Crown Royal started out of a blend created in 1939 for the visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. We are now 75 years from that point, and this limited bottling was produced to commemorate the 75th anniversary. It comes complete with a batch and bottling number certificate (I have batch 0060, bottle U84X8).
The core of this whisky is crafted in a “coffey” still, which, at the Crown Royal plant in Gimli manitoba is a copper kettle and column still – basically the liquid to be distilled is collected in a receiver which heats it before it enters the column still, and a cut is still collected – that is, only part of the distillation is actually used to put into barrels. This whisky has been available in the US for some time, and has recently come to Ontario (at a convenient 75$).
Nose: Rich and complex, as one can often expect from special Crown Royal releases. Dark caramel, light orange, pineapple, plum jam, dried apricot, light cola and root beer notes, and a light, creamy elegance which smells as if its contributed through corn. There’s also some fresh orange – and a bit of dusty rye does indeed come out. Vanilla starts to emerge with time. along with some oak and hints of oaky earthiness. A fair bit is going on, but, frankly, the cola and root beer notes seem to detract a bit from it all for me – they just seem a bit “cheaper” than the rest of the nose. 26.5/30 (88%)
Taste: Very thick, and showing some decent caramel and oak. It’s quite full and creamy in feel, with some interesting rye – both the candied rye notes of straight ryes and the grassy and sharp rye notes too. At times there is a touch of bitterness, as if some slightly over-oaked whisky has been blended in this – and sometimes this drifts a little into the finish. It’s very rich, and I quite enjoy the flavour integration in this – but sometimes I think it is a bit underpowered – I think you could still get much of the same elegance and creaminess with a bit more ABV. There’s a bit of spice that drifts in towards the finish – some clove, and a bit of nutmeg. It’s well balanced, and it goes down quite easily. 26.5/30 (88%)
Finish: The development from the taste continues, and the feel is fantastic – creamy indeed. Light oak, caramel, orange, corn, grapefruit peel, and some cinnamon and clove are all present. It has a bit of a zesty feel to it after time, and slowly seems to “cleanse” your mouth leaving it to feel quite fresh. The quality is very nice of this, but it is too short, despite the nice corn that lingers for some time. 17.5/20 (88%)
Conclusion: This whisky has some incredible elements to it, but a few things that detract, unfortunately – strands of oaky bitterness on the palate and some detracting elements on the nose. But, beyond that, it is very nice and the rest of this bottle will definitely be enjoyed. It’s extremely drinkable and one of those whiskies that begs for another pour again and again…18/20 (90%)
Overall Score: 88.5/100