Malt Advocate Whisky Awards “Canadian Whisky of the Year”: Crown Royal Cask No. 16February 4th, 2010
Crown Royal Cask No. 16, 40%, $100
This great whisky was also our award winner two years ago (only to be temporarily eclipsed by the limited-edition Canadian Club 150th Anniversary 30 year old bottling last year), and our opinion of it remains the same.
The well-established Crown Royal “Reserve” has long been one of the finest Canadian whiskies. It’s difficult to imagine one as good, let alone better. But over the past several years, the distillery started releasing limited edition, special release. The first one, Crown Royal XR, missed the mark. It showed its age on the finish, with too much oak influence. But its successor, Crown Royal Cask No. 16, is a silky-smooth ride the whole way.
Crown Royal has always been a stylish line of whiskies. This bottling adds a new dimension in flavor and texture with its cognac cask finishing. It’s a velvety, polished whisky with notes of creamy vanilla, butterscotch, nougat, dried fruit, and gentle spice, all well-defined and nicely balanced. Gently sweet, fruity finish. A very classy Canadian.
(Author’s note: the owners of Canadian Club asked to be excluded from consideration, because the 150th Anniversary was a one-time release and is no longer being produced.)
Tomorrow’s Malt Advocate Whisky Awards announcement: Irish Whiskey of the Year.