Posts Tagged ‘Crown Royal’

Whisky Advocate’s Fall Issue Buying Guide’s Top Ten Reviews

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

The fall issue of Whisky Advocate will hit the newsstands September 1st. It’s a great issue from cover to cover, and the Buying Guide contains more reviews than ever before. Today we offer a sneak peek at the Top Ten whiskies reviewed. (As always, if the price is not listed in U.S. dollars, the whisky is not currently available in the U.S. market.)

JW&Sons Priv Coll 2014#10 - John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2014 Edition, 46.8%, £500

Smoke begins Jim Beveridge’s public replication of the annual Directors Blend concept, built around Johnnie Walker’s signature characteristics. Peat smoke harks back to Islay, but there’s wood smoke, tobacco leaf, and malt, with a salty richness behind it. The grain just gives it a lift of extra sweetness. Polished, with great structure; red apple, raspberry, and sweet linctus wrap up with a long, smoky finish of cigar stub and peat stores. Clear parallels with Directors Blend 2009, but better. (8,888 decanters released)—Jonny McCormick

Advanced Whisky Advocate magazine rating: 91

#9 - Benjamin Prichard’s Tennessee Whiskey, 40%, $45

Although the Prichard distillery is located in Lincoln County, it has a Prichards TN Whiskey Vertical Bannerspecial exemption from using the Lincoln County Process and isn’t charcoal filtered.  The nose reflects that with bright aromas including caramel, cinnamon, and oak. The entry is sweet caramel corn followed by soft cinnamon and black pepper with a boost from some oak. A medium, slightly dry finish completes a very flavorful but still extremely easy-drinking Tennessee whiskey. This is the crown jewel of the Prichard distillery line.—Geoffrey Kleinman

Advanced Whisky Advocate magazine rating: 92

feathery #8 - The Feathery, 40%, £39

Chocolate-covered raisins scoffed on a heathery moor, leather riding tack, intense plain chocolate, malt loaf, mixed nuts, Medjool dates, and traces of wood ash. A gorgeous, unctuous mouthfeel with flavors spun around bright sparks of orange, dark toffee, and rich maltiness, melding to black cherry, stewed fruits, licorice, and charred oak. Named for the leather golf balls packed with goose feathers used in the early 19th century. Sink one for a birdie. From the bottlers of Sheep Dip. —Jonny McCormick

Advanced Whisky Advocate magazine rating: 92

#7 - Glenfarclas Family Casks 1988 Cask #434, 53.4%, £345

Quite earthy, with orris root, burlap, and dunnage warehouse notes.  Distinctly meaty—Bovril (beef stock)—then cedary. This untamed edge—think Mortlach or Benrinnes—dominates the palate, but the cask (a refill butt) isn’t overstating its presence. There’s espresso on the finish. Here’s Glenfarclas taking a ramble on the wild side. If your preference is for more robust styles, then look no further. —Dave Broom

Advanced Whisky Advocate magazine rating: 92

Bakers
#6 - Baker’s, 53.5%, $47

Rich, multi-layered nose: vanilla, cornmeal, berries (black raspberries, wineberries), and broad-shouldered oak. Powerful, but not overproof hot in the mouth; controlled. The berries sing a high counter-melody over the corn-oak beat as the whole experience rocks along. It’s powerful, sweet, authoritative, and finishes with a reprise of it all: berries, corn, vanilla, and stronger oak. Mature, complete bourbon with a 7 year age statement, and a real sleeper in the Small Batch Collection. —Lew Bryson

Advanced Whisky Advocate magazine rating: 92

Lagavulin_1995 Feis Ile 2014
#5 - Lagavulin 1995 Feis Ile 2014 bottling, 54.7%, £99

A sherry-cask Lagavulin, this immediately shows a rich, mellow power with a touch of potter’s wheel, but it needs water to bring out sandalwood, beach bonfire, kombu, Lapsang Souchong, and bog myrtle. The palate is where it shows itself fully; resinous and thick, unctuous even, with that scented pine/juniper tea note shifting into paprika-rubbed ham, membrillo, currants, blackberry. I’ve a feeling that this period will be seen as Lagavulin’s golden age.—Dave Broom

Advanced Whisky Advocate magazine rating: 93

#4 - Glenfarclas Family Casks 1987 Cask #3829, 48%, £230

This is the bomb. Savory and lightly meaty, but sweetened by plum sauce; there’s even some strawberry around the fringes. You could see how with another 30 years this would end up like the ’54. Elegant yet powerful, there’s sandalwood incense, marmalade, even a little dried mango. The distillery’s density is balanced by this fruit. Lush with supple tannins and at its best neat. From a refill butt, this is an exemplary sherried malt. —Dave Broom

Advanced Whisky Advocate magazine rating: 94

 

FR 2014 Single Barrel#3 - Four Roses 2014 Limited Edition Single Barrel, 60%, $100

Aged 11 years, this year’s single barrel release is a lively mix of caramel and bright, zingy orange on palate entry. Cinnamon, vanilla, and mint emerge mid-palate, leading to polished oak, baked apple, and a hint of leather on the finish. A lively bourbon, with crisp, clean flavors and nicely balanced. Another winner from Four Roses. —John Hansell

Advanced Whisky Advocate magazine rating: 95

#2 - Crown Royal Monarch, 40%, $75Crown Royal Monarch 75th Anniv Blend_LR

Monarch, the 75th anniversary limited edition of Canada’s best-selling whisky, raises the already high Crown Royal flavor bar. Zesty rye from an ancient Coffey still is the throbbing heart of this blend, balancing cloves, ginger, cinnamon, glowing hot pepper, and that gorgeous sour bitterness of rye grain against crispy, fresh-sawn lumber, fragrant lilacs, dark fruits, and green apples. Butterscotch, chocolate, toffee, mint, pine needles, and sweet pitchy balsam enrich a luscious, creamy mouthfeel carefully tempered by grapefruit pith. —Davin deKergommeaux

Advanced Whisky Advocate magazine rating: 96

And the top rated whisky of the fall 2014 issue of Whisky Advocate magazine is…

Glenfarclas Family Cask 1954 2014 Series

Glenfarclas Family Casks 1954 Cask #1260, 47.2%, £1,995

A rich amber color and elegantly oxidized notes greet you. There are luscious old fruits—pineapple, dried peach, apricot—and puffs of coal-like smokiness. In time, sweet spices (cumin especially) emerge. Superbly balanced. The palate, while fragile, still has real sweetness alongside a lick of treacle. It can take a drop of water, allowing richer, darker fruits to emerge. The finish is powerful, long, and resonant. Superb, not over-wooded, and a fair price for such a rarity. —Dave Broom

Advanced Whisky Advocate magazine rating: 96

 

Some new whiskies I’ve been enjoying

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Every so often I like to give you my informal opinion on new whiskies I like. Here are a half dozen I have enjoyed. (I switched to the past tense because, as you see by the picture, my little sample bottles are mostly empty.) All these whiskies are, or will be, available in the U.S. (Except for the Glenfarclas–I’m not sure about that one.)

Ardbeg Day

I needed to taste this a couple times before deciding how much I like this whisky. (I had the same experience with Ardbeg Alligator. Very peculiar.) And I do like this whisky a lot. It’s young and full of testosterone (but not too young), and there’s a nicely sweet, almost sedating side to the whisky that helps to tame this beast. ($90)

Highland Park Thor

It’s been on the market for a spell already across the pond, but just getting into circulation here. It’s well-rounded and polished, with deliciously ripe fruit notes. A soothing whisky I would save for after dinner or with a cigar. (Can we have the option of purchasing it without the fancy packaging for $50 less please?)  ($200)

Glenfarclas 1953 Vintage 

A whisky that’s 6 years older than I am, and I think it has held up much better than I have. There’s some juicy wood note–I can tell it’s a very old whisky–but the wood influence is better than I feared for a whisky this age. (It’s more prominent on the palate than the nose.) And there some nice fruit and spice to stand up to the oak tannins. There’s only 400 bottles of this stuff produced, and I don’t even know what it will set you back. (As they say, if you have to ask how much, then you probably can’t afford it.). That’s okay, I love Glenfarclas 17 a lot more and it’s much more affordable. Still, I enjoyed this sample.

Glenglassaugh 37 year old (56%)

One single cask from a first-fill sherry cask exclusive to North America. Some of the old Glenglassaugh whiskies can be very delicious, and this is one of them. It’s lush and fruity, with a kiss of honey, but never cloying. A very nice whisky from a quality cask that tastes more like 21 or 25 years old than 37. (I mean this in a good way.) ($600)

Crown Royal XR  Release #2 (LaSalle)

This is the second release of Crown Royal XR. This one contains whisky from the old LaSalle distillery. (The first release contained whisky from the Waterloo distillery.) I like this whisky a lot. It’s nicely matured, very smooth and balanced, and dangerously drinkable. And it’s superior to the first release, which I felt showed too much wood for balance–especially on the finish. ($130)

Four Roses 2012 Limited Edition Single Barrel

It’s clean, elegant, with nicely defined flavors. (I really enjoy the spice notes and how they combine well with the fruit and sweeter notes. One of my favorite limited releases from Four Roses. ($95)

 

 

Review: Crown Royal Black Canadian Whisky

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Crown Royal Black, 45%, $30
Not exactly black. (More like russet, but “Crown Royal Russet” isn’t as catchy.) It’s nice to see the higher strength, and there’s definitely more flavor here than the standard Crown Royal or Crown Royal Reserve. But it’s missing the smoothness and elegance I cherish in other Crown Royal whiskies. Notes molasses and maple syrup, accentuated by burnt fig, hints of Pedro Ximenez sherry, and raisin. There are suggestions of dark rum and bourbon in here. (An alternative to both?) A whisky to drink on the rocks or as a mixer.

I can’t help wondering: Could this be the Canadian equivalent to Loch Dhu?

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 78

New Crown Royal “Black” Canadian Whisky

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

This came in yesterday while I was in New York City. I have enjoyed some of the Crown Royal whiskies. I like the idea of a higher proof and “more robust whisky” description. I’ll let you know my thoughts after I taste it. (A review sample is coming.)

Here’s the information I was sent. It’s not a formal press release, but it’s what they are providing now.

———————————————————————————————–

CROWN ROYAL® BLACK

We are pleased to announce the launch of Crown Royal® BLACK. This new extra bold whisky with a darker, more robust whisky blended at 90 Proof, still embodies the signature smoothness of Crown Royal.

Product description:           

Crown Royal® BLACK is a new extra bold whisky with a darker, more robust whisky blended at 90 Proof, which still embodies the signature smoothness of Crown Royal. Enjoy on the rocks.

Origin:                                  

Crown Royal® BLACK is hand-crafted by Master Blender Andrew MacKay in Manitoba, Canada.

Production:                           

A robust Canadian whisky devoted to full-bodied flavor. Matured to perfection in charred oak barrels and blended at a higher proof to impart more concentrated flavor. Crown Royal Black has deeper bourbon notes and a rich texture.

Tasting notes:                      

Color: Dark red-brown

 Nose: Deeper oak background with sweet maple notes and light vanilla towards the finish.

 Taste: A creamy profile as well within the Crown Royal family and ‘velvety’, which is a pleasant surprise at a higher proof. Overall profile exhibits some subtle dried fruit notes, mainly fig.

 Finish: Deeper bourbon notes and smooth at a higher proof.

Sizes:   50ml, 375ml, 750ml, 1L, 1.75L          

 Suggested Retail Price:      $30.00 (750ml

Alcohol by Volume:               90 proof, 45% (ABV)

Malt Advocate Whisky Awards “Canadian Whisky of the Year”: Crown Royal Cask No. 16

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Canadian Whisky of the Year

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.