Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye

3 Canuks - Part III

Reviewed by
Connosr member:



16th Nov 2015

Reviewer rating:


About this score:

  • Nose: 22
  • Taste: 23
  • Finish: 22
  • Balance: 23

Best price to buy online:

Tasting Notes by talexander

Our third Canadian today was, until recently, only available in the US. Crown Royal's Northern Harvest Rye is a blend, but 90% of it is rye.

The colour is a medium amber. On the nose it's a total rye assault: grapefruit pith, freshly sawn lumber, buttered rye toast and freshly cut mulch. Very floral. Lots of citrus and spice, but in the background you still have that Crown sweetness. Evens out well with water. Fantastic.

On the palate there's tons of grapefruit pith as well, with big spice and hints of vanilla, toffee and rye. Again, the sharpness of the rye is well balanced by the vanilla/toffee sweetness. Quite citrusy and oaky - and even more so with water. Very well done.

The finish is a little briny with more pith, black pepper, graham crackers and sawdust. There's a real tightness to this, which is in great contrast to the "flabby" G&W (Part I) and more balanced Forty Creek (Part II). This is a style I love - this to me is what Canadian rye is all about. Between this and the beautiful Monarch, Crown Royal is having a fantastic run of great new expressions.


Whisky details


Crown Royal


Northern Harvest Rye




Pale Gold



BlueNote wrote:

Good to see that the ABV is coming up on some of these Canadians. Nice review. I haven't paid much attention to Canadians the last few years, but I will definitely seek this one out.

16 November 2015 23:21

talexander wrote:

BTW this is Jim Murray's World Whisky of the Year!

19 November 2015 14:51

Victor wrote:

2016 World Whisky of The Year? Then I guess Mr. Murray must be scoring Crown Royal Northern Harvest up around 97 points. Hmmmm, guess I'll need to try a sip or two.

19 November 2015 15:26

talexander wrote:

He scored it 97.5. Obviously, I wouldn't go that high - but it is pretty great, as a rye connoisseur you will definitely have to grab a couple of bottles.

19 November 2015 15:29

AdamH wrote:

Wow, I have been hesitant to pick this up because of the reviews of it not even being a suitable mixer for Manhattans, Old Fashioneds, Sazeracs (rye-based cocktails) for those I usually go to Rittenhouse BiB. But its low cost and your review have turned me around to it. That does seem like hyper-exaggerated praise from JM but I can't judge without having tried it.

19 November 2015 16:48

talexander wrote:

Although I was surprised to see a Canadian get the award, if you think about it, it kind of makes sense: Jim's favourite style of whisky is rye, he's always scoring ryes considerably higher than other styles (usually American ryes) - and this CR has notes reminiscent of that US style. Also, I can attest to the fact that this makes an excellent Manhattan.

19 November 2015 16:51

AdamH wrote:

Thanks @talexander will mix one up one this weekend - after tasting it neat. On a related note, I secured the 2nd last EH Taylor Straight Rye from the Vintages release this morning.

19 November 2015 17:27

talexander wrote:

@AdamH, well done! I was going to buy some but then thought better of it (I've had them all before, they're all great, but I thought I'd save the $$$ for Christmas!)

19 November 2015 18:41

AdamH wrote:

It was a last minute decision for me but I thought with BTAC lottery looming - date is Nov 26 if I'm not mistaken - I didn't think the odds were in my favour of "winning" a Handy, Saz 18 or WLW or any combo of each. As the saying goes, a bird in hand is better than two in the bush.

19 November 2015 19:07

JasonHambrey wrote:

@talexander and @adamh I agree. I am not so surprised that ET Taylor is on allocation, but it's sad. I don't think it's worth the effort, at this point, though that rye is pretty awesome.

I loved Northern Harvest Rye - I gave it a 93 last month. Surprised that JM rated it so high, and not surprised. I only give moderate stock to his reviews, but at least it was quite a decent Canadian and I stand by it being a very good whisky (and $30!). Now let's hope CR doesn't just repackage it and charge double in a year, with lower quality, as I could see happening...

19 November 2015 21:20

Nozinan wrote:

@adamh I don't think you have to choose. Good luck with getting the BTACs as well. I will put my name in but I don't expect for a repeat of the last year's Handy.

However, last year a few of us winners got together and had a BTAC party and we got to taste the three CS bottles. I hope we can do that again. I certainly am willing to put up my bottle if I get the opportunity.

And just sayin, last year there was someone from Northern Ontario came to T.O. for that tasting... so you could come down...

20 November 2015 22:38

Astroke wrote:

Just not getting this one. I wanted to like this more than I did. Now have tried this on 3 different occasions over 4 months and just don't find anything special here. I do on the other hand find EHT Rye one of the best whiskies I have ever tasted. Would panic if I did not have 1-2 bottles bunkered.

26 March 2016 01:26

talexander wrote:

@Astroke, I scored the EHT Rye 95, and this one 90. No doubt, the EHT is amazing, but the CR IMHO is also very good. If you find nothing special in the CR, hey vive la difference.

26 March 2016 01:31

Astroke wrote:

@talexander, still working on it. Took me a few months to warm up to CB Spice Tree, now a favorite blend. Polarizing Whiskey for sure. Might think better of it if Diagio released the CR cask strength in Ontario :)

26 March 2016 01:53

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