We (and by we I mean snobby booze bloggers such as ourselves) can poke fun at flavored whisky all we want, but there’s no denying their popularity with the booze drinking public. This is where you ask…
“How do you know this, G-LO? Did you conduct extensive market analysis?”
No. I did not conduct an extensive market analysis, but I did take a look at our blog statistics for the past four years to see which blog posts made our Top 10 Most Read Posts list. Here’s where flavored whiskies placed in our Top 10 Most Read Posts lists, starting in 2013:
- #1 – The Knot
- #6 – Crown Royal Maple
- 2016 (as of 12/26/2016)
- #1 – Crown Royal Regal Apple
- #2 – The Knot
- #8 – Crown Royal Maple
While this wasn’t the most sophisticated analysis, my brief look at the numbers leads me to believe that flavored whisky is definitely a thing. Now that we’ve established the relevance of flavored whisky, let’s get on with a review of the latest flavored whisky concoction from the Great White North, Crown Royal Vanilla.
Here’s what Crown Royal has to say about it…
To create this extraordinary blend, Crown Royal whiskies are carefully selected by our master whisky blenders and infused with the rich flavor of Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla. The result is a uniquely sophisticated whisky, bursting with the bold flavor of vanilla and the distinctive smoothness of Crown Royal.
And here’s what we thought of the stuff…
- Appearance: Burnished copper color with thick, slow moving legs.
- ABV: 35%
- Limpd: Lyle Golden Syrup, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and a hint of coconut.
- G-LO: A bit of alcohol vapors at first. Once they subside, there are lots of vanilla notes coming through (as there should be!). It smells like you took some vanilla buttercream icing and added some whisky to it. Also getting some clove, coconut, and a bit of cinnamon.
- Limpd: Not much alcohol (the ABV is only 35%) upfront and a lot of sweetness. Thick, oily and a good bit of syrup. The heat comes on mid-palate with more of an alcohol kick than cinnamon or pepper. The sweetness returns in a pleasant, dry finish.
- G-LO: A touch syrupy but not overly so. Definitely getting that vanilla buttercream taste at first. It’s sweet, but not overbearing with some definite spiciness kicking in at mid-palate. The vanilla comes back around at the finish along with powdered sugary sweetness. Vanilla and spicy simple syrup flavors linger in the aftertaste.
- Limpd: This is a very drinkable whiskey. Although, at 35% ABV is it still whiskey? I would note that, to me, this is more of liqueur and certainly a beverage for someone who might lean more towards a sweet cocktail than a bold whiskey. This would be a nice complement to a good dessert (think cheesecake, chocolate mousse or panna cotta).
- G-LO: Of the three Crown Royal flavored whiskies that we’ve tried so far (Apple and Maple were the other two), this is easily the best one. That being said, flavored whiskies just aren’t my thing, so while the Crown Royal Vanilla is nicely balanced and not overly sweet, it’s still too sweet for me to drink on its own. As far as I’m concerned, this is after dinner drink over ice material. Or perhaps it would make a really good base for a cocktail…
Given the sweetness of the Crown Royal Vanilla, I thought that balancing it out with some bitter Campari and herbal infused Carpano Antica in a Boulevardier variation would work quite nicely. Here’s how it turned out…
Crown Royal Vanilla Boulevardier
- 1 ounce Crown Royal Vanilla
- 1 ounce Campari
- 1 ounce Carpano Antica
- Orange peel
- Luxardo Maraschino Cherry
Method: Pour liquid ingredients over ice in an Old Fashioned glass. Stir thoroughly. Garnish with orange peel and cherry.
The Crown Royal Vanilla worked really nicely in this cocktail. There was just enough sweetness in the whisky to counteract the bitterness of the Campari and Vermouth, and just enough vanilla in the whisky to complement the flavors of the Carpano Antica. This combination is well worth trying.