Age: NAS (at least three years old)
Style: Blended Canadian finished with toasted maple staves.
Michigan State Minimum: $30
Appearance: Pale copper.
Nose: Popcorn, butterscotch, cut maple.
Palate: Semi-dry with a velvety mouthfeel. Hotter than expected. Maple candy, a bit of grassiness.
Finish: Maple syrup, sweet cinnamon. Fades fairly quickly.
Mixed: Good in an Old Fashioned and in a cocktail I found called a Ste. Agathe made with triple sec, lemon juice and grenadine but it didn’t hold up in one I tried called an Original (shot of whisky with a teaspoon each of sweet vermouth and grenadine). A cocktail from the Collingwood website called a Collingwood Classic (muddled orange peel, bitters and syrup) was tasty and refreshing. Orange seemed to work well with the rye and maple notes in the whisky.
Parting words: “Mellowed” with maple staves in a stainless steel vat after aging, Collingwood is a relatively new addition to the Michigan state list. I’m not sure why that term is used and not finishing or infusing. Mellowing has the potential to confuse consumers who may be more familiar with the mellowing process used by B-F’s cash cow Jack Daniels. Jack Daniels is filtered through a vat filled with maple charcoal after distilling, so there’s beyond the use of maple wood, there’s no similarity.
I’m not familiar with Collingwood’s sibling, Canadian Mist, so I can’t make that comparison but Collingwood compares favorably with other Canadians in the $20-$35 range. It’s not as good as Gibson’s Finest, but better than Crown Royal and Forty Creek Barrel Select. Plus the maple finishing adds an extra element that justifies a couple extra bucks.
The bottle looks like it should contain aftershave but it does fit easily on a shelf and comes with a built-in pourer like a 175 ml bottle.
Collingwood works best as a quality mixer or a casual post-supper sipper. Recommended.