Reviews #80-81: Crown Royal 13 Year Bourbon Mash vs Crown Royal Deluxe

So I’m slowly making my way through the Whiskey Advocate Top 20 Whiskies of 2018 this year and reviewing them as I go and just got to my first Canadian whiskey on the list which will also be my first Canadian whiskey review unless you count Whistle Pig 10 Year as Canadian. I figured I needed something to baseline the fancy Crown with so I grabbed a mini bottle of their ‘Deluxe’ to sample alongside it.

Crown Royal 13 year Bourbon Mash

Age: 13 years

Abv: 90 proof

Color: A deep gold

Price: $64.99

Mash Bill: 60% corn, 36% rye, 4% malted barley

Neat

Nose: Very bourbon style nose with oak, vanilla and floral honey notes.

Taste: Bright, floral note forward with some vanilla, oak and herbal notes in the background. Unfortunately he mouthfeel was a bit thin for me though that’s not unexpected with 90 proof.

Finish: Very long, which was a nice treat, with floral, herbal and honey notes.

On a rock

Nose: Improved by the ice with a nice balance of vanilla, honey and oak with hints of floral notes.

Taste: The ice improves the mouthfeel significantly and really brings out the herbal notes while subduing the oak.

Finish: Much shorter, unfortunately, with predominantly herbal and honey notes.

Crown Royal Deluxe

Age: NAS

Abv: 80 proof

Color: a pale, light gold

Price: $2.99 for the 50ml bottle

Neat

Nose: Acetone, green apples and maybe a bit of vanilla

Taste: Not good, more acetone and sweet vanilla with a very thin mouthfeel

Finish: Longer than I would have liked for the flavor profile, just more of the notes from the taste.

On a rock

Nose: Very subdued, hard to pick out clear notes.

Taste: Also very subdued but ‘smooth’ with some vanilla notes coming through. Still a thin mouthfeel.

Finish: Short and simple with a dash of vanilla.

With Coke Zero on a rock

Nose: Strong cola notes, with some vanilla and a hint of oak.

Taste: Surprisingly nice with a balance of cola and vanilla and a touch of oak much like the nose.

Finish: The Crown notes don’t really carry into the finish leaving this a mostly just cola.

Conclusion

As I nosed and tasted the Crown bourbon mash I was a bit disappointed, especially given the cost, but then that finish kicked in and saved the day for me. I wouldn’t want to drink this all the time but it would be great for evenings where I just want to sip on one dram for a long time. The floral and herbal notes reminded me a bit of some MGP ryes. It was also quite good on a rock so it would be a good pick for drinking outside during a cookout for example.

The Crown Deluxe was pretty bad neat, tolerable on ice but quite good as a mixer. I could see myself ordering this over Evan Williams for a whiskey and Coke from time to time as a change up.

While the 13 year bourbon mash was quite good overall I still think rye is the way to go for Canadian whiskey.

Crown Royal 13 year Bourbon Mash

6 - a good whiskey I’m still happy to drink

Crown Royal Deluxe

3 - Better than not drinking whiskey but just barely

Scale

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