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Crown Royal and I do not have much of a history. My first experience that I can remember is tasting the Northern Harvest Rye from a sample (pre-Murray) from @Paddockjudge. At the same sitting I tried the Monarch expression. Neither really impressed me much. I did try some “Hand-Selected Barrel” coffey rye at the Ontario Summit, but I have no notes on it (it was whisky # 32 that day). I think I remember liking it.
LCBO recently listed this limited release. This sample is courtesy @Nelom, from a recently opened bottle. I received the sample a few days ago and opened it today.
This expression is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, but given that it is bottled at 40.2% no water has been added by me.
Nose: Weak, even covered in the glass for a few minutes. I get a hint of spiciness (presumably the rye) and slight floral note. Not unpleasant but innocuous. 18/25
Taste: thin, spirit. Some rye spiciness hinted at in the nose. Fairly sweet. Smooth (whisky’s 6-letter word). Simple. 20/25
Finish: short. Dry. Maybe a little cracked black peppercorns. Boring. 18/25
Balance: The nose is weaker than the taste. I guess they are well-balanced but this whisky lacks a complexity and is quite boring. 19/25
I am not a Canadian whisky enthusiast. I’ve made that clear in the past. More and more I believe that I might lack the discriminating palate to pick up the subtleties of these whiskies. I remain baffled that people I know, FRIENDS whose palates I trust, get so much more out of these whiskies than I can.
But there are some Canadian whiskies that I enjoy, and I’ve reviewed some of them (perhaps more to come in the future). The ones with more complex and stronger flavours seem to appeal to me. So (because I am Canadian) I apologize to anyone who likes Crown Royal and feels slighted by this mark.
The thing is, when I compare this to other Canadian whiskies in the ?$70 range (Highwood 90/20, Forty Creek Confederation Oak, Wiser’s Last Barrels), I really feel the quality just isn’t there. I wouldn’t buy it at any price.
I’m very grateful to @Nelom for this sample, as I am to all those who let me try something that isn’t in my usual comfort zone so I don’t have to buy a bottle that could languish on my shelf for decades.