Thursday, 20 December 2012

Whisky Discovery #286

Crown Royal Maple Finish Whisky (40% abv)
Canadian Whisky
Not sure if available in the UK yet

This was a surprise dram in a surprise package sent to me from friends and fellow bloggers  Johanne and Graham, (A Perfect Whisky Match) for the second anniversary of my Whisky Journey.

There was a cheeky note daring me to open and sample this - I was intrigued and opened it immediately. The overpowering smell of sweet sickly caramel juice was instant, and although I asked what it was that Johanne had sent me, I had the sneaking suspicion that it was indeed this Crown Royal Maple Finish immediately.

I've not come across anything from Crown Royal before, but have seen the brand listed in A 101 Whiskies Top Try Before You Die, so delved onto their website to find out what they had to say about it, this is what I found:

The legendary taste of Crown Royal with a touch of natural maple flavour  Our master blender finished our celebrated whisky with maple-toasted oak to yield a uniquely smooth experience.

It’s a perfect blend of Crown Royal's signature caramel and vanilla nose with the elegant aromas of light, fresh maple that creates a flavour profile that finishes on an authentically warm and woody note. 

It ends with their classic statement: Whisky Started, Maple Finished.

So What Did I Think?

Upon opening the small sample bottle the whole room is filled with the sweet sickly smell of maple syrup, caramel and vanilla, it really is overpowering. I spilt a little on my hands which only made the situation worse.

No nosing glass was really required, I was engulfed in a cloud of the smell, though I persevered with it: Overpowering maple syrup, caramel, vanilla, sweet, sickly, butterscotch like concentrated 'Angel Delight' mix forced up your nose. I left it in the glass for a while and tried really hard to find any whisky notes, and perhaps just the faintest of wood notes could be found.

So what did it taste like? I tweeted "Yup, sickly and sweet on the palate too, very difficult to tell this is a whisky." If someone had told me it was a flavoured Vodka, or a flavoured Rum I wouldn't have argued with them, The maple syrup masks any other flavours within. I'm not sure what market this is aimed at, but my fifteen year old daughter quite like the smell of this.

Sorry Crown Royal, but this really doesn't do it for me and I will be very wary of trying flavoured whiskies again. Maple finished? It certainly killed this whisky for me.


Anonymous said...

Have you tried the plain jane (Deluxe) Crown Royal? I found that I couldn't properly taste or attribute the damned good CR Cask No. 16 until I had come to grips with the regular Crown Royal expression. It has a number of interesting attributes:

1) Doesn't require airing in the glass. Indeed, this is the only whisky I know which is actually better straight out of the bottle and quaffed right away.

2) Grapefuit, cherry, and herbals of a malt meets a light bourbon quality. It makes sense given that it is corn whisky based with a grain and rye top end. It's a pithy and refreshing flavor.

3) Pine and grapefruit pith on the finish. It's very unusual again, in this regard too.

Once I had found the signature of Crown Royal Deluxe I began to make sense of the other expressions - finding these notes underneath the fancy stuff on top.

But this whole comment may not be germane to the Maple stuff. I tend not to like the liqueur adulterations....

Dave Worthington said...

This was the first time I've tasted anything from Crown Royal, but I see the standard Crown Royal is in Ian Buxton's 101 Whiskies To Try Before You Die, so is on my list!