Crowns Royal

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Crowns Royal

Unread postby Mike » Thu Jun 14, 2007 2:35 pm

I know several folks who think that CR is the creme de la creme of whiskey. Some drink it straight and some put it in Coke. These are first rate people and good friends for whom I would be willing to go a long way.

I have given them a sip or two of excellent bourbon, but they are loyal to CR and they seem to expecially like my CRXR. I gave up half a bottle at my last outing............and have no regrets (not much anyway).

Well, boys and girls, it is a beautiful day in the neighborhood today and even though it is not cool here in Georgia today, let me slip on my cardigan sweater cause it just makes me more comfortable.

Now, can you say 'old whiskey' (at least, it's been in the bottle a long, long, time)?

Well, today, courtesy of Joe Luka, I have a treat for you. I have some 1954 CR that was given to me a while back by Joe (thanks, Joe). No, I am not going to put it in some Coke, I am going to look at it, smell it, and then drink it.........side by side with some of the current CR and then I will tell you what I think about it.

I am drinking from two of the same type glasses which are small, on a short stem, and more or less tulip shaped.......the bowl being slightly fuller than the rim.

The color of the 1954 CR is just a bit darker. Both are straw colored and appealing looking. The 1954 CR has is just a touch more viscous and its 'legs' maintain their hold on the glass for a while longer.

The noses of the two CRs are quite similiar, but the '54 is richer and deeper and 'fills' the nose with more aroma. Both are soft and though only 80 proof, still require a few moments in the glass for the alcohol to dissapate. Both have a mild citrus aroma and both also give up a bit of rye, the current CR has just a tad more. The aromas of the barrel are more prominent in the '54, as the color led one to suspect. For the nose of this writer, that adds to the depth and complexity of the '54. The oak warms the spirit with its hint of vanilla and char.

After about 30 minutes untouched in the glass, except for the ocassional swirling, both give more of themselves.

The taste of the current is quite light, with only a little sweetness quickly overcome by a zippy spiciness that holds on from the middle of the mouth on back. My friends love to use the word 'smooth' in regard to CR, and it is that........so smooth in fact, that I might just slip on it.........not much there for this old bastard to get any traction on.

The taste of the '54 Cr is deeper, richer, and better by an order of magnitude than the current CR. While I don't expect that it would ever become one of my favored whiskies, something has been lost in CR whiskies over the last 50 years.........a better, more complex taste. Does make me wonder about American whiskies over the same time period.

Since my CR loving friends did not completely demolish my CRXR, I could not resist the temptation to throw it up agin the '54, especially since it is claimed that the XR contains some 50 YO whiskies from an old stock (50 years in the barrel, not in the bottle).

The XR nose is closer to the '54 than to the current CR. While the XR doesn't seem any 'richer' or more viscous than the '54, it is what I would call more delicate and sweet. But the sweetness is not an upfront sweetness, it becomes apparant as it crosses the mouth, unlike (in my experience) most whiskies where the sweetness is experienced most strongly in the front of the mouth.

So, you ask, is CRXR superior to the '54 CR? For this old fart, CRXR remains an extraordinary whikey, full of sublety, complexity, and sophistication. I like it as much as I did upon first tasting and will be damned if I share my last quarter bottle just because it is 'smooth'!!!
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
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Unread postby gillmang » Fri Jun 15, 2007 7:54 am

Good review, Mike. I have a little 1964 CR and will do a similar comparative later today.

Gary
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Unread postby gillmang » Fri Jun 15, 2007 10:30 am

Just to give some preliminary information: by 1963, CR's recipe had (I am quite sure) changed from the original. The label on my bottle (i.e., of the Crown Royal distilled in 1963) does not refer to the use of 30 year old whisky. Earlier bottles, which would have included Mike's 1954 sample, did have that inscription.

Still, the taste of the 1964, based on earlier tastings, was very good and superior (IMO) to today's version.

To do this comparative right, I suppose I should get a bottle of CR Special Reserve (I already have some XR), because I suspect Special Reserve may be closer in taste to the 1954 and 1963 CRs than the modern, regular CR. I will exclude Limited Edition because while quite good, its profile to my mind differs from the classic CR taste.

CR was developed in 1939 as a tribute to the visit of the British King and Queen to Canada (and the U.S.) that year.

Previously, 5 and 7 Crown had been issued, and VO, of which the latter two still exist. CR was intended as Seagram's "nec plus ultra".

CR was and is a classic blended whisky and my understanding is it contains approximately 20% of batch whisky, i.e., low-proof distillate somewhat akin to U.S. bourbon or rye. There are apparently 5 whiskies blended to make up regular CR at any rate. A recent Malt Advocate article gave this information although a number of questions remain (in my mind anyway) about how exactly it is - and was - put together.

Gary
Last edited by gillmang on Sat Jun 16, 2007 4:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby gillmang » Fri Jun 15, 2007 4:29 pm

Okay, my tasting is done. It involved:

Crown Royal (regular modern issue)

Crown Royal distilled in 1963 (not '64, I erred in my recollection)

Crown Royal Special Reserve (current, regular luxury version of CR)

Crown Royal XR (the super-premium CR released recently which utilises the last stocks distilled at Seagram's original, Waterloo, Ontario distillery).

The colour of each was similar, not identical. The 1963 and SR seemed somewhat darker than the other two.

Taste: first, they all tasted quite similar. The least complex and most "ethanolic" was the current regular CR. The sweetest and most complex was the SR (which itself was better than the SR of some years go, I think probably it is using a proportion of that aged S-W bourbon Diageo held back when it sold its bourbon brands in the States (most of them) to HH and BT. The XR was very good too, also complex but drier than the SR - it would appeal to someone who likes a less sweet taste. Also, the XR seemed to have more rye taste than the SP (in the nose too).

Commonality: All four shared the classic Seagram whisky taste, identified in 1987 by Michael Jackson as a complex oakiness.

Conclusion: They are all good!

Gary
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Unread postby wii skii lover » Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:50 pm

I can't speak for the older cr's but the one of today is a blend comprised of over 50 whiskies and I believe of the 50 or so 14 are bourbons and like 11 are ryes.

Don't know too much else about what is in the blend but I did read that recently.
Chuck in panama

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Unread postby cowdery » Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:59 am

I judged a whiskey competition today. After each round, one of the assistants came around and dumped all of the leftovers into a bucket.

If the number of different whiskeys in a blend is what makes it good, then I missed a bet not grabbing that bucket for bottling.
- Chuck Cowdery

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Re: Crowns Royal

Unread postby Mike » Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:04 pm

For the first time in many moons, I had a sip of CRXR and found it to be excellent. It has a very interesting hint of white wine or cognac sweetness and rye spice in a subtle combination. A refined and delicate whiskey to my palate.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
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Re: Crowns Royal

Unread postby HowiPepper » Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:14 pm

I know this is an older post, but I couldn't help myself. I've been a fan of Crown Royal for several years now, mostly on the rocks. I just recently discovered the flavor and aroma of CR neat. That said, my wife picked up a bottle of Crown Royal Reserve (used to be "Special Reserve"), and I could not believe the difference in taste between CR and CRR. The CRR almost popped with spicy notes, and the finish was sweet and spicy, but not cloyingly so. All in all, a very nice pour on those rare chilly evenings down here in Florida.

I recently expressed my desire for a bottle of Crown Royal Extra Rare to my wife, and I think that I might, just might, get a nice present under the old tree next week. I hope so, because my experience with CRR has ticked my interest in CRXR.

Btw, that was a very nice review Mike, thanks!
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Re: Crowns Royal

Unread postby drinkdrankdrunk » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:43 pm

I highly recommend the CR XR. I had the chance to taste this and the Wild Turkey American Spirit at a party through some rich aquaintances. Both expressions are not anywhere near my price range so I felt privelaged. I prefer the WTAS because of the higher proof, but the CRXR has the same delicate mouthfeel and elegance. Just about the smoothest whiskey around. I just prefer the bite that American bourbon has to offer and at the nearly $200 price tag of the CPXR, you can get so much more bang for your dollar from bourbon. You could get 2 bottles of WTAS and not feel bad about opening one.
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Re: Crowns Royal

Unread postby HowiPepper » Fri Dec 26, 2008 9:32 am

Update on my earlier post:

I did indeed receive a bottle of CR XR for Christmas. Santa was very good to me this year! :D

Being impatient as I am, I opened the bottle last night (nice packaging, btw) and had a pour in a Glencairn glass. The nose is faint, and highly scented with vanilla and perhaps some light floral. The taste is a bit harder for me to describe... there is a lot of vanilla and sweetness in it, with a hint of floral, and the finish was light and sweet. This is a very smooth whiskey with almost no bite at all.

In my opinion, CR XR would make an outstanding after dinner drink, sort of like a Brandy or Cognac. For those of us that enjoy Canadian whiskies, CR XR would be a welcome addition to our bar. For those that enjoy a whiskey with a more robust flavor signature, you might not enjoy CR XR as much.

This bottle of Crown Royal Extra Rare has become my official Christmas drink. I plan on having a two ounce pour every Christmas night, until the bottle is empty, probably 10 or so years from now.
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Re: Crowns Royal

Unread postby Mike » Sat Dec 27, 2008 6:53 pm

Well, HowiPepper, you renewed my interest in CR.

Today I bought a 375 ml bottle of CR Cask No. 16, which is aged in used Cognac casks. The nose is light with a touch of rye and oak and may just a wee hint of the Cognac barrel. Altogether a sophisticated and fruity nose.

The taste is a nice balanced combination of fruit flavors from the Cognac barrel and from the rye in the whiskey. It does remind me very much of Cognac.........Cognac with some extra zip and spice.

I think I like this ever better than the CRXR (which is now below $100 a bottle in my local liquor store). It is a whiskey with finess and subtlety, but lacks (and loses nothing in that lack because the rye spice serves as a wonderful contrast) the sheer delicacy of a fine cognac.

HowiPepper (and anyone else who might be interested), you must find youself a bottle of CR Cask No. 16. To me, it is THAT good!! I just can't put this bottle away!! A five star Canadian Whiskey!!
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
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Re: Crowns Royal

Unread postby HowiPepper » Sun Dec 28, 2008 1:07 pm

Mike,

Thanks for the info and mini-review. CR Cask No. 16 is next on my list (probably February). Now I just need to find a store in my area that carries it.

I mentioned this to my wife, who immediately went out on Google to do some research. You've just got to love it when your wife supports your hobby :-D

Howard
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Re: Crowns Royal

Unread postby PaulO » Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:42 pm

OK guys, I have a Crown Royal question. I found some CR glasses. They are old fashioned glasses. The top is wider than the base. There are no decorations except for the crown on the pillow, molded into the bottom of the glass. They are marked "Italy". I'm thinking these were a give away with a bottle. Does anyone have have any idea how old they are?
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Re: Crowns Royal

Unread postby BuffaloBill » Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:47 am

Being the glass nut I am - I could possibly come close - but I'd have to see them in a picture. BB
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Re: Crowns Royal

Unread postby PaulO » Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:26 pm

One day I will have to get a digi-cam. The glasses in question have a thick base. From the base they get wider to the top, like a cocktail glass - but not so dramatically. I also have some of the square shaped CR glasses and others. :)
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