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Canadian Mist Collingwood 21 Year Old Rye

Average score from 3 reviews and 3 ratings 70

Canadian Mist Collingwood 21 Year Old Rye

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Canadian Mist Collingwood 21 Year Old Rye

I've had my eye on this rye for a while. A 21yr rye one time release for under$60? Maybe something was wrong with it. But when I saw that only two bottles remained in a city of millions, I went on a short adventure grab them. connosr.com/whiskey-hunting-adventures-whi…

Nose: Most definitely rye. Tropical fruit notes along with pepper and mulling spices.

Taste: Rye and pepper forward but an incredible mouthfeel. Deep deep bursts of flavor follow the initial rye. More fruit notes, but not dark, more like pinnaples, apricots, and juicy fruit gum.

Finish: Oh so smooth. The taste of pecan shell offers Some bitterness, but even this is uniquely enjoyable. Pepper spices complete the finish.

Balance: One of the most unique whiskies I have ever had. The fruit notes are off the charts. The rye notes are present but subdued. The finish is beguilingly smooth. Extremely complex.

Final Thoughts: I am glad I did not read the reviews of my fellow Connors's before this purchase. I can see why this whiskey is so polarizing. It is truly the most unique rye I have ever tasted. The bottle is so ugly i never want to put it on a shelf.

@newreverie , FWP was also featured in my contentious "whisky lingo" thread a while back:



If memory serves, the story behind this whisky is something like someone somewhere found a bunch of old barrels of rye whisky forgotten in the back of the warehouse, and it was tasted, and it was good (oh, if only I had a nickel for every time I heard that story...) In this case, however, it might actually be true. This is a very limited release, and I believe at the time of writing this rare whisky is now gone.

The standard Collingwood offering is a rather corn-forward, quite sweet blended whisky that is unique in that it is mellowed by staves of toasted maplewood that floats in the whisky while it is resting in stainless steel vats (after full maturation). The whisky we are tasting tonight, however, is a 21 year old rye whisky (not sure if it is 100% rye or not) that is of a completely different style and flavour than the standard release.

The colour is a deep copper. On the nose you are hit by something extremely floral - a strong soapy coriander-like hit, but almost artificial. To me, this is a huge weakness in this whisky. I want to say limoncello but it is more like those cottage spiral lemon mosquito repellents. Pine needles. Cloves. But overall, quite perfumy. On one hand, it is a rather pleasant garden aroma (though very strong) but it doesn't smell like whisky, let alone like rye whisky. Water makes things even more soapy and floral - not welcome.

On the palate, much less soapy but still has that artificial tang. Metallic. A hint of spice, and with a lot of indefinable herbal notes, as well as anise. Lots of citrus (again with the lemon) and eventually fairly sour. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it simply doesn't work for me. As with the nose, water is not helpful.

The finish is mouth-drying, short-to-medium with more herbs and...garlic? Have I gone mad? What is this? It has received excellent reviews (Davin de Kergommeaux scored this a 4 out of 5, and I know many Canadian whisky aficionados who love this.) I've given this more than a fair shot - I've tasted it numerous times, made Manhattans out of it, etc - my bottle is almost empty - but despite it's rarity, great reviews and the accolades my friends have heaped upon it - I simply don't like it. I suspect it may be 100% rye only because there is no sweetness to this, that can be attributed to corn or anything else. One-note, too floral, too artificial tasting. I'm not a big fan of the standard Collingwood release (which I scored a 71 last year), but for different reasons - these two whiskies are miles apart, but I don't particularly like either of them.

@paddockjudge, the other night you generously provided me with a sample of your Collingwood 21 Year Old rye, from a bottle that had been open for about 8 months. I'm tasting it as we speak, while reading my notes above from over a year ago. While the perfumy (FWP, anyone?) floral notes are still there, they are a little more muted...but alas, my opinion of it is not much different. Very soapy, bitter, too herbal and overall unpleasant. Given the strong nose has mellowed somewhat, I might score this one a 68 or so. Regardless, thank you for providing me with this sample and allowing me to revisit it!

@talexander, It is amazes me that Collingwood 21 YO was selected as Canadian Whisky of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Whisky Awards...it was not unanimous...perhaps there were so many poor quality whiskies sampled that this one actually tasted good.

This whisky should be revisited once a year to remind us how something which has gone so wrong can yet fool so many people.

I cannot get past the maple influence. It does not bring a smile to my face, but it does intrigue me. Was this whisky so far 'gone' that it could not be released at a higher proof?...and maple? It certainly needed some restoration or it would have been released without the maple treatment.

Yo should be pleased that I didn't give you a full bottle!


This interesting whisky could properly be called a single malt rye. Starts off well on the nose with tangy notes of overripe apple and the suggestion of dank, musty wood.

On the palate, however, things go horribly wrong. The whisky is medium-bodied and rather weak, and the taste is of old wood and rotten peaches. Sometimes I can stand to drink it; other times it makes me wince. If I compare it head-to-head against any other rye it is absolutely horrible.

The finish isn't much better: sour and overripe. The overall effect is of a very poorly-made whisky. Did it just sit in the casks too long? Or was it bad to begin with? The official story is that this was an experimental whisky forgotten in one of the Canadian Mist warehouses, until one day the master distiller decided, "What the hell, why not bottle it?" It went into the same bottles as the regular Collingwood, was given a different label, and consumers like me got all excited over how promising it sounded. I wanted to like it. I really did. But this has to be one of the worst whiskies I've ever tasted.

I couldn't even finish the end of my glass tonight. Down the sink it went. That doesn't often happen to whisky in my house. But hey, live and learn. I had to try it.

@Astroke, I'll trade you a full Collingwood 21 for your recently acquired OFBB.

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