So I took my time for this one. It’s special this is the first time that I’ve reviewed a #1 world whiskey winner. I have written a review of the announcement that surprised us all. Kind of out of left field, a Canadian whiskey, #1 really… OK, great, I was excited to try it out but then quickly found out that it was not available in my region or province and soon to be backordered in the country. Jim Murray (renown whisky reviewer) has the ability to make stock disappear so I thought that one day I would get to set my lips to this expression, one day…..
Christmas miracle, a dear friend shipped a bottle on the sly and I was shocked, touched and exited. How to get ready to experience the best whisky of this year. Well dive in, take pictures, pour a dram and take the time it deserves. I also have not read the Jim Murray review in an effort to not skew my own observations.
Resting comfortably on my over-sized couch I opened the bottle and poured a dram. The nose on the onset is rounded and deep, it does not attack the nostrils but lets you inhale deeply to reveal a predominantly sweet aroma with a subtle rye note. It resemble cherry strudel with a slice of rye bread: it works. It also gives a clear idea of how the palate is going to play out.
The sip hits the palate smooth and pleasant with a strong flavour of medicinal cherry; not quite like a Halls lozenge (but if you like that, then you’ll love this) and a little spicy. The mouth feel takes a little coaxing, I had to swish and aspirate (sucking in air, snooty wine snob style) a little to elicit a little extra depth. That little extra is a hint of sweet butterscotch, and I’m stretching to find something that goes beyond the agreeable cherry essence. The glycerol that is evident when you swirl your glass coats the inside of your mouth with no more than a few seconds of coverage and then it slips away into the finish.
The finish is quick and warm, the warm stays longer than the finish and still leaves you wanting more. It’s clean and easy but does not develop into anything remarkable.
So there you have it, this years best whisky as reviewed by me. Final thoughts are that this is a fine blended whisky, it’s easy on the palate and goes down smooth. It’s flying off the shelves and Crown Royal (owned by Diageo, a huge spirits company) has done well because the bottles that are bought will be finished quickly and will gladly need to be replaced.