Crown Royal Launches Rare Single Barrel Coffey Rye Whisky ... in Texas - The Whiskey Wash

Crown Royal Launches Rare Single Barrel Coffey Rye Whisky … in Texas

By John Rayls / January 22, 2015

For the first time in its 75 year history, Crown Royal will honor its unique aspect of its heritage.  Its signature Coffey Rye Whisky (103 proof) is being first introduced south of the border in Texas…the state that helped drive its American popularity.

In 1939, Crown Royal Whisky began as a celebration of King George VI and his queen. It was to be the king’s first visit to Canada. The premium whisky needed to be exceptionally smooth for the royals who were known to truly enjoy their spirits.  It took another 25-30 years for it to cross the border of its southern neighbor. Interestingly, it was the Canadian oil workers in Texas demanding their refreshment that helped bring this about. Crown Royal is now the most popular Canadian whisky in the US.

Canadian whisky does not have to deal with a lot of rules for what qualifies to be labeled as such. If you age it in oak casks for a minimum of three years, you are well on your way. The mashbill is not dictated. Mostly corn and sometimes wheat are used, with rye determining the flavor. Add in some water, yeast and barley malt, and you have the basis for Canadian whisky.

Canadians tend to refer to their whisky as rye. This grain type though is but a very small part and corn makes up the bulk. Blending the result with the work from previous years creates an exceptionally smooth and consistent flavor. It is often distilled at 180 proof, but with blending and flavoring ends up being bottled at 80 proof. The Canadian whisky experience has been described as a fairly middle of the road offering with some slightly enhanced flavor added. This, of course, makes it an excellent foundation for your favorite cocktail.

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According to Imbibe Magazine, “mild-tasting Canadian whisky is the biggest-selling style in the state [of Texas].”  Partially as a result of its popularity and partially due to its historical connection, Texas is to be the first to get their hands on this latest offering from Crown Royal. The unique Coffey Rye Whisky will begin showing up at a suggested $55.00 (US) per 750ml bottle with distinctive badging and packaging. Though this is a single barrel offering, it will come in the form of one barrel per Texan retailer, which is how Crown Royal is selling it. Each bottle sold at a specific retailer will be drawn from that purchased barrel.

At 103 proof bottled straight from the barrel, it is substantially more potent than most of the brand’s other options. (This is particularly true of Canadian whisky bottled inside the U.S.) It is distilled in the creation named after its inventor, Aeneas Coffey, which helps give the whisky its distinct flavor. (It is the only known still of its kind in North America!). It will, according to Whisky Advocate, have “a high rye mash bill,” unlike most other Canadian whisky.

Crown Royal describes this uniqueness as “…exuding flavorful creamy and fruity notes of banana, combined with rich oak undertones with patient maturation in new American oak barrels.”  Another quality that sets this whisky apart from other Canadian offerings is the fact of it being a single barrel whisky. As a result you may want to enjoy it neat or on the rocks.