What little credit whiskyguru Jim Murray and his Whisky Bible still enjoyed, melted like snow in the sun when he named this Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Best Whisky in the World in 2016. I was not even curious enough to go find a bottle or a sample. But when my buddy Robert from Canada sent me a box of samples, this was included. Well, it would be impolite not to try it, right? Let’s see what the fuss was all about. The mashbill is 90% rye.
The nose is soft, sweet and more fruity than I am used to from rye whisky. I get banana, gooseberries and apples. Some vanilla cake. Almonds and eggnog in the back. The spices are surprisingly soft. In all fairness, this is both pleasant and accessible, but far from grand. Very, very easy going.
It is creamy and candy-sweet on the palate. A perfume note (think lavender) precedes some spices. Unfortunately it turns quite orange-liqueur-like, but with a lot of pepper and nutmeg. Again, far from bad and easy quaffable, but lacks in complexity.
The finish is medium long on more oranges and pepper.
Don’t get me wrong. A whisky does not have to be complex to be good or ‘best of the world’. This whisky is simply good, no more. Quaffable? Yes. Best of the world? Ah, good ol’ Jim and his funny jokes! Thanks, Robert!