Excellent for a Canadian Whisky, but a touch pricey….
Notes: Crown Royal is a Canadian Whisky that was started in 1939 to commemorate the grand tour of Canada by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain in 1939. One of the standards of Canadian Whiskey, Crown Royal has a number of expressions including Crown Royal DeLuxe, Crown Royal Maple Finished, Crown Royal Black, Crown Royal Reserve, and Crown Royal XR. This the XO is their newest addition to a venerable lineup. Made from a blend of roughly 50 different whiskies, this blend is finished in Limousin Oak Cognac casks.
No information is available as to whose casks, but a fair guess would be Hennessy as the company has extensive links to Crown Royals parent company, Diageo.
Appearance: Clear yellow gold amber color, pale gold in the glass.On swirling it leaves a very thin coat on the glass, forming a crenelated edge quickly then thin legs
First Impression: Definite Canadian sweetness with sweet sour rye elements, along with a good dose of char. Nice pecan and maple notes along with faint characteristics of cognac casks.
Taste: Typical Crown Royal and Canadian Whisky hallmarks in general only better, sweet entry,toffee and caramel with nuts, vanilla, then the American oak char hits with a thump with char, tobacco, leather and more char, followed by light,more floral oak notes and hints of dried fruit or cognac and Limousin Oak lightening the oak to a nice lingering finish.
Drinks: This whiskey is meant to be enjoyed neat ( as we did) , on the rocks, or possibly as a mixed drink. At $50 we reach the point where it is either a premium mixer to be used in a drink that will highlight rather than bury a spirit, so chose carefully which cocktail you put it in.
Bottle: We do not have an actual full size bottle on hand so we are guessing from the photo they supplied. Loos similar i shape to their traditional bottle but smoother appearance, possibly on homage to a cognac bottle and the influence of the cognac cask.
Cigar: Rocky Patel Natural Wrapper
Final Thoughts:While a nice whisky the $50 price tag for a blended, especially Canadian Whisky, is a bit hard to justify. Yes, it is a premium blend, yes it is double aged and finished in cognac barrels, but double the price of their standard bottle ? Forty dollars a bottle I could see and maybe people would still make cocktails out of it ( and therefore use a lot more) but at $50 you reach a tipping point where many fewer customers will mix it, and quite a few may try it at a bar then give it a pass rather than committing to buying a bottle.
Interesting and well laid out website if a little short on details at times. Comparisons of the different whiskies, some recipes, ad a whole lot on bags, but not much on the distilleries or stills.