Whisky Advocate

Reviews: Canadian Mist “Black Diamond” and Canadian Mist

September 20th, 2010

Well, if I’m reviewing the new black Diamond, I might as well review the standard Canadian Mist too while I’m at it. And also compare it to Crown Royal Black.

Canadian Mist Black Diamond, 43%, $15
Richer, sweeter (with more caramelized sugars), fruitier, and spicier than the standard Canadian Mist (reviewed below). Still, I wish it were a bit smoother (especially on the finish) for something I would consider drinking neat on a regular basis. There’s no age statement, but a couple more years of aging would be nice. Like the flagship Canadian Mist, this whisky still plays it fairly conservatively—not a lot of risk-taking here. But, I think it’s slightly better than Crown Royal Black (its logical competitor) which is not as smooth on the finish, and you can get Black Diamond for half the price.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 79

 Canadian Mist, 40%, $12
Very light in aroma and flavor. There’s no off flavors. It’s just uninspiring. Delicate notes of vanilla custard, honey, caramel corn candy, sweet corn, and subtle fruit. Fleeting finish.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 75

13 Responses to “Reviews: Canadian Mist “Black Diamond” and Canadian Mist”

  1. Thomas Mckenzie says:

    John, where is this available at?

    • John Hansell says:

      I would assume it will start showing up wherever the standard Canadian Mist is sold.

    • George Jetson says:

      From the August B-F press release….”Canadian Mist Black Diamond, a Brown-Forman product, has a suggested retail price of $14.99 for a 750ml. It will launch in six markets in August – Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan and Texas. More markets will follow in early 2011.

      • John Hansell says:

        Thanks for clarifying.

        • Texas says:

          Texas, huh..oy. High West won’t distribute to Texas, yet we can get this uh “stuff”. Well I was right on my prediction that the 70’s one John mentioned would be the CM..

          My contention is that the only purpose for CM and it’s ilk is to get one snockered, cause you sure aren’t going to get any flavor out of it.

  2. Red_Arremer says:

    What is the rational behind CR Black and CM Black Diamond? Some whisky lovers are looking for bolder flavor and higher strength, but are Canadian drinkers are among them? Seems doubtful. Even if they are, do they want that flavor and strength enough to tolerate harshness and crudity? Not likely.

    John, did you compare these on ice? Do you think there, the difference between them would show more strongly in Black Diamond’s favor? Cause maybe they’re only meant to be drunk on the rocks or mixed…

    • Mr Manhattan says:

      Rationale? The up-sale and the perceived/associated prestige conferred to the buyer who’s able to stay with their preferred brand. Very little risk.

      • TheMandarin says:

        Yes, the up-sale and the perceived/associated prestige conferred to the buyer who’s able to stay with their preferred brand…In other words, you imagine that the rationale has nothing to do with the taste of their whiskys.

    • John Hansell says:

      I don’t review on the rocks, but I imagine many (most?) will drink it that way.

    • dbk says:

      Red_Arremer, perhaps I’m missing something, but why would you think that Canadian drinkers are not among those “whisky lovers […] looking for bolder flavor and higher strength”? Are you referring to drinkers of Canadian whisky? If so, look to the growing success of the Forty Creek distillery, or to the excitement surrounding Davin de Kergommeaux’s excellent Canadian whisky website ( And if you’re referring to drinkers of Canadian nationality, well then I don’t understand the unnecessary stereotyping at all, as “bolder, higher strength” whiskies sell very well here in Canada. I have considerable experience shopping for whisky in Ontario (LCBO), Québec (SAQ), and Alberta (private ownership), and all have a solid selection of superb whisky.

      I presume you’re referring to the former, but I really don’t understand the rationale. Up to this point, Canadian whisky has not typically been as adventurous, bold, or complex as other whiskies; but why would you imagine this couldn’t change (and isn’t currently in the process of doing so)? Again, I point you to Forty Creek’s superb line of releases; Alberta Premium 25 year-old is another example.

      • DavindeK says:

        Thank you dbk for your kind comments about my site. I share your opinion that we do enjoy some fine, robust whiskies up here, but we also prize elegance as much as full flavour. Forty Creek, as you suggest, just goes from strength to strength, but what about Gibson’s 18? My search history tells me there are a lot of people in the US who dearly want to get their hands on a bottle. What about Wiser’s 18? or WhistlePig? And fantastic as WhistlePig is, depending on the day, I think Wiser’s Legacy is every bit as rich, full-bodied, flavourful, and complex, and better balanced. Crown Royal Limited Edition? And I could go on.

        I think John has well captured Canadian Mist Black Diamond. It is a much more robust version of Canadian Mist. We need to remember, the people who frequent What Does John Know, generally are not, as George so aptly put it, “looking for an alcohol donor for a highball,” but millions and millions of Americans who do enjoy a mixed drink choose Canadian Mist because it is familiar, trusted, and pleasurable.

        I have posted a review of Black Diamond on my website mentioning the fact that this whisky might just tempt some of these mixing whisky fans to take a first step in joining us sippers.

        Thanks again for your support (and yours too, John.)

  3. George Jetson says:

    I never considered Canadian Mist to be a premium CW. It is, as John suggests, very neutral, smooth and unassuming, which makes it the perfect alcohol donor for a highball. I would expect the 43% version to be more of the same, but probably wouldn’t spring for a bottle to test the theory. I am still metering out the CRB into a cocktail I call the Edmund Fitzgerald (it’s a dark and stormy, eh?). When that’s killed, I might try the CMBD.

  4. Ray Abraham says:

    Well had to try the stuff. I liked it something awful and had a headache, hangover the next day. Watch out it is goooooooooood.

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