For all the negatives associated with being a whisky lover in Ontario (high prices, limited selection, etc.) there are some perks. Being a huge market in Canada, we sometimes get whiskies not offered to other Canadians, or to Americans. Crown Royal has released whiskies in Ontario that aren't readily available everywhere else. Crown Royal Blender's Select is an exclusive release at the LCBO and is a vatting of 9 year old rye whiskies and 7 year old rye whiskies from the Coffey still in Gimly, Manitoba. The Coffey Rye is always aged in Virgin oak barrels, according to the Crown Royal marketing rep, er "Brand Ambassador", who spoke about it on the Whisky Topic podcast. This whisky is produced from a mashbill of 64% Corn, 31.5% Rye, 4.5% Malted Barley (according to Jason Hambrey). The Blender's Select is one of the 5 types of whisky used in other Crown Royal products. It's rich and flavourful, and it's the star of the show here.
Nose (undiluted): buttery toffee, maple sugar, a bit of oak, sawdust, cedar, rye and oak spice (cloves, nutmeg) and a slight orange zest note
Palate (undiluted): rich and creamy arrival, caramel popcorn, butterscotch, banana, a bit of coconut, vanilla and cinnamon
Finish: medium length, sweet, a hint of white grape juice, milk chocolate, banana, and a bit of drying rye spice and oak tannins.
With water, the banana notes become much more prominent with some hard toffee making an appearance as well. In fact, with water, all I can smell and taste is banana. Skip the water. Neat, this is a very pleasant after dinner sipper. It's not cloyingly sweet, but it's close to the line for me. Interesting enough to be worth the price of admission.