Whisky Review: Crown Royal Noble Collection French Oak Cask Finished - The Whiskey Wash

Whisky Review: Crown Royal Noble Collection French Oak Cask Finished

By Sam Moyle / January 23, 2020

Editor’s Note: This whisky was provided to us as a review sample by Crown Royal. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review.

When it comes to Crown Royal, I feel there’s two types of people: Those who know there’s a whole community dedicated to repurposing their iconic purple bags to crafts like quilting and dressmaking, and those who are actually interested in drinking the sickly-sweet stuff. In a bid to bridge these disparate groups, Crown Royal has released the latest in their annually recurring Noble Collection, taking the craft out of the bag and putting it back in the barrel, where it belongs.

Crown Royal Noble Collection: French Oak Cask Finished Canadian whisky is as sweet as you’d expect from the distiller but balanced to be more approachable than their standard stock. Just like your basic run of the mill bottle of Crown Royal, one can expect a spirit capable of maintaining its stability in all states: neat, on the rocks, or in cocktails. Not that your humble reviewer would know from experience (stop judging me), but it’s also pretty good right out the bottle and down the throat.

Crown Royal is a relatively young brand when it comes to the American whisky game. It was originally crafted by the now defunct multinational conglomerate Seagram to honor the first visit of any reining monarchs to Canada in 1939. Canada had effectively seceded from the United Kingdom by 1931 (awkward…), so you can imagine the ten cases of whisky the company gifted to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth probably helped to take the edge off their visit.

If you’ve ever been to an x’s wedding and had to get trashed just to make it as far as the cake cutting, congratulations, you now have some idea how it feels to be a deposed monarch. As for this whisky, it looks to be your garden variety Crown Royal finished in French oak casks.

Crown Royal Noble Collection French Oak Cask Finished

Crown Royal Noble Collection French Oak Cask Finished (image via Crown Royal)

Tasting Notes: Crown Royal Noble Collection French Oak Cask Finished

Vital Stats: bottled 80 proof; prices around $60 per 750 ml bottle; finished in French oak barrels.

Appearance: Honey-brown translucence like seeing the world through a bee’s beer-goggles.

Nose: Sweet and winter spiced—think clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon—with a hint of oak.

Palate: This whisky is as oaky as you’d expect given its “oak cask finished” claim. It starts sweet and leaves a smoky aftertaste.

The Takeaway


I find it mighty fine of Crown Royal to make a whisky anyone can like, as opposed to just those with a sweet tooth. Now, if they can just work on a way of making it more affordable. Imagine how much money we might save if they just ditched those velvet sacks with their gold embroidery, cords, and tassels? Blasphemy!

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