Review: Crown Royal Bourbon (Blender's) Mash Canadian Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

Crown Royal Bourbon Mash 2.jpg
Charred Virgin oak and Ex-Bourbon
64% Corn, 31.5% Rye, 4.5% Malted Barley
Distiller Gimli (Gimli, Manitoba)

This whisky is produced very much like a bourbon – distilled in a column still from a mashbill of 64% corn, 31.5% rye, and 4.5% malted barley. It is then dumped into a mix of new and once-used barrels – this is one of the 3 flavoring spirits used in Crown Royal blends (two others that can be readily seen are the coffey rye in Crown Royal Single Barrel / Blender’s Select and Northern Harvest Rye) which are mixed with 2 base spirits to form Crown Royal’s blended whiskies. So the portion of the whisky dumped into new fill barrels is made in a process just like a straight bourbon, but it isn’t a bourbon since it’s made in Canada (bourbon is a protected product of the United States) and includes some ex-bourbon casks (which bourbon cannot include). That being said, it tastes much like a fruity, high rye bourbon. In the US, the label was initially approved but was since recalled and is being re branded as Crown Royal blender’s mash in the US.

I really like seeing the base spirits of the various distilleries in Canada – to hear more about Crown Royal’s process, you can read more here.

Review (2018)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: L3… 117 06:53

  • Bottling Date: 2018

The nose is full of dried fruit – dried peaches, dried apricot, confectioner’s sugar, prunes – and then we have white grape, a sharp fruity spiciness remniscent of northern harvest rye, corn husks, and very pleasant rising bread aromas. Buttery. Just a touch of honeysuckle intense dried florals too – both rose and lilac. It’s no wonder this is a flavoring whiskey!

The palate has a rich woody sweetness with the fatness of corn, alongside dried apricot, dried peaches, dried strawberries, dried rose, clove, cashews, and brown sugar. I love the dried rose!! The finish is woody, slightly spicy, and drying with more mixed dried fruits. Dry glass is very sweet, with loads of vanilla, spiced maple syrup, and fall marshes.

As typical with most whiskies that come from Crown, quite creamy. This would be way better at a higher ABV – this would be a bomb at 50% or 60%.

Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: High. Pretty good whisky for $35!