Booze Review

Whisky Review – Crown Royal XR

In mid May, I received a press release from a PR firm regarding a a new Crown Royal whisky expression called XR (Extra Rare). After a very brief email exchange, the PR firm agreed to send me a sample of this whisky for an upcoming review. Last Wednesday, I finally got around to trying the Crown Royal XR.

Here is what Crown Royal has to say about their XR expression:

Taste the latest in our Extra Rare Whisky Series, handcrafted with a unique blend that includes the final batch of whiskies from the renowned LaSalle distillery. Located on the island of Montreal, the LaSalle distillery produced whiskies with a unique richness, attributed to the fine water surrounding the island. The resulting whiskies were full-bodied and exceptionally smooth.

Experience its sophisticated blend of dried fruits and honey in a harmonious balance with spicy notes of Canadian rye, finishing in a lovely, round taste of raisins, cocoa and brown sugar.

And now for my impressions of the Crown Royal XR…

  • Appearance: Sienna brown color with thick, slow moving legs forming on the inside of the glass after giving it a swirl.
  • Aroma: Faint alcohol vapors. Ginger. Cherry Cola. Vanilla. Cinnamon. Dried fruit. Rye spice.
  • Taste: Very light bodied. A bit on the thin side. Light brown sugar sweetness and somewhat herbal at the onset. The spiciness of the rye kicks in at mid-palate, but that light brown sugar sweetness goes along for the ride. Think brown sugar, cinnamon, and a hint of jalapeño heat. Warm, spicy, and lingering finish with with a subtle licorice and wintergreen aftertaste.
  • ABV: 40%

The Crown Royal XR is a highly drinkable and very smooth whisky. I like how it balances it’s sweet/spicy/herbal notes from start to finish without any one flavor element ever dominating your palate. Although I haven’t had many Canadian whiskies, I have been reading and hearing quite a bit about them, and if they are all this good, then I definitely have to explore more of Canada’s whisky offerings. My only complaint about this whisky is the price, since it retails for about $130 in Pennsylvania. This is a very good whisky, but there are several American Rye whiskies that have a similar flavor profile, yet sell for much less money (Knob Creek Rye is a prime example, and it costs about $40 per bottle).

Thank you to Christina Kavanaugh of Taylor Strategy for sending us a sample of this whisky.

20 replies »

    • Yo Ryan! Since I have had very little Canadian whisky, perhaps I’ll have to seek out more. This stuff was very good. Just wish it was much less expensive.


  1. I recently had this and I enjoyed it, but I think the price is a little steep for what I consider to just be a good Canadian Whisky. I think the Crown Royal Reserve at around $35 is a much better value.


    • Even with the occasional freebie, we still don’t have access to the selection of whiskies that you have in the UK. No need to be envious.


      • That is true, and I’ve been finding some very nice places with a good Bourbon selection as of late as well. It’s been nice trying some of the Pappy Van Winkle stuff to see what I’ve been missing 🙂


      • See! What did I tell ya? I haven’t had a Pappy’s in quite some time. Tough to come by around here unless you’re willing to pay up, which when I’m in a bar, I rarely do. I usually stick to beer. Unless of course someone else is paying, which is also quite rare.


    • If my emails are telling the truth, I should be worth well over $500 Million by now. I’m just waiting for the money to hit my PayPal account.


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