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dbk
02-16-2011, 04:56
Brown-Forman is poised to launch a new Canadian whisky: Collingwood (http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2011/02/brown-forman-releases-collingwood-canadian-whisky-canadian-whisky-news/).

Collingwood is undoubtedly produced by Brown-Forman's Canadian Mist distillery, and seems to be making use of the maple barrels from Woodford Reserve's most recent Masters Collection release (http://chuckcowdery.blogspot.com/2010/09/do-maple-barrels-look-different.html).

I checked the COLA registry, and there's no age statement. They're really pushing the maple wood finish—maple being prototypically "Canadian" to an outsider, I suppose—and the "smoothness" of the whisky, though they don't suggest you drink it neat ("can be enjoyed on the rocks or mixed in a whisky cocktail").

I'd be interested to hear any reviews, especially from the Canadian Mist drinkers out there, who might be uniquely positioned to compare it to the "house" product.

BigRich
02-16-2011, 06:20
I'm supposed to be getting a review sample this week. I'll let you know.

dbk
02-16-2011, 06:24
Great! Looking forward to it.

StraightNoChaser
02-16-2011, 07:26
My agency promotes this brand. While it's not my personal favorite, it sells rather well.

As far as I can tell from our materials (which are admittedly vague) it appears that the maple is coming from the JD Distillery, i.e. they are using sugar maple charcoal. My coworker and I had a pretty long discussion about this last night actually. The original product description we received said charcoal, not "toasted" sugar maple, and was changed in the next iteration of descriptions. Guess they didn't want to step on their own toes? We're not sure. Regardless I wish I knew more because it feels odd selling a whisky you don't know in and out (like I do, for instance, WR or GJ/JDSB)

StraightNoChaser
02-16-2011, 07:28
Granted, I could be wrong. Using the maple barrels from the WRMCMF would be a lot cooler than charcoal. Just doesn't make a whole lot of sense since the MF is a very limited release and Collingwood is a mass release. That's a lot of maple barrels.

silverfish
02-16-2011, 07:50
When I first saw the image, I thought it was a bottle of cologne.


http://img560.imageshack.us/img560/1492/collingwood.png

StraightNoChaser
02-16-2011, 07:58
When I first saw the image, I thought it was a bottle of cologne.


http://img560.imageshack.us/img560/1492/collingwood.png
That's basically what everyone says during my promos :lol:

dbk
02-16-2011, 08:11
it appears that the maple is coming from the JD Distillery, i.e. they are using sugar maple charcoal... The original product description we received said charcoal, not "toasted" sugar maple, and was changed in the next iteration of descriptions.

Interesting. It could be marketing—pretending the maple charcoal is actually "toasted" maple—or it could have been an error in the original materials.


Granted, I could be wrong. Using the maple barrels from the WRMCMF would be a lot cooler than charcoal. Just doesn't make a whole lot of sense since the MF is a very limited release and Collingwood is a mass release. That's a lot of maple barrels.

True enough, but since the maple's just for finishing, there may be enough to go around. The WRMC barrels were toasted, so it fits the description. Moreover, Brown-Forman has its own cooperage, and could be making more barrels. But honestly, I don't know. It is intriguing that the story changed from charcoal to toasted sugar maple, but again it could just be due to an error in the initial materials.

silverfish
02-16-2011, 08:51
That's basically what everyone says during my promos :lol:

My comment wasn't intended as a dig, just a first impression
(tho' it's nice to hear it wasn't only me!)
I'll be glad to try some if/when it becomes available in my area.

ggilbertva
02-16-2011, 10:24
I'll be glad to try some if/when it becomes available in my area.

Me too. It will be available in KY so I'll probably pick one up during the Sampler.

CorvallisCracker
02-16-2011, 13:47
...maple being prototypically "Canadian" to an outsider, I suppose...

I don't know. Maybe it's the flag.

dbk
02-16-2011, 13:51
Touché, Scott. :lol:

cowdery
02-16-2011, 14:21
The official description terminology is: "In Collingwood’s unique finishing step, the whisky rests with toasted Maplewood to complete its smooth character."

That description excludes the Daniel's process, which uses Maple charcoal, not toasted Maplewood. It could mean they used the MC barrels, which were toasted, not charred. You kind of think if it involved actual barreling, though, the word "barrel" would have been used, but maybe not. They're being deliberately vague for some reason.

It's also possible they are using toasted Maple chips after the whiskey has been tanked, or a process similar to Daniel's, but using toasted Maple chips rather than charcoal.

I had an early taste of this and was asked to give my feedback. Here's what I wrote: "Maybe it was the mention of 'Maplewood mellowing' that suggested it, but I got a milder version of the overripe banana aroma I associate with Jack Daniel’s on the nose. No Jack on the palate. Buttery mouth feel. More flavorful than a typical Canadian but the flavors are soft, not sharp. Also less vanilla, more emphasis on fruit flavors like apricot. Almost liqueur-like in its richness."

By contrast, their Canadian Mist Black Diamond, released last year, is more flavorful but the flavors are pretty sharp, indicative of the product's youth.

The packaging suggests they're trying to appeal to a broad distilled spirits audience, not specifically Canadian whisky drinkers, and may even be trying to capture some of the micro-distillery cachet.

cowdery
02-16-2011, 19:46
I have some answers from Brown-Forman.

Collingwood is the town in Ontario where the Canadian Mist Distillery is located. They are making barrels from Maple wood and toasting them at the Brown-Forman Cooperage in Louisville. The barrels are similar to what they used for Woodford but they're not saying it's actually those barrels. No reason it can't be.

"These barrels are then disassembled and shipped to Collingwood, where they are added to the final blend of the Collingwood Whisky, imparting their toasted Maplewood character, for a time that is determined by our Master Distiller/Blender."

The disassembled barrels go into the tank with the whiskey, like loose tea in a tea pot, until it has steeped to perfection. That's the process.

dbk
02-16-2011, 20:24
Fantastic, Chuck! Thanks for getting to the bottom of this, and thanks for the tasting notes. It sounds like it's worth a try, at the very least.

StraightNoChaser
02-17-2011, 00:28
I have some answers from Brown-Forman.

Collingwood is the town in Ontario where the Canadian Mist Distillery is located. They are making barrels from Maple wood and toasting them at the Brown-Forman Cooperage in Louisville. The barrels are similar to what they used for Woodford but they're not saying it's actually those barrels. No reason it can't be.

"These barrels are then disassembled and shipped to Collingwood, where they are added to the final blend of the Collingwood Whisky, imparting their toasted Maplewood character, for a time that is determined by our Master Distiller/Blender."

The disassembled barrels go into the tank with the whiskey, like loose tea in a tea pot, until it has steeped to perfection. That's the process.
That was another suspicion I had as well. Glad that's cleared up!

StraightNoChaser
02-17-2011, 00:29
I have to admit Collingwood is very popular around here

cowdery
02-17-2011, 17:15
I have to admit Collingwood is very popular around here

That's impressive, since it was just launched three days ago.

MissinER101
02-17-2011, 20:47
I don't know; just looking at that bottle I can almost taste the smell of over powering perfume.

kickert
02-18-2011, 06:40
Every time I see the word "Collingwood" in this thread title, I keep thinking you all are talking about my favorite Australian Rules Football team: The Collingwood Magpies. But alas....

cowdery
02-18-2011, 23:39
I keep thinking about Collinwood Manor from Dark Shadows.

squire
02-19-2011, 17:28
What comes to mind is Capt. Collingwood from the John Wayne movie Ft. Apache.

silverfish
02-20-2011, 06:39
DrinkHacker offers a review (http://www.drinkhacker.com/2011/02/19/review-collingwood-canadian-whisky/). Opening with:

"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 they do give it an A- rating.

squire
02-20-2011, 18:14
Saw this at a store today priced at $22.69, was tempted but had my hands full.

squire
02-20-2011, 18:15
And yeah, if I hadn't read the description here I still would have thought cologne bottle.

StraightNoChaser
02-27-2011, 21:24
That's impressive, since it was just launched three days ago.
Local stores here have had it since January 26th at least

dbk
02-28-2011, 18:01
Davin has now posted a review on his site (http://www.canadianwhisky.org/reviews/collingwood-40-alcvol-canadian-whisky-review.html), if you're interested.

Megawatt
07-28-2011, 20:40
This just hit the LCBO and I'm having a glass right now. So far it's pretty good. Soft on the nose, slightly sweet and fruity but with a noticeable bitterness lurking in there. It is balanced in the mouth, starting soft and sweet but quickly building with charred wood and herbal bitterness. Not terribly complex but pretty decent flavour for the money.

ThomasH
11-30-2011, 22:54
Got a bottle of this today. Not bad at all!

Thomas

Gillman
12-01-2011, 08:06
Good product, but I'd as soon seen the rye-rich stream - clearly the flavouring whisky distilled at under 160 proof - released on its own, with this treatment or (preferably) not. I've never met anyone from the Collingwood distillery, but if I did, I'd make this suggestion.

Gary

Davindek
12-01-2011, 13:02
Good product, but I'd as soon seen the rye-rich stream - clearly the flavouring whisky distilled at under 160 proof - released on its own, with this treatment or (preferably) not. I've never met anyone from the Collingwood distillery, but if I did, I'd make this suggestion.

Gary

I second that motion Gary.

cowdery
12-05-2011, 23:46
You were there, Davin, when we talked about this at Collingwood. They look at you rather blankly and say, "but that's not what it's for."

At least now we're getting a small chance to taste those whiskeys, through products like Whistlepig.

The other answer, of course, is "we don't have enough, as we don't make those whiskeys in very large quantities."

And part of it is a "don't rock the boat" mentality.

Gillman
12-06-2011, 01:35
Interesting, but I can't fathom it.

It reminds me of how big brewing was shaken up. It took "outsiders" (writers like Michael Jackson, craft brewers, publicists and others) to show the industry that there were different ways to brew. Finally after 30 years it has a new respect for quality beer products and in some cases has gotten in on the act, e.g., the Belgian white beer style.

Gary

Gillman
12-06-2011, 01:40
I should add that I did once ask, at a festival, a sales rep from a distiller here (not B-F or Collingwood but I can't recall who it was) why they don't release a flavouring whiskey on its own. He said because they were too "harsh".

Gary

cowdery
12-06-2011, 10:51
That's very typical of the attitude.

ThomasH
12-17-2011, 18:28
Opened a bottle of this tonight. Someone gets an "A" for effort in the packaging dept. First the cologne type bottle, then the decorative tamper evident sticker to hold on the decorative outer cap, followed by a strip sticker across the actual bottle cap. If all of that wasn't enough, the neck of the bottle is the size of one on a 1.75L and comes complete with a built in pourer. And the whiskey isn't bad either!

Thomas

boss302
12-17-2011, 21:46
Well, I suppose SOMEBODY had to challenge Crown Royal to the "Mediocre Whisky selling for double what it's worth because of fancy packaging" category...

I tried it. It's quite decent, with some yummy Vanilla overtones... but so is Black Velvet (~$10/750mL).

For what it's worth, it's still an elegant gift for the Canadian Whisky drinkers on my Holiday Shopping List.