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.
Age: 13 years
Abv: 90 proof
Color: A deep gold
Mash Bill: 60% corn, 36% rye, 4% malted barley
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.
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.
Abv: 80 proof
Color: a pale, light gold
Price: $2.99 for the 50ml bottle
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.
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.
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.
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.
6 - a good whiskey I’m still happy to drink
3 - Better than not drinking whiskey but just barely