According to the official Crown Royal website, their Fine Deluxe Blended Canadian Whisky goes all the way back to 1939. Here’s the official story in its entirety…
In 1939, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth made history when they became the first reigning monarchs to visit Canada, arriving by boat and traveling the vast North American distance by train.
Upon hearing the historic news, a Canadian spirits entrepreneur set out to craft a whisky suited for the Royal Couple – an exceptionally generous gift fit for royalty. With perfection on his mind, he meticulously trialed more than 600 blends before outfitting the final product in a cut-glass decanter and regal purple bag with gold stitching. The whisky he presented to the King and Queen was an exquisitely smooth blend of roughly fifty whiskies which became known, fittingly, as Crown Royal.
The train carrying the monarchs was stocked with 10 cases of the royal blend and rumors of the unrivaled whisky fit for a King quickly spread. Crown Royal was released in the United States in the 1960s and has since become the top selling Canadian whisky.
To this day, every drop of Crown Royal is crafted to meet the same uncompromising standards, making it, to many discerning palates, the finest whisky of all.
While this whisky has been around for 78 years, I can’t say that I’ve had it all that often. I know that I’ve had it at my In-law’s (my Father-in-law’s brother is a huge fan, so he always keeps a bottle on hand for him), and I’m sure that I’ve had it at an event or two that involved an open bar, but other than that, ordering a glass of Crown Royal rarely crosses my mind. And if it wasn’t for the fact that the itsy-bitsy bottle of Crown Royal Deluxe in the above photo was given to me as part of a Christmas gift last month (whisky samples make EXCELLENT stocking stuffers!), I doubt very much that I would be writing it up on the blog right now. This of course is nothing personal against Crown Royal. It’s just how things have worked out over the years, i.e. the new whiskies on the block (or at least the ones that are new to me) get most of my attention.
While I may not pay much attention to Crown Royal, there are plenty of people that do, because in 2015, they sold over 45 million liters of the stuff worldwide, so they must be doing SOMETHING right. Here’s what I thought of it…
- Appearance: #2 Son says it has an orangish-yellowish color. I concur.
- Aroma: Very soft on the nose with very little alcohol burn. Getting some orange zest, clove, brown sugar, and Rye whisky type spiciness.
- Taste: The mouthfeel is more viscous than I was expecting, i.e. it has a bit of syrupyness to it. Starts off slightly sweet with a maple syrup type of flavor. At mid-palate, a cinnamon like heat starts to kick in. Some sweetness comes back in the finish, but not enough to nullify the spice. The aftertaste leaves you with a spicy tingle, but not much in the way of flavor.
- ABV: 40%
I wasn’t expecting all that much from the Crown Royal Deluxe. While I didn’t love it, I liked it more than I thought I would. Now I still wouldn’t go out of my way to try it again, but if it were offered to me, I certainly wouldn’t turn it down. Overall, this was a pleasant and easy drinking whisky that you can find pretty much anywhere. I guess in the case of Crown Royal, its success has been all about its superb availability…