Crown Royal Special Reserve [Re-Review]


Quite a long time ago (for me at least, I’m still young at heart), I posted a review of Crown Royal Special Reserve.

The story behind it was back in my university days, when I wasn’t drinking Scotch just yet, I drank Manhattans. And I love Manhattans made with Canadian Whisky. Extra Cherries too. I’m really girly when I want to be (I’m a dude).

None the less, for Christmas, my amazing Mother-In-Law gave me a bottle of Crown Royal Special Reserve, which was quite the upgrade for a poor student. Thus I didn’t drink it like a fish.

Jump ahead about 7 years, give or take, and I’m looking for some drinks to review. I saunter into /r/worldwhisky[1] , open up my bottle of Crown Royal Special Reserve, and… it’s oxidized. I write the review anyway, mention that it may have (didn’t have to much experience with it at that time) and tell everyone I’ll get around to re-reviewing it another time.

Guess what time it is? That’s right, time to review Wisers.

No, seriously, it’s time to go back to this one. A buddy had a bottle, brought it out, and I did a quick review, all while attempting to win at Oz Fluxx (I did not wine at Oz Fluxx).

So this is called “Special Reserve” in the US and “Reserve” in Canada. Honestly, it’s the same juice. Probably. It’s all a blend, specially chosen from the top 1% of the barrels, with more rye and exclusive batch base whisky than before.

Let’s see how it tastes when it is brand new out of the bottle, shall we.

Price: $53.95 (CAD)

Region: Canadian

Abv: 40%

Colour: Burnt brown

Darker than I remember, my last review stated it was Caramel.

Nose: Brown sugar, maple, rye spices, plum, basil, acidic

This is a Canadian, through and through. Sweet nose, initial blast of maple, and then some acidic, undetermined spice, and a little bit of basil pops up.

About the same as before, I had more vanilla and earth coming off of it in my last review.

Taste: Lemon, rye, wheat, caramel, blackberry, sea salt, licorice

Same lemon as before, yet the bitter aspect is more of the blackberry this time, the spices are there instead of the earthiness, and my formatting is better… I mean, you can actually pick up some nice, subtle flavours that weren’t there before.

Finish: Caramel, lemon rind, wood, alcohol burn, dry apple

Still has the long woody taste, less earth, and retains the crisp apple and caramel flavours rather than the fake flavours of before.

Conclusion: Take that, /u/TOModera[2] of the past! This isn’t a wasted rye!

Seriously though, it’s an okay rye. It still has that sweet side to it, with oak characteristics in there from before. I think there are better Ryes to have, that have more spice to them than this one. This has a nice tart aspect to it, which is nice, so if you want an upgrade from Crown Royal, this may be the ticket.


World Whisky review #41, Canuck #20, Whisky Network review #215

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