Saturday, December 18, 2021

Crown Royal Noble Collection 16 Year Blended Rye Whiskey

- $70
- 90 Proof
- 16 Years
- Canada

Admittedly, I don't find myself reviewing too many Canadian whiskies on this blog. Perhaps that's unfair, or perhaps I just haven't found many that have really blown me away. Sure, I've had plenty of good Canadian whiskies. I've had some very good Canadian whiskies. But I just haven't had one yet that, to me anyway, has really knocked it out of the park.

But, when this was released, I found myself drawn to it and knew I'd need to pick up a bottle. While it was a "rare" release, it was relatively easy to find. It was just set out on the shelf, like any other bottle. That said, it didn't make it much past a week before they were all gone. After all, a 16 year old rye for only $70, even if it is Canadian, is a hard one to pass up. Plus, the one rye I have had from Crown Royal, the Northern Harvest Rye, was really good, so I felt pretty confident I wasn't going to be getting a stinker.

The nose was kind of funky.  It had an earthiness to it, almost like an unsalted, toasted peanut note. That was paired with a sweet honey note as well, with a little bit of black pepper spice. On top of all that, I got a distinct oak note, but somehow that oak flavor came across as sweet, almost like it was mixed with a burnt sugar note to have that sweet balancing any bitter notes.

When I took my first sip, the first thing I wrote down was that this had a thin, watery texture, but was absolutely full of flavor. Right up front I got a tangy amaretto note, as well as a healthy amount of brown sugar, a note I tend to get from Canadian whiskies. It had minimal spice, but rather leaned more caramel in flavor, with a rich sweetness.

I also got that earthy note that I was getting on the nose. While the oak came through, there was almost this dank or musty note. Weirdly, though, I liked it. I thought it worked well with the brown sugar and the oak, which again came across sweeter than I'm used to. 

The finish was probably my favorite part. There I got a distinct cherry cordial note, with the cherry and chocolate flavors, as well as that boozy quality, which I particularly noticed on the finish as I exhaled. I also got this sort of cream soda flavor, particularly on later pours, that I really enjoyed and wish I had found throughout.  

This was a fun bottle, and I ended up liking it way more than I thought I would. It was certainly a different rye, probably due in part to not only the age, but also the location of the aging, that gave some different barrel flavors to the whiskey. I'm so glad I picked this up.

Grade: A-

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