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Crown Royal Monarch is a bottling celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the expression. 75 years ago (sorry, 76 years ago since this came out last year), Sam Bronfman created this blended Canadian whisky to celebrate the state visit to Canada of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1939. Apparently this expression features more rye, distilled in Crown Royal's ancient Coffey still - which the original Crown Royal of 1939 likely ran off from. This bottle comes from Batch No. 8.
The colour is a deep brownish gold. On the nose you have the typical signature Crown Royal style - dates, bananas, vanilla and oak. But there is more of a minty rye presence. Ginger. Papaya. Lilacs. Allspice. Lumber. More rye spices emerge with water. Very complex, enjoyable and inviting.
On the palate we get more spices (cloves, cinnamon) as well as grapefruit pith, woody oak, toffee and some vanilla (though less than you might expect). Silky mouthfeel. Herbaceous. Water accentuates the caramel and gives more of a caraway rye kick. Quite delicious, actually - and rather addictive.
The finish is mouth-drying with sawdust, more cloves and rum-raisin - long and always developing with more rich, savoury herbs and spices. This is excellent Canadian whisky - Crown Royal turned up to 11. David de Kergommeaux, the worldwide authority on Canadian whisky, rated this a 96. I wouldn't go quite that high, but I'm going very close. I was going to say that I wish I had bought more bottles when I had the chance, but I just checked inventory and there are many bottles still available in Ontario, and at $CDN60 this is good value for quality. I won't feel bad if I drink more of this than I really should. And next up - our last review - will be a Canadian whisky you cannot get in Canada.