Maple

Review: Collingwood Canadian Whisky by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40%
Aging
Oak, then toasted maple stave finish
Recipe
N/A
Distiller Canadian Mist (Collingwood, Ontario)

This whisky is aged in white oak barrels and finished with toasted sugar maple wood. The whisky is blended together and then put in a marrying vat for nearly a year with toasted maple staves, to "mellow" the whisky – producing a very similar effect to placing them in maple barrels.


Review (2013)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2013

Nose: Fresh cut wood (green), brown sugar, light floral and fruity rye, pear, and a bit earthy and candy-like… maple syrup and caramel also is present. Integrated is a light floral note, perhaps peonies.  A very enjoyable nose. There’s also orange peel and some berry notes – raspberry in particular- which I notice more clearly the farther my nose is from the glass. Oak is also in the background ever so slightly. The one thing I don’t love is that the rye sometimes seems a bit misplaced in the nose which doesn’t help it, and there’s a sour, meaty note coming from, I assume, the corn…

Taste: It’s quite sweet…the fresh wood from the nose comes in and gradually heats up with some rye flavour and spice before being covered for a second by sweet, syrupy wood notes before finishing with rye spice once more. It does a decent job of going with the theme but I wouldn’t object to more complexity. I like the combination of the sweet and the spicy in this whisky – there’s not too much of either for me but they’re both distinctly there. It’s pretty easy drinking too.

Finish: Dusty and spicy rye, framed with a bit of sweetness from the maple. It fades slowly into a more oaky, dryfinish. Quite pleasant – I like the changing nature of the finish and the final result is good.

Decent, and quite approachable. My uncle doesn’t usually drink whisky, but he says he loves to have guests over and set a bottle of Collingwood in the centre of the table and watch as it is gradually drained dry over the evening. This is a fabulous mixer, for sure, and an enjoyable sipper.

Value: Average. Ok for $35, but you can do better.


Review (2015; Blind)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2015

Rich grain, chocolate coated cranberries, raspberry creamsicle, spice, and still creamy with some creamed corn influences. Oak and dark brown sugar come through with good mouthfeel on the palate, which turns dry as it closes with dried berries, caramel, and bean sprouts.

Value: Average. Ok for $35, but you can do better.


Review (2018)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2017

Mixed porridge, apple seeds, rose, vanilla sugar, barrel char, baking bread – all sorts of nice grain notes, in fact. Toasting blueberry eggos, buckleys, grape drink – loads of candy syrup notes. The palate continues on, continuing an easy path forward despite the spices and the caramel pulling you back in. Great body on the finish, full of toffee, spice, dried fruit, and a bit more rose. Lots of sweetness – wow. Like rich maple syrup.

Value: Average. Ok for $35, but you can do better.


Review: Collingwood The Town Collection Double Barreled Canadian Whisky by Jason Hambrey

ABV
45%
Aging
Once used oak, finished in Virgin Oak, then finished with toasted maple staves
Recipe
N/A
Distiller Canadian Mist (Collingwood, Ontario)

This is an interesting whisky! The whisky is finished in virgin oak (heavily toasted, lightly charred) after initial maturation in once used oak, and then put into a stainless steel vat with toasted maplewood. It's unique - the only whisky which undergoes such a process, and then bottled at 45% and has been put forth as a limited release. Collingwood last did this with their impressive 21 year old rye.


Review (2017)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: L192711402

  • Bottling Date: 2017

Insanely floral – this whisky is often described jokingly as a cologne bottle, but there is a serious nose here – full of roses. It’s remarkable. Dried rose, rosehip, dried rosebushes, daisies, oak, coconut, prune, corn husks and wet earth. The palate is woody, but still with lots of floral notes and fruit – but there is some terrific underlying rye and vegetal aspects underneath. Fascinating. The finish is light, with more oak, floral notes, and underlying vegetal spice. Great dried fruit development on the finish too. I still can’t get over the roses though – a very different whisky than Collingwood, and yet in many respects very similar – lightly tannic. The rye integration is just brilliant, and the higher proof carries the finish farther. Slightly creamy, too – throughout, and yet it retains its sharpness.

This is all the floral and fruity tones of Collingwood on steroids, and it makes for a fascinating addition to a diverse whisky shelf (as mine is).

Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: High. It’s in the top tier of what you can get for $45.