That’s how I ended up with my bottle of Crown Royal Limited Edition. I know, you’re laughing at the concept of Crown Royal being exotic. Well, don’t. Canadian whiskies are practically nowhere to be found in Taiwan, which ironically has a thriving single malt scene. Hopefully that will change soon. Anyway I’d never tried this one, so I didn’t know if my opportunistic grab would turn out to be a good one or not. Let’s find out.
Nose: Cloves, grass, rye, sawdust, nutmeg, citrus zest, and anise. There’s a burn to this reminiscent of apple vinegar. With time comes more sweetness in the form of vanilla and crème brulée, with emphasis on the brulée. Quite a busy and interesting nose with a strong Canadian character.
Palate: Very creamy, soft, velvety mouthfeel. The development here is very interesting. A very subdued, sweet rye comes in first. Big vanilla, whipped cream, bananas, and roasted nuts. This tastes like a banana sundae served beside French toast drizzled in pancake syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon. As it develops more spices begin to come through.
Finish: Sweet. On the surface there’s some oak and a minty, vanilla, caramel creaminess that reminds me of Bailey’s. Underneath there’s an intricate dance between rye spices and banana bread. Within the rye we get grass notes, spearmint, cloves, and heaps of nutmeg. Then there’s banana bread with walnuts and cinnamon. Medium long and luxurious.
Thoughts: The nose is somewhat deceptive. It suggests much more sharpness, graininess, and tang than is delivered on the palate. However, once tasted, this is rich, smooth, and nuanced. Sweeter than expected, but never cloying. It offers up quality flavours wrapped in a velvet blanket of creaminess. I could grumble about the low abv or the cheesy bottle, but for only $40 this is decent.