Collingwood Double Barreled Review - A Departure from the Dreaded “Smooth” Whisky

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It’s time for blunt talk: Today’s whisky enthusiast is (generally) not a fan of Collingwood whisky. This is a whisky for a casual whisky drinker—the whisky drinker who has a few pours a month. The sort of whisky drinker that doesn’t need to describe a whisky in any other adverb but ‘smooth.’ This is a big market, and Collingwood deservingly sells plenty of whisky!

However, hardcore whisky enthusiasts leading high-end collector purchases have had a departure from “smooth” whisky.

There’s nothing casual about today’s obsessed whisky drinker. Today’s whisky enthusiast is looking for all sorts of flavor, and smooth is rarely a compliment. They wait in lines for rare whiskies. They drive hours to that store that has the whisky they’ve been looking for. Today’s whisky enthusiast is anything but normal.

So Collingwood Blended Canadian Whisky isn’t necessarily for obsessive whisky drinkers, but what about the newly released Collingwood Double Barreled? Double Barreled is a significant departure from the smooth Collingwood regular expression. It hits the right notes:

It’s made up entirely of Collingwood’s rye flavouring grain whisky (there’s no neutral whisky added)

  • There’s no sherry or caramel added (the original Collingwood includes both)
  • Unlike the original, it’s finished in brand new American oak for under a year. Both spend three or more years in first re-used Jack Daniels barrels (generally speaking)
  • Both Collingwood releases share time in a vat with maplewood staves. This is a proprietary method to Collingwood whisky, with the intention of mellowing out the final product just before bottling

By upping the rye content, adding new oak, and avoiding additives, Collingwood Double Barrel is intended for today’s whisky enthusiast. It’s also a limited release for 2017. So, how does it measure up?

It’s a great step in the right direction. It has the rye notes and oaky notes, and it’s sweeter from new oak maturation. It’s not quite there, yet, but it’s a good step in the right direction. Today’s whisky enthusiast has a lot of choices at its price point, but this is a great step forward for more casual whisky drinkers to be introduced to an oaky spice and rye spice medley. 

Double Barrel is part of a series, and while we don’t know what the next one is in the series, we can assume each one will amp up the flavour all the more. 

Collingwood Double Barreld

Canadian Myst Distillery

Category: Canadian Whisky, NAS, New Oak Finished

Score: 80

Nose: Bright blood orange comes through right upfront, along with dusty barnyard notes, subtle rye, some nuttiness.

Palate: Nutty, dry, and bitter. A long peppery and caramel finish. Touches of blood orange. It’s dry; but dry like dry oak, not dry like a great wine. It lacks some vibrant acidity, and lacks an expanse of flavour. There’s a ton of spicy on the finish, however.

 ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ Good whisky, but not a ‘must-have’

As with all my reviews, they’re about what an obsessed whisky enthusiast might want to drink that has six or more (many more!) bottles of whisky in their collection. Collingwood Double Wood is great step in the right direction for this historic Canadian Distillery, but it’s in a price range with plenty of competition. This whisky won’t strum the harp of many drinking high-proof ryes, but it will make a great gift idea for the more casual whisky drinker to take them in that direction.

Disclaimer: Collingwood did provide me with a bottle of whisky without any stated expectations. This had no baring on this review.