Featured at World Whisky Day 2017: Crown Royal has a proud history in Canada, created the year King George VI and Queen Elizabeth first visited Canada. The occasion is the stuff of Canadian legend. To mark the 75th anniversary of that visit in 2014, Crown Royal released this celebratory whisky. As with many blended whiskies all over the world, it is difficult to find specific information about what the exact mixture is, but rumor has it that of the 50 or so different whiskies Crown Royal has to draw from, there is a greater amount from their Coffey still rye and created by Master Blender Andrew Mackay. Along with being very popular in Canada, Crown Royal is the best selling Canadian whisky in the US market. This Crown Royal Monarch, like all royalty, comes with a golden crown.
Distillery: Crown Royal
Location: Gimli, Canada
Nose: Rye, spice, citronella
Palate: Rye, nutmeg, cinnamon
Finish: Floral, spice
Adam – There is something funky with this whisky. There’s this spiced wax in the nose that hits you like old scented candles. There’s a sour element to the finish that I don’t really care for, which is unfortunate. In fact, for being something supposedly special from such an iconic distillery, I remain very unimpressed after several tastings. There are some subtle rye notes all around with a bit of spice on the edge and a touch of floral bouquet right at the end, but it all seems to add up to, well, not much. This might not be as big of a deal if it were regular Crown but it makes me wonder, is this Crown Royal Monarch the best they can do?
Meghan – This was not my favorite from the 2017 WWD selection but I found it enjoyable enough. It has a lot more nuance and balance than the regular Crown Royal (we picked up a bottle to compare it to as none of us could recall ever drinking it straight, if we had ever tried it at all) but it is still a sweet whiskey. It is kind of like drinking an oatmeal cookie. There is a nice rye backnote to this one, but sweet is still its main quality. Although it costs much more than I would want to pay for a mixing whisky, I can see that it would hold up nice against a strong, dry, ginger beer. Cola or even the standard Canada Dry ginger ale would be too sweet- but if you feel like mixing something at this one’s price point, I guess whatever you would like is fine (and if you’d like, I have some student loans you can pay off). I really wanted this to be more interesting than it turned out to be. It is really only just okay.
Michael – This whisky is reminiscent of a mulled wine. Not in the fact that is has a wine-like flavor, but more in sense that is has a base sweetness with a background of spices. In this case the sweetness is primarily caramel and the spices, like a mulled wine, remind me of nutmeg and cinnamon. It makes a great winter scotch. And fortunately for me, it is snowy and snowing outside.
Peter – It’s sweet, really sweet.
Ben – It seems hollow, as it’s lacking something that brings all the flavors together. It doesn’t have a core, if we’re thinking in geological terms. It’s fine but I don’t feel like there’s a center that brings it together. It’s story that has a bunch of outside points. It’s fiery sometimes. If there was ladder and regular Crown was rung one, this Crown Royal Monarch is only rung two; whether this is a six rung ladder or a three rung ladder, it feels like it will never reach the top rung.