Canadian Mist

Canadian Mist is one of the most well-known Whiskies from Canada and for a long time it was the best-selling Canadian Whisky brand in the US. The Canadian Mist Distillery is not one of those old, traditional distilleries and it doesn’t look very charming, indeed. The Canadian Mist Distillery in Collingwood, Ontario, is an effective industrial plant, but with the best local ingredients and professional knowledge of distilling they produce a high quality blended Whisky.

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Information about the Distillery
6 Bottles
Canada
-80.191837 44.497852
Active
Brown Forman
Average tasting notes Tasting Notes
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Details about the Distillery

The Whisky

Canadian Mist is a blended Whisky and contains corn, rye and malt to make up a light, aromatic and very balanced Whisky. It’s bottled with 40% ABV (80 proof) and presents sweet notes of toffee and vanilla, citrus fruitiness and grassy aromas. You also can taste a nice spiciness that is due to the influence of the rye. Although it has to be called a Blended Whisky because of the US regulations all the Whisky for the Canadian Mist is distilled here in Collingwood. A Canadian Whisky is allowed to contain caramel color and flavoring ingredients. Because of its dryness and aromatic richness the Canadian Mist is a basic Whisky in most American bars and often used to create cocktails.

The Production

Here at the Canadian Mist Distillery in Collingwood all the production is done from cooking and mashing to maturing the Whisky in all-season storage warehouses. Brown-Forman, the owner of Canadian Mist, even manufactures the casks in their own company, to ensure the quality of the wood and the optimal charring of the casks. 31 people are employed at the Canadian Mist Distillery to produce about three million gallons of Whisky per year. Many members of the staff have been here since the beginning in the 1970s.

The Canadian Mist Distillery
The Canadian Mist Distillery

The Mashing

The mash bill of the Canadian Mist is composed of corn, rye and malt. After the local corn arrived it is tested for its quality.  Then it is ground and cooked and cooled down before malt is added to start the enzymatic process and convert the starch of the grain into sugar.

All the water for the Whisky production at the Canadian Mist Distillery is taken from the Georgian Bay, one of the biggest freshwater reservoirs in North America. It has been carved out of the granite in more than 25.000 years and provides very clean and fresh water.

The Fermentation

In the fermentation tanks specially formulated dry yeast is added to the mash and starts the fermentation process. In 68 – 110 hours the sugar is converted to produce alcohol, carbon dioxide and flavors. The resulting liquid is called beer and now ready to be distilled.

The Fermenters of Canadian Mist
The Fermenters of Canadian Mist

The Distillation

If you have a look into the still house of Canadian Mist you might think the distillery produces in an uncommon way not using copper stills. All you can see here at the distillery is made of stainless steel – but you only can see the outside! Inside the continuous stills there is copper so that the required contact and exchange between alcohol and copper can happen. This is very important for the development of the aroma and takes some unwanted compounds away. 

At Canadian Mist triple-distillation is used to get a smooth and clear spirit.

Warehouses

The spirit now has to mature in oak casks for at least three years to be called Whisky. Brown-Forman has its own cooperage and manufactures the 50-gallons-barrels for its Canadian Mist from white oak. They are charred to allow the Whisky to develop nice aromas as for example sweet vanilla notes. Canadian Mist uses very modern filling machines that work with vacuum. So when the casks are emptied after the maturation they can assure that every drop is taken out of them. Casks are reused maximum three times at Canadian Mist and then they are sold.

There are nine warehouses at Canadian Mist nowadays and they are seasoned and the maturation of the casks therefore is influenced.  The casks rotate through these seasoned warehouses and the Whisky matures quicker when temperatures are controlled like this. Higher and lower temperatures are created as if the casks pass summer or winter time in a quicker cycle of seasons. 

Every week 18 big trucks leave Canadian Mist heading for the bottling plantat Louisville, Kentucky. Each one carries 6500 gallons of Whisky, either Canadian Mist or Collingwood Whisky, the other brand that is produced here.

Inside the Canadian Mist Warehouse
Inside the Canadian Mist Warehouse

The History

When settlers arrived here in Ontario in the middle of the 19th century, they brought the knowledge of distilling with them. The city of Collingwood was built near the Georgian Bay and many distilleries were found here. All over Canada you could find about 200 of them at that time. The Canadian Whisky distilleries suffered from the prohibition as the US-American did and most distilleries closed down. But when Whisky got popular again in the 1960s, Barton Brands Inc., Bourbon producer of Kentucky, looked for a place to build a new distillery. They found it here at Collingwood and built Canadian Mist Distillery. Harbor and railway offered ideal shipping opportunities, but nowadays they are out of service and all transportation is done by trucks.

The distillery was built in 1967 and in 1971 it was sold to Brown-Forman, Kentucky based as well. They are still the owners of the brand Canadian Mist and the distillery.

The Canadian Mist Sign
The Canadian Mist Sign

Visitor Center

202 MacDonald Road, Collingwood , Ontario, ON, L9Y 4J2 , Canada

Tel: +1 705 445 4690 

Fax: +1 705 445 7948

User Notes about the Distillery

Share your experience with other whisky lovers. Write a note about your trip to the Canadian Mist distillery.

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08. Jun 2019
Canadian mist is criminally underrated. I love the mash forward flavor that is reminiscent of a good moonshine, but it is completely smooth, with hints of oak. It's like grabbing the best of all worlds in one wonderful sip.

I'd say mixing some Popcorn moonshine, and Evan Williams would come very close to this amazing whiskey.