Known most famously for its purple bags, Crown Royal is the number one selling Canadian whisky in the world and the sixth largest spirits brand in the United States. Now owned by Diageo, the Crown Royal distillery was founded in 1939 and is located in Gimli, Manitoba – just north of Winnipeg.
It wasn’t in Gimli where Crown Royal first began, however. It was at the Seagram’s Waterloo plant where Sam Bonfman developed the recipe for Crown Royal in 1939. A couple decades later, after production outgrew the waterloo distillery due to booming sales in Canada, production was relocated to a new plant in Gimli.
Sitting at the blending thrown now at Crown Royal is master blender Andrew Mackay, who’s responsible for blends such as the new Extra Rare (XR), which contains some of the last stock from the old Seagram’s Waterloo plant. Other variants under the Crown Royal name include Deluxe, Black and Reserve.
Crown Royal Maple is a tasting I’ve considered posting for quite some time now, but for a few reasons it kept getting pushed to the “back burner.” Essentially this is the traditional Crown Royal Canadian Whisky finished with maple toasted oak. Packaged in a brown bag instead of purple, this bottled was gifted to me by a friend when it first released in the fall of last year.
Price: Approx $25/750ml
Color: Deep Amber
Nose: Quite one-dimensional with maple fudge, warm maple cream stick, vanilla, maple syrup and buttercream. You kind of get the picture here.
Palate: Thick and coating mouthfeel, and like the nose it’s fairly one-dimensional with a very sweet maple approach. This is followed up with a little vanilla, maple syrup, again buttercream, maple spiced pecans and a light pepperiness that shows towards the back of the palate and moves into the finish along with a hint of dry oak.
Finish: Fairly short with maple glaze and a touch of pepper.
Seems more like maple liqueur than actual whisky, but that’s mostly due to how sweet and easy drinking it is – over the top maple and lacks any sort of depth. These flavored whiskies are really taking off. There was a point where this was the number one selling whisky in New Hampshire. I guess that’s why most distilleries seem to be jumping on the flavored bandwagon. I think this will be my last flavored whisky here on the site.