A Canadian whisky created using the knowledge of Chris Morris, master disiller of Jack Daniel’s owners Brown-Forman, mellowing Collingwood’s blended spirit with maple wood for a sweet and rich dram.
I remember buying my first J&B Reserve in about 1990 at a Prince Edward Island liquor store. At the time, I had no idea that the brand was distilled in England and came in special bottles and was aged for a long time. This was just a Canadian whiskey to me, and most likely was the same story for most other Canadians.
But as I matured and my palate for whisky increased, I began to crave something different, something with more spice and character. Canadian whiskey has a bad rap for being light and fairly flavorless. To which I say, it was no different in the early 90’s, as there were a lot of very boring blended Canadian whiskeys on the market.
Enter Collingwood Whisky. As this is written I’m enjoying a glass of the 100% Canadian whisky that was created by master disiller Chris Morris, once of Brown-Forman fame. Morris helped develop the method of aging Brown-Forman’s Jack Daniel’s using maple wood to mellow the spirit. His new creation called Collingwood Whiskey is a blended Canadian whisky that punches far above its weight class.
Nose: The first thing that comes through with Collingwood is pine and a sense of spiciness, maybe like a mixed peppercorn grinder. Very peppery, and yet not the least bit hot. There is a slight grassiness, but overall the nose on this whisky is a little muted.
Palate: Whatever is muted on the nose is not on the palate, which is rich and creamy. Vanilla, coffee, and a bit of maple. The mixed spice is back, but less pronounced. There is a woodiness to it, and a slight bitterness like tannic tea.
Finish: It is a long duration finish. Earthy and spicy, it really lingers. And I can attest that the sweetness lingers as well. While this is not a sweet Canadian whisky, the sweetness of honey lingers.
Love this stuff. Would not be surprised if we see it in these parts in the very near future.
Collingwood Whisky Design
As you can see above, their bottle and label art is very modern and clean. I wouldn’t be surprised to see their bottles on high-end retail shelves in a few years.
Collingwood Whisky (Canada)
Nose: Fresh and sweet smelling with notes of cut grass, ripe stone fruit, a hint of red licorice, and sweet malt.
Palate: Malty with notes of toffee, caramel, cinnamon, dried fruit and cracked hazelnut, with a hint of vanilla / bourbon.
Finish: Warm and sweet with hints of apple, barley, honey, and spice.
Collingwood’s blended spirit is mellowed by three months of steady maturation in maple wood. The result is a uniquely smooth Canadian whisky of great character.
Specs: 40% ABV, no age statement, but aged a minimum of 3 years in toasted oak barrels.
I will say this first-crystal clear, could hold up to any Eau de Vie in its appearance…it says right on the bottle “100%-maple matured for three months”…and well, I am obsessed with maple. I guess that explains my reaction!
On the first nose, I got some sweetness but also good spice as well. A bit of vanilla, some cinnamon, maybe some nutmeg. Some grassy notes, maybe like a field of rye grass. A hint of caramel. Very complex for something so young, I must say.
The palate is amazing. It is the perfect complexity of sweet spice, vanilla and gentle maple. It’s not cloying like sherry or too strong. Nice! Can’t wait to sip this when it’s a few years old. This is also a very Canadian whisky, IMO…I mean the first flavor that I get is the maple…it’s wonderful.
All in all, an amazing blend from the team who makes JW.