#328 • Royal Royal Harvest Rye Crown

45% alc./vol.
Crown Royal Distillery, Gimli, Manitoba, Canada

It had been quite a while since I had visited a member of the Canadian whiskey royal family, and strangely this last opportunity arose quite recently during my vacation to our neighbors to the south, in the form of a mini of Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye.

It's a bit sad because although it is a Canadian novelty, it begins its journey abroad. I do not understand why we cannot be so proud of this Canadian product as to launch it on the domestic market first. SAQ, make an effort, it always pains me to see new Canadian products elsewhere.

The regular Crown Royal is well known, and it is still given a generous share of rye, but Northern Harvest is made up of no less than 90% rye.

As the American actor and producer said so well Ernie Hudson to his Canadian counterpart Dan Aykroyd in the conventional Ghostbusters (1984):

Ray, the next time you are asked if you are a god, you say YES!

Amber significantly more yellowed than the Crown Royal Deluxe.

Nose:
Do you want some rye? Here it is! Do not be subtle and open the ball with rye, varnish, rye, red fruits and re-rye behind. Besides the featured rye, it probably has the rest of the Crown Royal mashbill on a pro rata basis, because underneath it all, it definitely smells like Crown Royal. Apples-caramel.

Taste:
Rye, honey, powdered sugar and pink pepper. Maybe a little too sweet for my taste versus rye spices that could have been a little more present. Strong and juicy texture.

Finish:
The rye and white pepper keep us pleasantly going for a good while, although the experience is marbled here and there with tips of nail polish and paint solvent.

Balance:
Considering the rest of the Crown Royal range, this is quite a success. Ideally it should remain a regular edition.

Note: ★★★★★

#201 • Crown Royal Black

45% alc./vol.
Crown Royal Distillery, Gimli, Manitoba, Canada

I begin the third hundred of my whiskey reviews by returning to the country with a good old classic, but with a little extra, the Crown Royal Black.

It is an expression that is aged in charred oak barrels and the result of its particular blend is 45% alcohol. For these reasons, the distillery speaks of a “robust and more concentrated taste that leaves a lasting impression”.

By virtue of its color and many of its notes imparted by burnt oak, CR Black is probably the Canadian whiskey that comes closest to a bourbon, and this at all levels.

As the Canadian lawyer, auto dealer and politician put it so well Gerard D. Levesque (1926-1993) so aptly put it:

Hope is like the night sky: there is no corner so dark where the obstinate eye does not end up discovering a star.

Red as deep as the best of Spanish sherry casks. There is just one thing that doesn't quite fit, it's a Canadian whiskey.

Nose:
A solid start that evokes Forty Creek at times. Vanilla, corn, rye and pepper lure us into the curious lead that we might be dealing with a bourbon, but the crown ends up calling us to order with black cherry and good old Canadian maple syrup.

Taste:
Pepper, rye, orange, brown sugar, cherry and nuts. Bourbon disappears here to let the soul of an authentic Crown Royal shine.

Finish:
Still rye, pepper and orange, but this time on a grapefruit weft.

Balance:
The bad boy of Crown Royal. The dram that the queen drinks when she is in a tabarnac.

Note: ★★★★★