Crown Royal ReserveToday, I am reviewing one of my favorite whiskies for the holidays – Crown Royal Reserve.  It is a batching of some of Crown Royal’s older stocks, bottled at 80 proof, and displayed in a decadent leather pouch.

As you may recall, my review of Crown Royal Maple-Finished Whisky was not impressive.  However, this is a much different product and one that I enjoy very much.  It is a great whisky for the holidays because it is a smooth, drinkable whisky that works well for a lot of different palates.  You don’t need to be a connoisseur to enjoy this one.

On the nose, this whisky is sweet and fruity, with big notes of red apples and honeysuckle.  The palate delivers a very elegant mouth feel, light-bodied, but silky like a Lowland Scotch.  It maintains its fruitiness, but there is a slight dry spice that comes up towards the back of the palate.  There are notes of dried pineapple, fresh pears, a little oak, and raisins.  The finish is medium to short, but it does leave a nice sweetness of vanilla and honey.

Overall, this is not an incredibly complex whisky, but it is one that is delicious from start to finish, which makes it a hit around the holidays.  Almost everybody that is visiting will enjoy this one, from your beer-swilling aunt to your single-malt sipping grandfather.  To make it even better, it is usually available for under $50.  My grade: B+.  Price: $45-50/750ml.  A delightful, light-bodied whisky that is absolutely worth having in your cabinet.

p.s.  This review is dedicated to the memory of my friend, Billy Doyle.  I hope to tend bar as well as he did some day, and his presence behind the bar at The Dugout will be sorely missed.

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