Posts from the ‘Crown Royal’ Category

Crown Royal 75th Anniversary Blend Review

Well, with everybody threatening to move to Canada, I thought it was high time I review a great Canadian whisky.  Crown Royal’s 75th Anniversary blend has been produced to honor the origins of the brand, first blended for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Canada some 75 years ago.  It is a rye-forward blend bottled at 80 proof (40% abv).

The nose is dry and oaked, with some vanilla extract, caramel, and dried mangoes.  The palate is dry and woody as well, with caramel and a light rye spice.  The finish is long and very dry with oak, dry cocoa, dark chocolate, and cinnamon sticks.  There is a unique combination of fresh oak/sawdust notes and old, mature oak in the finish.

Overall, this is a smooth as silk blend with a lot of wood influence, but it lacks complexity to be a truly epic whisky.  Even still, this is a top of the shelf Canadian dram, and a worthy pour for the purpose of such a milestone anniversary.  My grade: B+.  Price: $70-80/750ml.

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Review

Northern Harvest RyeThe new job has definitely made regularly posting (and tasting) a chore, but I should do better in the future.  Today, I am reviewing Crown Royal’s new Northern Harvest Rye, a 90% rye mash-bill from  north of the border (Gimli Distillery in Manitoba to be exact).  There is no age statement on this whisky, but it is bottled at 90 proof (45% abv), which is a move I really like.

On the nose, there is some notes of fresh mint leaves, cloves, spearmint, rye spice, and eucalyptus.  It’s a pretty straightforward rye nose, with not a lot of complexity, but it is very well-executed and very pleasant.  The palate is soft and dry, with good hints of mint and rye, and a bit of caramel sweetness.  The finish is dry and medium in length with pleasant rye, vanilla, and caramel lingering.

On the whole, I am a big fan of this whisky.  It isn’t anything that will blow your mind, but it is a well-built, straightforward rye.  If you like rye whiskey, this is a dry rye with a lot of classic rye flavors going on.  Crown Royal gets knocked down occasionally by connoisseurs in the whiskey blogosphere, but this is a very fine rye whisky.  My grade: B-.  Price: $30-35/750ml.   If you are looking for a good rye to keep around the house for both cocktails and a fine dram before dinner, this is a great rye to have on hand for such a purpose.

Crown Royal Reserve Canadian Whisky Review

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.

Crown Royal Maple Canadian Whisky Review

Crown Royal MapleToday, I am reviewing a new whisky just released by Crown Royal, the world-famous Canadian whisky giant.  This is my first review of a Canadian whisky on the site, so I’ll say a few things about the category.  Canadian whisky is simply whisky distilled and aged (three years minimum) in Canada.  It does not have qualifications as to what it can contain, other than the standard cereal grains that comprise all whiskies.  I’ll have a review of one of my favorite Canadian whiskies, Crown Royal Reserve, up later this week.

The product for today is Crown Royal Maple Finished whisky.  It is made by finishing Crown Royal in oak barrels infused with maple.  Contrary to popular opinion, this is truly a whisky, bottled at 80 proof.  It is not a whisky liqueur, like Drambuie or Southern Comfort.

On the nose, let’s just say this whisky is sweet.  Literally, it smells overpoweringly of maple, pancake syrup.  Honestly, it smells delicious, but I would probably rather put it on waffles than drink it.  The palate continues the maple thing, although there is a little butterscotch and drying oak towards the back of the palate.  The finish has some drying oak with it, too, but it is mostly thick maple syrup.  Adding water just makes the whisky go a little further, but it does very little to alter the fact that you are drinking something that resembles Aunt Jemima.

Overall, I do not enjoy drinking this straight.  However, I can definitely see the appeal of this whisky.  I think Crown Royal Maple has the potential to be a phenomenal mixing whisky.  A little of this stuff in your coffee or tea would make for a wonderful drink on a winter’s eve.  Generally, I am a fan of Crown Royal’s craft products, but this one is definitely made to be mixed.  My Grade: C-/D+.  Price: $30-35/750ml.  This one might a good one for the holidays to make some hot toddies, but that is the only reason I’d buy it.