We at The Daily Caller subscribe to a simple rule: Fully enjoy all joke categories the political-correctness police haven’t yet banned. And these days, the only groups you can get away with hating on are Canadians and Gypsies. So we’re going to hate on them while we can — especially the French-Canadians of Quebec.
But, being the open minded young whisky connoisseurs that we are, our love for ribbing our northern neighbors doesn’t mean we won’t take advantage of what Quebec has to offer, be it the suspiciously-named Montreal club Pussy Corps, a plate of freedom fries smothered with gravy and distinctly unnatural-looking cubes of cheese, or a bottle of Crown Royal Extra Rare.
And you can have an American license plate and still enjoy Crown without getting a guaranteed speeding ticket from those ungrateful French bastards. In fact, you shouldn’t have to go beyond your local fine liquor store.
Crown Royal XR is the second in the Extra Rare Whisky Series and is the distillery’s “newest, rarest brand,” blending in a batch from the LaSalle Distillery in Quebec, which closed in 1992 and burned down the following year.
As with all good whiskeys, there’s some personal history at play here too. Master Blender Andrew MacKay, who brings us this new rye, began his whisky career as an apprentice at the renowned factory, which opened in 1924.
But enough of that. We’re thirsty, so let’s get to the drinking.
The nose is fantastic, with notes of honey and a strong scent of pear, coupled with a slight burn. It is, we think, more reminiscent of a sweet southern Bourbon than a spicier rye. And on the palate, that carries through, with a toffee-caramel flavor with hints of vanilla giving way to a taste of oak with a slight tingling burn.
The Crown Royal XR coats the tongue like a thin syrup, and is spicy in the back but noticeable in its exceptional smoothness.
With a splash of water, the nose changes, with the vanilla maintaining but a now-spicier nose with hints of dried fruits overwhelming the pear. The water really brings out the spice in this whisky, adding an emphasis to the burn, but not overtaking the toffee.
This rye strikes us as more of a breakfast rye. Or dessert, if you aren’t into that whole day-drinking thing. We would pair it with crème brûlée and sliced pears, a mild cigar or pipe tobacco. Or all of those at once, though we at TheDC take care to heed Mark Twain’s words on moderation: “I have made it a rule never to smoke more than one cigar at a time.”
Set to be released in June, the Crown Royal XR is a 750 ML bottle, and will sell for a suggested $129.99.