Whisky Review: Crown Royal Noble Collection Wine Barrel Finished

It’s not hard to see why Crown Royal is such a powerhouse in Canadian whisky. They’ve got a variety of whiskies to choose from that are all pretty affordable, a storied history to match, plus you get a cute, purple drawstring pouch with some of their bottles.

Marketing tactics aside, Crown Royal does have a truly massive operation, producing 33 million litres of pure alcohol (LPA) each year. The distillery uses 300 metric tons of grain every day, which is then stored in 46 on-site warehouses, and production of the spirits operates literally twenty-four-seven. Crown Royal is a whisky that never quits.

Crown Royal’s Noble Collection Wine Barrel Finished is the distillery’s second addition to their higher-end Noble Collection, which debuted in 2016 with their Cornerstone Blend. The newest Wine Barrel Finished blend is some version of Crown Royal whisky finished in medium toast American oak Cabernet Sauvignon barrels, resulting in a complex flavor profile, to say the least.

Whisky Review: Crown Royal Noble Collection Wine Barrel Finished

Vital Stats: The mash bill is presumably the same combination of the 50 different whiskies used to make Crown Royal’s traditional blend. Aged for six months in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels from the Paso Robles region of California. The price varies between $45 and $60 per bottle. 

Appearance: Light amber, honey colored. The legs are slow-moving and sticky like water drops sliding down a window on a rainy day.

Nose: When I first opened my sample-size bottle, the scent was very astringent and almost unbearably boozey. There’s definitely a lot going on here; it’s an interesting combination of minty mouthwash and butterscotch with dark fruit sprinkled on top. A day or two after I opened the bottle, the smell mellowed out a little.

Palate: This whisky tastes better than it smells. Dried fruit and butterscotch coat my tastebuds, and it finishes off with a grainy, oaky flavor that isn’t necessarily great but definitely isn’t bad. I feel like there’s so much going on that I don’t have time to stop and enjoy the dried blueberry or the butterscotch sweetness because the next flavor comes so quickly. I want the flavors to slow down, give me a little time to ponder and then we can move on.

The Takeaway

If someone were to ask me, “did you like this whisky?” my response would be, “meh,” with a shoulder shrug. I didn’t love it; I certainly didn’t hate it, but I’m still left feeling unsatisfied.

3.0
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About the author

Shauna McKnight