Back in June of 2013, the New York Times reported that “flavored whisky” was one of the fastest growing segments of the spirits industry. Cherry, cinnamon, maple syrup, ginger, honey, and apple are just a few of the flavors that are being added to a spirit that we feel is great just the way it is (we rarely even add ice or water to OUR whisky!). That being said, if you’re a regular reader, then you already know that we’ve reviewed a few of these whisky concoctions. Some we kinda liked (I’m looking at you Berentzen Bushel and Barrel and Crown Royal Maple!), and some we absolutely hated (I’m trying to forget you The Knot and Fireball!). This post is all about the latest and greatest from our dear friends in The Great White North: Crown Royal Regal Apple.
Before we get to our review, here is what Crown Royal has to say about their Regal Apple:
An extraordinary addition to the Crown Royal® portfolio, Crown Royal® Regal Apple™ is a blend of our hand-selected smooth whiskies infused with natural apple flavors.
The blend opens with a nose of bright apples balanced with our signature Crown Royal whisky and hints of spice. Crown Royal® Regal Apple™ offers a flavorful palate of slightly tart, crisp apple with notes of caramel and light spice that culminates in a full-bodied smooth finish of refined apple notes.
Enjoy as a shot, on the rocks or in your favorite cocktail.
And now for our impressions of this flavored whisky…
- ABV: 35%
- Appearance: Burnt sienna color. Give the whisky a whirl and lots of clingy, thick, slow moving legs form.
- Limpd: An all-consuming smell of Granny Smith apples that gives way to hints of coconut and vanilla. Not much in the way of whisky or alcohol for that matter. The nose might as well be a whiff of a freshly baked apple pie.
- G-LO: Not much in the way of alcohol vapors on this one. When I first stick my nose in the glass, what comes immediately to mind are Jolly Rancher Green Apple hard candies. Seriously! Regal Apple smells EXACTLY like one of those things, right down to the sugary artificiality of it all (just so you know, I used to love those things as a kid). Once you get past the Jolly Rancherishness of it all (not an easy feat!), there’s a very light hint of whiskey coming through.
- Limpd: A lot of sweetness upfront; it is almost like a cordial (given the relative low ABV, it may be exactly like a cordial). There are faint hints of whisky in there around mid-palate with the more familiar flavor of cinnamon and finally the expected heat of the alcohol. Maybe a bit like following up a slice of apple pie with Listerine.
- G-LO: The Crown Royal Regal Apple has a bit of viscosity to it. I wouldn’t say it’s thick, but it is a wee bit syrupy. Thankfully, it’s nowhere near as Jolly Rancherish as I was expecting. Starts off on the sweet side with a lightly spiced simple syrup quality to it. Some of the apple flavors kick in at mid-palate, reminding me of a baked apple with cinnamon and brown sugar. The baking spices intensify a bit at the end. The full frontal Jolly Rancher Green Apple flavors finally show up in the finish and leave you with an odd combination of sweet and slightly tart flavors.
- Limpd: I was not a fan of the CR Regal Apple. I think in the end we took a good Canadian Whiskey and watered it down with a thick and syrupy apple cider to make what is in essence an apple cordial. Not a Sour Apple Pucker from De Kuyper Royal Distillers but rather an almost too sweet and too apple-ish amalgam. This might make for an after dinner drink but is certainly not an everyday experience.
- G-LO: I’m not quite sure how I feel about the Crown Royal Regal Apple. It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t very good either. I would have probably liked it better if the whisky flavors were more dominant with the apple flavors playing back up. I think the fact that Crown Royal recommends having this as “a shot, on the rocks or in your favorite cocktail” pretty much says it all. If a spirit can’t stand on its own two feet, what’s the point?