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Crown Royal Texas Mesquite

Review: Crown Royal Texas Mesquite  (72/100)
Reviewed by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
January 25, 2020

Crown Royal®Canadian Whisky is currently produced in Gimli, Manitoba, at the Crown Royal Distillery. The distillery and the brand are owned by the global spirits conglomerate Diageo, and I think it is fair to say that Crown Royal is Diageo’s flagship Canadian whisky.

The brand was introduced in 1939 (by Samuel Bronfman of Seagrams) as a special whisky bottling to commemorate the Royal Tour of Canada by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth who traveled across the Country by train that year. (Apparently, the train carrying the Royal Couple was stocked with 10 cases of the new Crown Royal Blend.) Until 1964, the whisky was only available in Canada; however, today it is available world-wide, and is in fact the number one Canadian whisky brand sold in Canada and the USA by value. (I believe Canadian Club is still the number one brand in Canada by volume.)

Crown Royal Texas Mesquite is a blend of Crown Royal Deluxe which according to the Crown Royal Website has been infused with the smoky soul of locally sourced Texas mesquite wood. The spirit is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume, and sold in the Crown Royal decanter shown below.

In the Bottle 5/5

Crown Royal Whiskies have a unique presentation. As you can see, they use an elegant crown shaped bottle. As well, each bottle is usually housed in its own cardboard carton. The iconic crown royal bag is this case is a navy blue with a large white Star to represent the Lone Star State from which the Mesquite wood to flavour the whisky was sourced. The presentation is topped with a gold coloured cap which also is shaped like a crown.

In the Glass  7/10

The whisky shows us a dark coppery bronze hue when poured into the glass, and when the glencairn is tilted and twirled we see a thick crest forming which drops large fat leglets.

When I brought the glass to my nose a sour note was evident which was followed by what seemed like a hint of herbal peat which of course was actually the aroma of mesquite. A sharp note of orange peel was evident as well. As I let the spirit breathe firm butterscotch, candied orange peel and fine oak spices joined in.

I guess I am confused by what I have encountered. The candy like sweetness I sense doesn’t really mesh well with the herbal mesquite. The two impressions seem at odds rather than at ease.

In The Mouth 42.5/60

My confusion is growing as I sip. The mesquite (which still tastes somewhat like herbal peat) is accompanied by firm orange peel zest and a sugary sweetness. (It is obvious from both the aroma and the taste that quite a bit of sweetness has been added). The combination just doesn’t appeal to me at all. There is a sense of young whisky underneath, and that is part of the problem, as both the firm mesquite flavour and the heightened sweetness seem to need something (perhaps a firmer oak presence) to anchor them to the whisky. Because there is no anchor, the flavour impressions just sort of sit out there making noise but not harmonizing.

In The Throat  10.5/15

Despite the full body, the finish is short and spicy. We taste light butterscotch, herbal mesquite and orange peel during the swallow with the sugary sweetness of the spirit lingering longer than I wanted it to.

The Afterburn 7/10

Although the flavour is unique with a combination of herbal mesquite and candied orange peel, in my opinion, the combination just doesn’t mesh well with the young underlying whisky which lacks the oak character to support those flavours. The result is a confusing spirit that lacks direction.

You may read some of my other reviews of  Spiced and Flavoured Spirits (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.


As always you may interpret the scores I provide as follows.

0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be more familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

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