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What Is The Worst Canadian Whisky Ever? Full Guide (2024)

What Is The Worst Canadian Whisky

Last Updated on March 5, 2024 by Lydia Martin

For over two hundred years, Canada has already been producing various whiskies that would either appeal to or disappoint consumers. 

So what is the worst Canadian whisky? We have previously tested a few Canadian bottles available at our store, and here’s the result.

8 Worst Canadian Whiskies To Stay Away From

8. Pendleton Canadian Whisky

Man Opening Bottle of Pendleton Whisky

Average Price: around $27 per 750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Don’t Like It: 

Pendleton Canadian Whisky has a honey-like sweetness with unbalanced flavors of rye spice.

The spice would hit you at first, then the cloying sweetness follows, and finally, it ends with an unpleasant spice in the finish.

However, it was also a matter of preference. Some whisky enthusiasts hate this kind of sweet whisky, believing it is unsophisticated [1].

The brand was only created in 2003 and has become Pro Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA)’s official spirit.

Read: Pendleton Whisky Review

7. Schenley Golden Wedding Canadian Whisky

Schenley Golden Wedding Canadian Whisky Bottle

Average Price: around $17 per 750ml (Wine Searcher) 

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Don’t Like It:

The whisky contains some intense honey and butterscotch flavors. But the palate is like a competition ground between the corn and rye mash. The flavors fight each other instead of complimenting the notes. 

The Golden Wedding Canadian Whisky has been around since 1856 and even started as an American whiskey label.

It was moved to Valleyfield, Quebec, in 1948 and finally became a Canadian Whisky.

6. Last Mountain Distillery 4 Grain Whisky

Last Mountain Distillery 4 Grain Whisky Bottle and a Glass

Average Price: around $91 per 750ml, tax included (Last Mountain Distillery’s online store) 

Alcohol Content: 45%

Why We Don’t Like It:

It has a strong ethanol smell and some dust and wheat hints. The ethanol continues on the palate, where you can taste grassy or cheap protein shake flavors. 

This whisky contains malted barley, rye, corn, and wheat grain spirits that have been matured and distilled separately.

This process is the Canadian way of making whiskies, where the flavor profile depends on the blender instead of the distiller [2].

5. Canadian Hunter Whisky

Canadian Hunter Whisky Bottle and a glass

Average Price: around $17 per 1L (Drizly) 

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Don’t Like It:

This whisky is good enough for its price if you use it on cocktails. But sipping it neat would give a homemade whisky taste. It was like having a corn whisky that did not go through the aging process.

“Canadian whisky drinkers have two defining characteristics: One, they’re men. Two, they have gray hair.”

– Lew Bryson, Author 

Canadian Hunter Whisky is a product of Sazerac, home to popular bourbons like Buffalo Trace and George T. Stagg. 

4. Maple Leaf 08-year-old Canadian Blended Whisky

3 Bottles of Bottle of Maple Leaf 08-year-old Canadian Blended Whisky

Average Price: unknown (40ml)

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Don’t Like It:

Maple Leaf is only available in a 40ml bottle, which is fortunate enough after tasting this whisky.

The aroma resembles a window cleaning liquid and acetone, while the palate has subtle hints of sweetness and oak taste.

There is little information about this whisky aside from its 8-year-old age statement.

The bottle we have was only gifted to one of our team members, and it has a horrible flavor profile.

3. Canadian Club Whisky

Bottle of Canadian Club 1858 Whiskey

Average Price: around $20 per 1L (Drizly) 

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Don’t Like It:

Canadian Club whisky offers many decent expressions that make it one of the most popular Canadian brands in the industry.

However, the 1858 bottle we have here is not that satisfying. 

It has some orange and brown sugar flavors with hints of pepper spice and a touch of bitterness toward the end.

There would be a significant lingering taste, and you would not even feel that you drink it at all.

2. 8 Seconds (Sec8nds) Canadian Whisky

Sec8nds Canadian Whisky Bottle and a  glass on a table

Average Price: around $27 per 750ml (Drizly) 

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Don’t Like It:

Although drinking this whisky would not hurt (like having that kind of really nasty flavor lingering in your mouth), you would still want it with ice or mixers. 

It has that weird chemical taste and an unpleasant aftertaste so we don’t recommend sipping it straight. 

This whisky seems to be competing against Pendleton, but you can use it in cocktail recipes to replace Crown Royal.

1. Canadian Mist

Bottle and a Glass of Canadian Mist

Average Price: around $15 per 1L (Drizly) 

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Don’t Like It:

Canadian Mist has a heavy medicinal flavor, followed by some artificial sweetener. The background would have that astringent and overripe citrus mixed with some root beer hints. 

These flavors carry on the palate, and there’s some medicinal overripe, citrus blend, raw grain, and burnt toffee.

Then there’s the strong flavor of raw alcohol and butterscotch.

However, these flavors disappeared quickly, leaving no notable traces, making it a boring drink.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is Canadian whisky cheap?

Canadian whiskies are cheap because they do not require many legal requirements. But the whisky should be aged for a minimum of three years in Canada before it could bear that label. 

Does cheap Canadian whisky mean bad?

No, cheap Canadian whisky does not mean bad. Forty Creek is a cheap Canadian whisky that is more than satisfying. 

What is the problem with Canadian whisky?

The problem with some Canadian whiskies is their horrible flavor profile.

Sometimes, you are already drinking something more like a cleaning agent. 

What is the oldest Canadian whisky?

The honor of being the oldest Canadian whisky is often attributed to “Gooderham & Worts,” a brand that traces its roots back to 1832.

This historic whisky brand has a legacy spanning nearly two centuries, contributing to the rich tapestry of Canadian whisky history.

What whiskey is popular in Canada?

In Canada, Crown Royal stands out as one of the most popular and iconic whiskies. Known for its smoothness and distinctive flavor profile, Crown Royal has become a staple in Canadian whisky culture.

The brand offers various expressions, catering to a wide range of taste preferences.

What is considered cheap whiskey?

The categorization of whiskey as “cheap” can be subjective, but it generally refers to affordable options without compromising quality.

Whiskies in the lower price range often include well-known brands like Evan Williams, Old Forester, or Jim Beam White Label, providing accessible choices for those seeking budget-friendly yet enjoyable options.

Does Cutty Sark go bad?

Cutty Sark, like other distilled spirits, does not spoil or go bad in the same way perishable foods might. However, over an extended period or under unfavorable storage conditions, changes in flavor and quality may occur.

Properly stored, in a cool and dark place away from direct sunlight, Cutty Sark can maintain its integrity for an extended time, ensuring a consistent drinking experience.

Why was whiskey illegal in Canada?

Whiskey was never illegal in Canada, unlike the United States during Prohibition. In Canada, the production and sale of alcoholic beverages, including whiskey, continued legally.

However, certain restrictions and regulations were imposed over the years, such as provincial control boards, but a complete ban akin to the U.S. Prohibition did not occur in Canada.

Canadian distilleries were able to operate within the legal framework, contributing to the ongoing production and enjoyment of Canadian whiskey.

Is Canadian whiskey strong?

The strength of Canadian whiskey varies and is typically measured by its alcohol by volume (ABV) percentage. Most Canadian whiskies have an ABV ranging from 40% to 45%, similar to many other whiskies worldwide.

However, individual expressions may differ, with some cask-strength options having higher alcohol content, offering a robust and intense flavor experience.

Is Canadian whiskey a Scotch?

No, Canadian whiskey is not a Scotch. While both are types of whisky, they have distinct characteristics and geographical designations.

Canadian whisky is produced in Canada, adhering to its specific regulations, including the use of a mash bill and aging in wooden barrels.

Scotch whisky, on the other hand, is exclusively distilled in Scotland and follows its own set of production guidelines, such as using malted barley and aging in oak barrels.

What liquor is Canada known for?

Canada is renowned for its production of high-quality and diverse whiskies, with Canadian whisky being a standout. Canadian whiskies are recognized for their smoothness, approachability, and unique flavor profiles.

Iconic brands like Crown Royal have gained international acclaim, contributing to Canada’s reputation as a producer of exceptional whiskies.

How do you drink Canadian whiskey?

Canadian whiskey is versatile, and how you drink it can depend on personal preferences.

Many enjoy sipping it neat or on the rocks to appreciate the subtle flavors. Alternatively, it’s a popular choice for classic cocktails like the Canadian Club and ginger ale or the Rye and Ginger.

Some enthusiasts also explore mixology, incorporating Canadian whisky into creative cocktails to highlight its diverse flavor profile.

What alcohol do Canadians drink?

Canadians have a diverse palate when it comes to alcohol, and their drink preferences vary. Beer is a staple in Canadian drinking culture, with numerous craft breweries contributing to a vibrant beer scene.

Canadian whisky, as mentioned earlier, holds a prominent place, and spirits like vodka, gin, and rum are also popular choices.

Additionally, Canadian wines, particularly ice wines, have gained recognition for their quality and uniqueness. Ultimately, the Canadian drinking landscape is characterized by a rich assortment of beverages enjoyed in different settings and occasions.

So, What Is The Worst Canadian Whisky?

Most of the time, Canadian whiskies have a negative image among many whisky enthusiasts and casual drinkers.

They have different making processes and create different flavor profiles for their drinks.

However, these whiskies are not too bad. You can take advantage of their low price and create cocktails, but only choose recipes that require more mixture than the whisky.

You don’t have to avoid these bottles completely because many consumers also enjoy some of the brands we have listed above.

In the end, it all comes down to personal preference.


  1. Let’er Buck: Why You Should Explore Pendleton Canadian Whisky
  2. Why the World Overlooked Canadian Whisky
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