Colkegan Single Malt Review

Colkegan Single Malt Review

Born in the Southwest part of the USA Colkegan Single Malt is a whiskey that attempts to pay homage to Scotch by adapting the processes for America. They try to achieve this through using Mesquite to smoke the barley instead of using peat. Which they claim no one else uses, but Del Bac uses it in their Dorado, Ranger Creek uses it in their Rimfire and High Spirits did to in their Mesquite Smoked Whiskey. Maybe they don’t know how to use Google…

In Santa Fe Spirits’ Words: Colkegan Single Malt

“Like its Scottish single malt cousins, Santa Fe Spirits’ Colkegan Single Malt Whiskey is made entirely from malted barley, carefully distilled, and aged and finished in various oak casks to enhance the complex flavors inherent to true single malt whiskey.”

“Santa Fe Spirits’ Colkegan Single Malt Whiskey’s unique barrel aging process also separates it from its low-altitude relatives. Santa Fe Spirits is located 7,000 feet above sea level in the high desert and utilizes a climate-controlled barrel warehouse with temperatures ranging from freezing cold to swelteringly hot, and humidities ranging from bone dry to unbelievably damp. A strict regimen of climate changes yields a spirit with amazing complexity unrivaled by more temperate warehouses.”

And with that, let’s get on with the Colkegan Single Malt review!

Colkegan Single Malt Info

Region: New Mexico, USA

Distiller: Santa Fe Spirits
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Cask: “Various Oak Casks” (no specifics listed)
Age: NAS
ABV: 46%

Price: $55

Colkegan Single Malt Review


Mesquite smoke, toffee, orange peels and a touch of earthy and generic sweetness. Not much going on here.

Mesquite, vanilla, toffee and a light bit of fruit and spice. Again, not much going on here.

Short fade of smoke, toffee, spice and a puff of wood.

Moderately balanced, medium body and a simple watery feel.

There’s nothing bad about the Colkegan Single Malt, but there’s nothing dynamic or exciting about it either. I see what they’re going for, but the Del Bac Dorado did it MUCH better. The aroma is incredibly subdued with nothing much happening beyond some sweet smoke and a touch of fruit. The palate follows suite, but it’s missing that bit of earthiness from the aroma.

All that said I do see a lot of promise in this whiskey. It’s a quality spirit and it’s easy to tell that this could someday become an excellent whiskey. I don’t know if they need to move to only large barrels, age it longer, stop using a mix of finishes or stop futzing about with their climate controlled rickhouse, but I see some major potential for this one once they dial it in. This is one I’d love to revisit in a couple of years and see where it’s at.

SCORE: 79/100 (C+)

Colkegan Single Malt Review
  • Nose - 80
  • Palate - 79
  • Finish - 79
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 78


Colkegan Single Malt is ok, just a bit boring.

Colkegan Single Malt Label

Josh Peters

Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters

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6 Responses to Colkegan Single Malt Review

  1. too bad you only have a small sample. I was initially also unimpressed with this one but after some time open bottle this one really opened up and is quite enjoyable to me. Unique, intriguing and often times beckoning…

    top 3 American Single Malts:


    Too many top Scotch Single Malts to mention and they continue to materialize via new offerings and new finds from the past.

    What a great time to be alive and into whisky!

  2. I can’t necessarily argue with that. I didn’t put the list up in any particular order (although maybe subconsciously I did) since they are all so good and so close that on any given day any one could take top prize. Glad I don’t have to choose!

    That being said Westland makes a nice Sherry cask and the 405 Cask strength I also enjoy a lot. Looking forward to Stranny’s upcoming Sherry release.


  3. For me, Balcones would be at the top of that list. Glad to see a review of the Colkegan, My review would be similar to yours, RP. Both the Colkegan and the Del Bac are mainstays of my Southwestern Frontier Whiskey tastings.

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