What Is The Worst Canadian Whisky Ever? Full Guide (2023)

Last Updated on July 23, 2023 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.

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.


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. 

Final Verdict

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.



Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.

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