Maker: Crown Royal, Gimli, Manitoba, Canada (Diageo)
Style: Toast French oak cask finished Canadian blend.
Age: NAS (at least 3 y/o)
Michigan State Minimum: $70 (MSRP: $60)
Note: Noble collection series
Thanks to Lisa Wendling and Diageo for the sample.
Appearance: Medium copper.
Nose: French oak, burnt orange peel, pine resin, creamed corn, grains of paradise.
Palate: Subtle. Custard, toasted oak, vanilla, cinnamon.
Finish: Cut lumber, burn.
Parting words: Despite mocking Diageo and lionizing Vijay Mallya on Twitter for years, the fine folks at Diageo graciously sent me a sample of Crown Royal French Oak Cask Finished Canadian Whiskey.
I’m not a great fan of the regular CR or the special deluxe, but I have enjoyed several of the other expressions, like the Blender’s Mash and Northern Harvest Rye. This is another good one. The French oak (sourced from the Vosges) is not overwhelming and mixes with the classic roasted grain flavors of Canadian whisky to produce pleasant potpourri aromas. Unfortunately, like many Canadian whiskies, the palate doesn’t deliver on the promise of the nose. An extra 5% ABV would probably help in that regard. Still, it’s worth the MSRP, though the Michigan price is pushing it. Crown Royal French Oak Cask Finished is recommended.