Review: Collingwood Rye Canadian Whisky 21 Years Old

Review: Collingwood Rye Canadian Whisky 21 Years Old

Collingwood Rye 21 Year Old high res

Who, who, whoooo is putting out 21 year old rye? At a price of 70 bucks (or less)? Collingwood, that’s who.

Collingwood is best known for bottling its spirits in what look like oversized perfume bottles, but it should be known for the quality of the spirits inside. Standard Collingwood, a young Canadian blend, offers a huge amount of flavor for a whisky that’s just three years or so old. At 27 bucks it’s a steal.

Now comes Collingwood 21, a 100% malted rye with a full 21 years of age on it, aged primarily in new oak barrels and finished in toasted maplewood barrels. There’s plenty going on here. The nose offers rich wood character, butterscotch, and hints of maple syrup. It’s quite enticing and invites you into sipping away, revealing more syrup and butterscotch notes, plus intriguing notes of orange peel, evergreen, and some light lumberyard. The finish is woody but far from overdone, an engaging rush that brings along hints of that rye spiciness, something akin to a clove-spiked orange. Dangerously drinkable.

This is a one-time-only limited release. Grab it while you can.

80 proof.


Collingwood Rye Canadian Whisky 21 Years Old




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

1 Comment

  1. Tim H. in NoVA on February 4, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    I’ve had a bottle of the Collingwood 21 year Rye open since mid-November. It is definitely an unusual bottle–nothing else that I’ve tasted quite like it, and that includes other 18+ year ryes (Sazerac, High West, Willett). That said, it’s my least favorite of the old ryes I’ve had.

    The Collingwood 21 has flavors of a dusty attic, aged wood, a certain dryness I’ve not encountered before… it’s not something I particularly enjoy drinking neat.

    However, if you can mentally get past mixing a 21year old anything into a cocktail, it makes for some stunning combinations.

    A Manhattan (go light on the vermouth, light on the bitters) helps this to really shine. As long as you aren’t heavy handed, the other flavors showcase rather than disguise the uniqueness of the Collingwood 21. It’s the most complex Manhattan I’ve ever tried.

    Also really enjoyed it mixed with a drop of bitters and a teaspoon or two of Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban — the sweetness of the port-finished scotch plays beautifully with the C21 rye. They both become better than the sum of the parts.

    So if you still see a bottle, I recommend picking it up. It’s like nothing you’ve had before, and — even if you don’t like it straight — it is one of the most unusual and mesmerizing spirits I’ve ever mixed. Mix lightly and let the C21 shine and I believe you’ll be impressed.

    And, in a blind tasting, no one will guess what your secret ingredient is.

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