Review: Collingwood Canadian Whisky

Never mind what’s inside Collingwood: You don’t get very far without admiring the bottle. I know I’m a sucker for a nice decanter, but this thing is ridiculous, like an overgrown Chanel bottle or a glass, whisky-filled Zippo.

But on to the spirit within: This whisky is, to be blunt, unlike any I’ve ever tasted. A blend of two whiskys, aged in oak for three-plus years, and finished in toasted maplewood casks, it is sweet yet earthy and deeply wood-inflected. The nose: Woody and traditional — albeit with the addition of a little perfume — but closer to Bourbon than most Canadian whiskys. On the palate, the upfront offers a brown sugar character, but the sweetness is muted by wood. It’s not overwhelming in the way some hoary Bourbons can be, but simply mellowed out.

The ultimate effect as this washes over your palate is incredibly hard to describe. There is applesauce with cinnamon, butterscotch, cedar planks, but nothing approaching smoke or charcoal in it. The finish is baffling, with wood and earth at play with molasses and incense.

Collingwood makes a lot of claims that this is perhaps “the smoothest whisky ever made.” I’m not sure if that’s the case — though it is smooth and easy-drinking — but either way it’s much more than that simple platitude.

80 proof.

A- / $27 /

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6 Responses

  1. ermlasboat February 21, 2011 / 12:04 pm

    Willing to try this on the basis of the bottle alone. Heartening to see that the price is sane, too.

  2. Tj H November 11, 2011 / 3:30 pm

    I LOVE this whiskey. I’m a single malt drinker and will drink this anytime. Sad though I can’t get it anymore – after becoming addicted to it in Florida I found out they don’t distribute it to the Chicago area. But it’s a great drinking whiskey….

  3. Teresa May 20, 2012 / 5:27 pm

    Trying to get a bottle of the Collingwood scotch my sister from Collingwood was telling me about.
    Can I order it online, pay for it & have it delivered to our home in Calgary?
    Please advise.

  4. Paul September 7, 2012 / 9:55 pm

    I really wanted to like this and be a promoter of a new local whisky…but I find the nose to be so bland and nondescript, and the palate much too sweet, to get enthused by it. Can’t get enthused by it, no matter how hard I try. I am sure it would work well mixed. But as a sipping whisky it is really sweet and boring.

  5. Brooks September 11, 2015 / 7:02 pm

    Call me crazy but I’m not crazy about it. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like it, but at this price level, I can think of a few Single Malts that I enjoy more, both Scotch and Irish.
    It does have a front-heavy sweetness to it that fades into this smoky wood aftertaste.
    The packaging…’s my issue with the packaging. It looks beautiful but it FEELS cheap. Because it is. The black topper and cap are cheap plastic and it’s got a little plastic regulator as well. If the plastic were a little thicker or there was a cork under there….but taking the top off of this looker is a disappointment, I must say.
    Above average but I’m up in the air on the value here…

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