Review: Crown Royal XR Canadian Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

Distiller LaSalle (LaSalle, Quebec) & Gimli (Gimli, Manitoba)

LaSalle distillery, located in a suburb of Montreal, was closed in 1996, after being one of the two main distilleries operated by the Bronfman brothers who started the Crown Royal brand. With the shutdown of the plant, the coffey still was not abandoned, being shipped out to Gimli in Manitoba where Crown Royal is now produced. This Coffey still is now the only Coffey still operating in Canada. This whisky is not 100% LaSalle, but rather is created around LaSalle whisky with Gimil whisky blended in as well. It comes in at a hefty price, but is at the end of its production now.

Review (2015; Blind)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2015

Bright and fruity, with some apple juice and sweet oak. The apple mixes quite beautifully with the fresh oak, and things are brilliantly held in balance alongside some grapefruit, the grain, roasted almonds, light almond milk, and bourbon notes. The character of the apple makes it seems as if there is almost a bit of a fino-sherry type apple presence, and there are spices in the mix also. For the last batch of whiskies from LaSalle, I wish it would have come in a touch more than 40% - there is some nice elegance and complexity and I imagine it could have been significantly upped if it came in at higher proof, even without filtering to give us a truer sense of LaSalle. Nonetheless, still very enjoyable - both for taste and sentiment.

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Low. $200. Enough said.