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Crown Royal Wine Barrel Finished

A lot of complexity here

2 892

@JasonHambreyReview by @JasonHambrey

2nd Jun 2017


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Finished for 6 months in a cabernet sauvignon cask from California (though I suspect it might still be French oak, but unconfirmed...). I’m getting interesting notes on the nose. Canadian whisky is becoming really interesting – expanding, yet still within its own style. Hats off to the team at Crown Royal.

New oak, superposed on rich grain (bourbony notes and some rye) with lots of fruit – prunes, dried peaches, dried apricots, along with typical wine notes of cassis, black currant, and then we have clove, green cardamom (French oak, perhaps?), mixed baking spices, cola, licorice, and pine. Buttery and creamy, with all of that oak influence. It really evolves, with rye notes emerging more with time. And, underneath, beet root! Some blending magic at work.

The palate is full of new oak and toffee, yet those cassis and blackberry notes continue. Lightly herbal, with mint, tarragon, arugula, and dried corn husks. Also, lots of custard (quite clearly so). I don’t know if I’ve ever had a whisky display custard so prominently. The finish continues with custard and spices – nutmeg, clove, and green cardamom. And a splash of rye, coming out more clearly as you drink it. Very complex, as a whole.

Wiser’s isn’t the only one continuig to push Canadian whisky forward. I like this more than last year’s release. The thing I like the most about this is where the rye sits – underneath it all – and I didn’t notice it at first, but it starts to emerge as a backbone of the whole blend. I do like rye a bit more forward, but it is still impressive to be able to merge the fruity and creamy style with the herbal rye. Also, it’s not overtly winey - which I like – it is subtle and very well integrated. Since tasting notes can be confusing to interpret, here is how I would describe this whisky relative to others – it is somewhat of a cross between the fruity style of a cognac finished crown royal (think XO or Cask No. 16), with the buttery, creamy style of the softer crown royals, and the softer new-oak influenced wiser’s whiskies like One Fifty, Union 52, or Red Letter (but not as spicy as Red Letter). It has similar notes to last year’s Cornerstone blend, in terms of the rye notes – but it is very different in focus. Some marvelous blending at work here.

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Nelom commented

Nice review. I like the "this is kind of like these other whiskies" part at the bottom. I wish more reviews would do that, it's very helpful.

4 years ago 1Who liked this?

JasonHambrey commented

@Nelom thanks. Yes, as much as tasting notes are good - it is hard to understand what kind of whisky you are drinking just based on them.

4 years ago 0

Robert99 commented

@JasonHambrey A solid review, very informative and well written. And, of course another one not available at the SAQ. One day they may discover that there is some great Canadian Whiskies.

4 years ago 1Who liked this?

Alexsweden commented

Thanks for the review. This sounds like a good'n

4 years ago 0

Astroke commented

@JasonHambrey, your score on your blog was a 90/100 I believe, did anything change to bump it up 2 points? Not Trolling just curious as I remember your scope for FC Evolution being extremely favorable as well.

4 years ago 0

JasonHambrey commented

i tend to grade higher on connosr. The reason for this is that on my old blog I tended to rate higher, but then I felt that there was too much rating inflation. So when I switched to my new blog last year, I docked everything two points since I felt I was grading too highly. But I wanted connsor ratings to be consistent, so I haven't docked here.

I did love evolution, and I'm out of the norm on that one - it is one of my favorite Canadian whiskies. I've only found one other friend who loved it the way I did - most people found it so-so, which I understand.

4 years ago 0

JasonHambrey commented

One of the things I like about the new connosr is that you can see the user rating distribution. Quite interesting

4 years ago 0

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