Don’t be fooled by the color of a stain just after you remove the lid, especially with water-based stains. With these stains the combination of binder and solvent may be off-white, which is not at all what you are expecting.
The pigment will have settled entirely to the bottom of the can, and it may have hardened enough so that shaking the can doesn’t bring it all into suspension. It’s always best to stir the stain with a stirring stick.
When you remove all the pigment off the bottom of the can and into suspension, the color of the liquid should be what you are expecting.
Keep in mind, however, that pigment is heavier than the liquid and will begin settling soon after stirring. If you are staining a large project, or if some time goes by between staining separate objects or sections of an object, you should stir the stain again before using it, or you may get a lighter coloring.