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Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel (Total Wine and More, NM)

A Crown By Another Name Is Still A Crown

7 987

@talexanderReview by @talexander

5th Nov 2019

1

  • Nose
    21
  • Taste
    22
  • Finish
    23
  • Balance
    21
  • Overall
    87

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This is a sample (courtesy of @paddockjudge) of the US-only expression Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel. Why this is not available in Canada is beyond my comprehension. Apparently, different states get different barrels; this one is exclusive to Total Wine and More in New Mexico. I could be wrong but I think the blend is 64% corn, 31.5% rye and 4.5% malted barley, and is around seven years old (if I'm wrong, I'd be happy for someone to correct me).

The colour is a dark gold. Very herbal on the nose with mint and fennel, buttered corn-on-the-cob, rich vanilla, mashed banana and Caramilk chocolate bar. Macadamia nuts. Some rye spice. Pretty fruity with overripe peaches and canned apricots. A drop of water opens up wood smoke and burnt toffee. A bit more muted than I was expecting - and doesn't seem much different from your standard Crown.

On the palate it's still standard Crown, but dialled way up - huge explosion of corn oils, banana cream pie, cloves and oak. Buttery mouthfeel. Candy corn. Light milk chocolate, even white chocolate - but the dominant flavours are full-on caramel and vanilla, we have heaping loads of both. The alcohol heat keeps it from being cloying - and water helps by upping that heat, with some added spice. But there is too much emphasis on that caramel/vanilla Crown profile.

The long finish is white pepper, umami, chili and charred oak. Although the higher ABV is welcome, it doesn't push it over the edge enough to make much of a difference - despite the remarkable finish. A stronger Crown Royal is still just a Crown Royal.

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9 comments

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

Nice review, as usual!

Given that it was from Total Wine, are you sure that was CR? Are you sure they didn't slip in some Grangestone?

8 days ago 1Who liked this?

@casualtorture
casualtorture commented

I believe I had this same whisky courtesy of @paddockjudge. It was good; very oaky as I recall. I think I gave it a mid 80s score as well.

7 days ago 0

@cricklewood
cricklewood commented

Nice review, I think it hits a lot of the strong points of this whisky. The richness can be beautiful but cloying in the end.

I don't know why CR doesn't release this here especially with the popularity of bourbon, that said I don't know if this is still produced at all. I checked wine searcher the other day and there were very few listings for it.

7 days ago 1Who liked this?

@cricklewood
cricklewood commented

Yup it was me. It was dubbed Gimli Manitoba's best hot sauce.

7 days ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@paddockjudge I’m not surprised. No one can put anything by you. If you were. A border agent, not even you would be able to do what you do...

6 days ago 0

@casualtorture
casualtorture commented

@cricklewood @paddockjudge yeah thats right. the other 2 were 'banks of the detroit river' and the arran was 'my youth on a Scottish island.' clever names.

6 days ago 0

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