The 2018 entry to Crown Royal’s annual Noble Collection is this 13-year-old Blenders’ Mash. The whisky’s mash bill is similar to that of bourbon. According to Crown Royal Brand Ambassador Stephen Wilson, it’s about two thirds corn and one third rye, with a touch of malted barley. This whisky is also aged exclusively in new barrels. Really, the only thing that keeps this from being bourbon is that it’s made in Canada and not the U.S.
Rich caramel and oak spice are the dominant notes on the nose, complemented by vanilla and floral notes. It’s very reminiscent of a typical bourbon, and that sentiment also carries over to the palate. Cinnamon frosting leads things off, followed by a burst of freshly squeezed orange juice and maple caramel chews. Some oak spice develops in the mid-palate, becoming slightly astringent. The medium-length finish is warming with hints toasted oak and caramel.
This is fantastic whisky, and my favorite of the Noble Collection releases. Not only is 13-year-old Blenders’ Mash a great gateway into Crown Royal for bourbon fans, it’s simply fantastic. My only issue here is the price, which is about $100 a bottle. I can name a number of bourbons for half that price. So, this Crown Royal blend is a bit expensive for what it delivers. Price aside, 13-year-old Blenders’ Mash comes with a recommendation. 8.5/10
Thanks to Crown Royal for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.