Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel Review

Hand Selected Barrel_1

Photo courtesy of Diageo.

Crown Royal has gone into the single barrel business.  Initially introduced in Texas, Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel is now widely available, so long as a store near you buys a barrel.  Obviously being a single barrel, this is not a blend.  This is Coffey Rye whisky, one of the principal components of Crown Royal.  It’s rye whisky distilled in a coffey still (a type of column still) at Diageo’s Gimli distillery.  Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel is bottled at a healthy 51.5%abv, or 103 proof.

(Note:  I was sent a small review sample by Diageo.)  The first thing that jumps out on the nose is butterscotch and fresh fruit like banana and pineapple.  I also get some oats, slight rye grain and a hint of vanilla.  The medium bodied whisky tastes of toffee, sweet rye grain, banana, pear, and some cinnamon spice.  The long finish is a combo of  cinnamon, sweet toffee and rye grain.

I didn’t know what to expect from this whisky.  The standard Crown Royal to me is a bit bland.  This Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel Canadian whisky can be called lots of things, but bland isn’t one of them.  It’s rich, sweet, spicy and fruity.  A solid, tasty whisky.  A bottle carries a suggested retail price of $54.99.


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