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Crown Royal is an old standby for me; something that I still enjoy casually, usually on the rocks or mixed, but I rarely sit down and have it neat. I figured it's time to give it a proper assessment.
The nose is fairly big, with lots of maple syrup aromas jumping out of the glass immediately. There's also a bit of pine wood and some toasted pine nuts. It has a fairly light body; heavier than the Glenmorangie 10 I reviewed but lighter than the Jameson in terms of oiliness.
On the palate there is a bit of caramel to start, and then it ramps up it's intensity into burnt wood, maple sugar and the like. It's almost reminiscent of a light rum at this temperature because it is so sweet. On the finish I get lots of cinnamon and caramel, but not a whole lot else.
I'd say this is not my favorite whisky neat, but I do still like this on the rocks; the coldness must intensify some of the notes while quieting others. It's a personal preference, but I probably would not recommend drinking this neat, this definitely calls for ice or a mixer of some sort. Does that mean it's bad? Not even a little bit, it's just not ideal by itself.