Ah… Crown Royal. A lot of folks I know rank this Canadian whisky amongst their favorite spirits. I’ve never had the pleasure of tasting it until recently. Before we get to the tasting notes, here is a little history. Crown Royal was created in 1939 to celebrate the royal visit by the reigning King George VI and his wife Queen Elizabeth to Canada. Until 1964, the only place you could find this whisky was Canada.
What’s Canadian whisky? In a nutshell, Canadian whiskies are blended whiskies comprised of corn, rye or barley. To be called Canadian whisky, the spirit must be mashed, distilled and aged at least three years in Canada. Unlike American Bourbon whiskey, Canadian whisky can have caramel coloring and flavoring added – so long that it tastes like Canadian whisky should taste. Of note, from what I gather, there can be a large percentage of neutral grain spirit blended in. I suppose that’s why coloring and flavoring can be added. So, how does this grand Canadian whisky taste?
(Note: I received a review sample from Diageo.) On the nose, it’s light with creamy caramel, light vanilla and apple liqueur. The light-bodied Canadian whisky carries over cinnamon notes, light maple syrup and a hint of baked apple. Its finish is short and sweet.
Crown Royal doesn’t have any bite, but I don’t think it is designed to. It’s meant for someone looking for a smooth, sweet palatable whisky. On that end, Crown Royal Canadian whisky delivers. It’s a personal preference, but I like more complexity in my whiskey. A 750mL bottle of Crown Royal costs about $25.