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Now comes something quite unique, from a sample courtesy of @paddockjudge. Crown Royal Limited Edition is one of the few Canadian whiskies that is only available in Canada, so it is something we can truly call our own (and only our own). This particular sample, however, comes from a bottle with a 1975 tax stamp! And what makes this particularly interesting is that, since 1992, Crown Royal has been produced at the Gimli Distillery in Manitoba; but before that it was produced at Seagram's Waterloo Distillery. Now, the only way today you can usually taste spirit from the old Waterloo Distillery is through Crown Royal XR (the old expression, not the new one from the old LaSalle Distillery that is not yet distributed in Canada). You can still get the old Crown Royal XR in Canada ($180), and so may be more like this 1975 LE than the modern LE, since the XR and the 1975 LE are both from Waterloo. For those who are interested, this comes from Bottle No. BAH075 and has been open since May 29 2012 (both mine and @paddockjudge's birthday).
The colour is a medium gold. The nose is very weighty, deep, rich and full - more so than the modern CR LE that I remember (and I think more like the old XR.) You could easily confuse this with a bourbon: tons of oak, vanilla and caramel, but richly vegetal. So much going on! Damp campfire and wet rubber boots, even. Totally unexpected delight. A few drops of water bring out more rye notes.
The palate is where the rye comes in, all dusty and fruity, with the light caramel in the background. Balsamic, grapefruit pith and peaches. As with the nose, water brings out more rye character: grapefruit, wet slate and caraway. Crisp and delicious.
The finish is long but gentle, with pencil shavings and cotton candy. Wow. This has seriously blown me away. I very much like the modern CR LE but this is in an entirely other category. This is an incredible whisky, and if this what they were routinely drinking back in 1975...we have a lot to live up to.