What Is Canadian Mist Whisky?

Production, Taste Review, and Recipes

Canadian Mist Whisky
  • A Versatile, Smooth Canadian Whisky

    Canadian Mist is a blended Canadian whisky distilled in Collingwood, Ontario. It was introduced in 1969 and remains an affordable, reliable, smooth whiskey. If you're looking for the most versatile whiskey for cocktails or a soft whiskey that can convert vodka drinkers to this dark liquor category, it is an excellent choice.

    Fast Facts

    • Ingredients: Corn, rye, barley malt; flavoring whiskeys

    • Proof: 80 

    • ABV: 40%

    • Calories in a shot: 69

    • Origin: Collingwood, Ontario, Canada

    • Taste: Soft, sweet, vanilla, oak 

    • Serve: Straight, on the rocks, cocktails, shots

    What Is Canadian Mist Whisky Made From?

    Canadian Mist is distilled in Collingwood, Ontario. It is just off the shores of the Georgian Bay and the waters play an integral part in the distilling process. The base whiskey used for Canadian Mist is a blend of corn, barley malt, and rye. All of the corn used is grown within 100 miles of the distillery; the rye is also grown in Ontario and the barley malt ships in from Alberta. 

    To prepare for distillation, the corn is ground, mixed with water and spent-stillage, and then mashed to extract the grain's starches. Once the corn mix cools, the ground barley malt and rye are added and the conversion of starch to sugar takes place. Specially formulated dry yeast is added to begin the fermentation process during which those sugars are converted to alcohol and flavor-adding congeners. The resulting fermented grain mash is, at this point, "beer."

    After fermentation, the grain mash is distilled three times in a copper still during which the whiskey is vaporized to produce a product called "high wine." The whiskey is then mixed with water and steam from the Georgian Bay. This removes some of the congeners, which are chemical compounds produced during distillation that play a role in a liquor's taste and aroma and are partially responsible for hangovers. Canadian Mist retains a portion of the congeners in order to capture the desired flavors in the whiskey. At this point, the whiskey is high-proof so it is cut with water and barreled for mellowing.

    This base whiskey is matured in white oak barrels until the desired flavors are obtained. These 50-gallon casks are made specifically for Canadian Mist by the parent company, Brown-Forman. The wood is charred to specifications that give the whiskey its smoothness and vanilla tones. After using them three times, the casks are sold to scotch and brandy distilleries.

    Blending is the final stage for any Canadian whisky. For Canadian Mist, the distillery's base whiskey is blended with flavoring whiskeys which may be distilled from rye or wheat. According to the Canadian Food and Drug Regulations, no more than 9.09 percent of other flavoring ingredients (e.g., port, sherry, etc.) may be added. Consistently creating the signature taste of Canadian Mist from these elements is an art that one can appreciate in each sip. In the end, Canadian Mist is bottled at 40 percent alcohol by volume (ABV, 80 proof).

    What Does Canadian Mist Taste Like?

    Canadian Mist is as sweet as rum with the smoothness of vodka and the flavor of whiskey. It holds a richness filled with the flavors of vanilla, caramel, and dark fruit with a clean, super-smooth finish. It's definitely one of the more subtle and softer whiskeys available. 

    How to Drink Canadian Mist

    As a straight whiskey, whether on the rocks or a round of shots, Canadian Mist would probably not be the first choice for many whiskey drinkers. That's especially true if you enjoy robust bourbons or the smoky scotches. While it is a smooth sipper, this whiskey excels in mixed drinks, as it embodies a mellow sweetness that is versatile enough to span the spectrum of cocktail flavors.

    With Canadian Mist, there is an endless list of perfect unions, from ginger and lemon to maple and coffee. It's so mixable that it can be used in non-whiskey cocktails, too. Use it to replace the vodka of a cosmopolitan, the tequila of a margarita, or the rum of a mojito and enjoy a novel taste in the most familiar drinks.

    Cocktail Recipes

    You cannot go wrong if you pour a shot of Canadian Mist into any whiskey cocktail, particularly any that call for blended or Canadian whiskeys. The drink will be as subtle as the whiskey itself and make for an easy-drinking libation. Since this whiskey is also inexpensive, it's the perfect base for whiskey infusion experiments and will take any flavoring very well.