Top 20 Whiskies of 2017

#18 • Crown Royal Noble Collection Wine Barrel Finished

  • Rank: 18
  • Year: 2017
  • Score: 90
  • Price: $60
  • ABV: 40.5%
  • Style: Blended whisky
  • Place of Origin: Canada

Until recently, Crown Royal, Canada’s best-selling whisky, took a conservative approach to limited-edition releases. The annual Noble Collection is a promising taste of the innovation underway at the Gimli, Manitoba distillery, which includes experiments with single grain wheat whisky, single malts, and more.

This first venture into cask finishing uses Cabernet Sauvignon barrels. It is still Crown Royal, but on top of the bourbonesque vanillas and woody notes, rich red fruits jump from the glass. A new direction that moves Crown Royal into the realm of big, beautiful whiskies. —Davin de Kergommeaux