by Julia Thiel
Canadian Mist has actually released three flavors—peach, cinnamon, and maple—but I only tried the peach variety. It's Canadian Mist whiskey blended with peach liqueur, bottled at 70 proof, and it smells absolutely terrible. While I was still trying to muster the courage to try it, my friend tasted hers and declared it "the worst thing ever." I held my breath, took a small sip, and found it—not that bad. Slightly sweet, but not too unpleasant. But then I tried it without holding my breath, and the syrupy, fake-peach flavor came through more strongly, reminiscent of bottom-shelf peach schnapps. To mellow out the sweetness I tried adding sparkling water, then some lemon, but somehow that just made it worse. Bitters might have helped but I didn't have any handy—and I doubt they could have disguised the slight chemical flavor that became more obvious with every sip.
Early Times Fire Eater isn't new, apparently, but I think it just recently became available in Illinois. After trying the Canadian Mist I was a little leery of another cheap whiskey with liqueur added to it—in this case, cinnamon—but it really wasn't too bad. It's not interesting enough that I'd want to drink it straight; it tastes like cinnamon and whiskey with a sweet honey flavor, and there's not much going on. But by the same token, it's also perfectly inoffensive and would probably be good in a hot toddy or any drink that could use some spice (though its claims that it's "not for the faint of heart" are a little overstated; it's not all that spicy).