Whisky Review: Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye

Category: Canadian Rye Whisky

Origin: Crown Royal (Gimli) Distillery

Bottler: Crown Royal

ABV: 45%

Cost: £53.99 from Drink Supermarket

crown-royal-northern-harvest-rye

What they say:

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye combines the distinctive flavor of Canadian rye grain with the unmistakable smoothness of Crown Royal for a truly exceptional Canadian whisky.
Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye is the first Canadian Whisky to earn World Whisky of the Year in Jim Murray’s Annual Whisky Bible 2016.

Nose

Baking spices, cereal, light wood spices

Palate

Gentle oak note, rich butterscotch, spiced vanilla, develops into soft peppery notes

Finish

Smooth and creamy

What I say:

Crown Royal has long been famed as producers of popular and drinkable Canadian Whisky (a Canadian flatmate introduced me to this decades ago (early 2000’s?) as his parents brought some over whenever they travelled as it was unheard/unobtainable of here in the UK), however this expression shot into the limelight when Jim Murray announced it as supreme winner of best whisky ever in 2016. Later it was conceded that the very specific batch JM may have sampled had long since been sold/drank and no longer available to verify what it was he found in this whisky – later still he claims he predicted Canadian whisky was going to hit the big time soon which he single-handedly proved the truth of his prophecy by awarding it whisky of the year…

Anyway scrambling ensued for the handful of bottles to reach UK shores and priced hiked from sensible (£25-£35) to ridiculous >£150. At the time Richard from Adventures In Whiskyland was visiting home back in California and walking past pallets piled high with this expression in the liquor store for ~ $25 a pop wondering what all the fuss was about – thus a sample reached my inbox. Read their review here.

No age declaration, batch produced/bottled – potential variability? Canadian Rye whisky contains ~ 90% Rye (remainder corn potentially or malted barley?)

Colour:

Bright/full amber gold (11/20), medium tears, slow-moving leave medium-fine legs

Nose:

Vanilla spice and beeswax wood polish, subtle, mealy/cereal, butterscotch, toffee, caramel sauce, baked apple and cinnamon.

Taste:

Brown sugar, butterscotch, wood polish, crème brulee, brown paper bags, cinnamon, tannic oak wood, nutmeg, clove, butterscotch cookies, foam banana sweeties/banana milkshake

Finish:

Medium, spiced, thin and tannic oak & spice

Overall:

Average/Meh, quite youthful tasting, spiced & balanced but lacks depth (not my top whisky of 2016)

Score: 78/100

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