, this is supposedly pretty dang good. As in, this goes down smooth, drinking it neat, with ice, or however you like. Even the label itself says it’s supposed to be smooth and mellow in “character.”
The verdict? I’m sorry to say that the label definitely DOES NOT live up to its name. It is neither smooth nor mellow.If anything, it tasted a lot like cheap vodka wherein it burned on entry, burned going down the gullet and then, on top of all that, it had this strange lemon rind aftertaste. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it because it’s only there momentarily before it disappears and you’re left wondering if you didn’t just imagine that taste being there. Granted, I knew I had used this same shot glass to drink the El Jimador and Jose Cuervo Margarita Mix last week so there may have been some remnants left intact on the shot glass itself, so I ended up washing it again, letting it air dry for a few hours before trying again. After the second time, I was certain that it wasn’t some residue left behind from previous booze and/or sweet mix. I was quite positive that this is the inherent character profile of Canadian Mist. Now, let me briefly return to the research that I had done in the past. Based on what I read on the World Wide Web, this specific under $10 bottle of Canadian Whiskey supposedly won a bunch of awards by liquor snobs both locally and at the national level. Huh, I thought. That can’t be right because I tasted it the second time around, it was definitely none of the characteristics that these liquor snobs said that it was. In particular, I’m referring to the reviews and/or articles written by some random folks under the website Under The Label, Drink Hacker, and Serious Eats. Holy shit. Hints of vanilla and chocolate. Huh??? Seriously? If there were any hints of either, I certainly couldn’t taste it. The “spicy” aspects of this booze? It’s nothing like Rye Whiskey. It’s not spicy like Rye. It just burns for lack of a better way of describing it. Now, if I had to use some methodology to describe this burn, this is NOT the kind of burn that you would experience, if you had wasabi, Sriracha (Rooster) sauce, or barbecue sauce. No. Definitely not those kinds of burning sensations. I wouldn’t even liken it to the kind of burn that’s akin to having nutmeg or cinnamon in one’s beverage because that burning sensation lingers in the front to the middle of your tongue and adds a level of complexity to the taste while doing so.
Canadian Mist though? Nah. I wouldn’t say that either. I hate having to compare this to vodka but this is precisely the kind of burning sensation that this whiskey reminds me of. I believe the sale price was $8.99 at CVS, while regular price was a couple of dollars above that. It also happened to have been the last bottle sitting there on the shelf. Plus, it’s in a plastic bottle. Dun dun dun…yes. I kind of had a feeling that because it’s in a plastic bottle that all of this gross flavor might have been there. And if you recall my previous entries on the Gran Legacy line of products, I mentioned an LA Times article where it had explained that plastic bottle booze tend to absorb flavor from the outside in precisely because plastic bottles are permeable, while glass bottle booze are not. I’ll have to find myself a Canadian Mist that is bottled in a glass bottle next to be extra sure but for the plastic bottle version? Wow. It’s pretty bad.
Compared to vodka, I would choose vodka over this. Why? Because there’s this annoying flavor that I can’t quite make out and again, the best way that I can describe this is that it tastes like lemon rind, as in the actual skin peel of a lemon. It is that flavor that masks some of the burn that is inherent in this whiskey. Now, when I tried this in ice, something interesting happens. The lemon rind flavor disappears and the flavor actually mellows out a bit but….the harshness of the whiskey comes to the fore. Thankfully, it doesn’t linger but goodness, it’s a really obvious flavor. Granted, it’s no Jim Beam Bourbon bad, but perhaps closer to Wild Turkey bad. I find this incredibly strange for a Canadian Whiskey considering that Canadian Whiskey’s are supposed to be smooth and mellow for the most part. I mean, JP Wiser Rye Whiskey was actually pretty alright, if drunk neat. I just wouldn’t recommend it if you drank it with ice. This is not exactly the case. I don’t recommend this neat or with ice. And then when i tried using some sweet and sour mix with ice added, for some reason, the harshness of the whiskey comes to the fore on your first sip. And it’s really apparent. It doesn’t linger,which is a good thing and every sip after the first, you won’t taste a damn thing except the sweet and sour mix that you use. So I suppose that’s a plus, depending on what ratio you use to mix it.
For me, I just eyeballed it like any other liquor I’ve tried thus far. It’s something like 2 oz of whiskey to 2 oz of sweet and sour mix in a cup full of ice. Give it a quick swirl in your cup to make sure it’s nicely chilled before taking your first sip. This time around, I didn’t buy any energy drinks to mix this with but I did buy a bottle of tangerine lime flavored sparkling water to go along with my whiskey. And let me say this, you should definitely buy something to mix this with. I wouldn’t recommend Canadian Mist all by itself or even with ice. Just don’t it, if you end up buying the plastic bottle version. By so far to date, mixing this with the sparkling water or sweet and sour mix actually really mellows out the flavor to the point that it tastes fine sipping it, for the most part. However, DO NOT buy club soda, mixing this and expecting the same results. You WON’T get the same results. The carbonation heightens that lemon rind flavor to the point that this is the only thing that you’ll taste from the whiskey. It’s just like chomping on lemon peel except now you get the benefit of tasting it in liquid form. I would suggest that you just avoid this cocktail mix. Get sparking water with added sugar substitute sweetener and ideally with some of citrusy flavor to it. Cherry flavored ones and watermelon or any other fruit that’s not citrusy won’t work for this whiskey.
All things considered, I wouldn’t buy Canadian Mist again, at least not in the plastic bottle form. I would give it a try again, if I can find one in a glass bottle form. For the price point and quality (or lack thereof), I would suggest, dare I say, JP Wiser Rye Whiskey over this, just because, supposedly all Canadian Whiskeys are supposed to Rye Whiskeys. This one? Definitely not a Rye. JP Wiser isn’t quite a Rye either but at roughly the same price range, at least it’s more palatable, neat, in my humble opinion.