We’re doing a review of Crown Royal today. Why? I have 17 million reasons why. As recently as 2013, 17 million cases of Canadian whisky sold in the United States, Canada’s biggest market. And the top selling Canadian whisky is, you guessed it ace, Crown Royal Canadian blended whisky. And by golly, we will offer an opinion simply out of respect for this catergory’s very rich distilling heritage. Canadian whisky is on its way up, as long as they don’t screw it up, but hey, we have some believers in the club. Standard among most poker tables and in every bar on the planet is a brand started in the 30’s in honor of the then visiting King of England. And who can forget the cute bags. Owned by Diageo, all of Crown Royal’s whiskies are distilled at Gimli Distillery, north of Winnipeg, and then find their way to shot glasses all across the fruited plain. On to some particulars…
Called a blend here in the states due to what I can only surmise as our own label regulations, in reality this and many other whiskies that share this designation are in fact “single distillery whiskies.” I don’t know if this is simply a coined phrase or industry term I have found in books by Dave Broom or Davin DeKergommeaux, but I much prefer this description as it is accurate per their makeup. Crown Royal is comprised of 50 whiskies all produced at Gimli, and these whisky’s grain bills vary from corn bases, various bourbon whiskies (high rye, corn based) and a variety of rye flavoring whiskies. All the components are aged in either new charred oak, first fill bourbon casks and used oak refills. All in all Crown Royal’s aging stock numbers around 2 million barrels to eventually be bottled here in the states. That’s a lot of purple bags.To the review…
SWC Group Review
Nose- Rye first. Confection feel with hard toffee and caramel. Faint maple. With time some spice notes with a pine touch. Floral. Balanced but mellow nose.
Taste- Mellow and subtle. Brown sugar and grapefruit.
Finish- Medium length and warming. Grainy and sweet. Lingering.
Comment- We tasted this blind to give it a fair shot. The overall flavor profile is no powerhouse, in fact we found it to be on the rather plain side, whisky speaking, but a blandish flavor profile can still sit well in a tumbler, as Crown Royal does.
SWC Rating- 78/100
Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Agree with the review. OK for what it is. I’ve been working away at a bottle of Crown Royal XR from the Waterloo warehouse. Amazing stuff if you can find it. Looking forward to the single barrel they will be introducing this year.
I remember the Waterloo release and was stupid enough not to get it. I too am excited to see what the single barrel line produces. Canadian whisky can do better here in the states, they just have to keep pushing that top shelf emphasis and see where it goes.