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Crown Royal Salted Caramel

Review: Crown Royal Salted Caramel  82.5/100
a review  by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted March 28, 2018

Crown Royal Canadian Whisky is produced in Gimli, Manitoba, at the Crown Royal Distillery. The distillery and the brand are owned by the spirits conglomerate, Diageo, and I think it is fair to say that Crown Royal is Diageo’s flagship Canadian Whisky brand. About a year ago Crown Salted Caramel Whisky was introduced as an addition to the Crown Royal family of whiskies. This is as far as I know the first flavoured whisky ever produced by Crown, and it presents itself as a Maple Finished™’ rather than maple flavoured.

According to the Crown Royal website:

Crown Royal Salted Caramel Flavored Whisky is a blend of the finest Canadian whiskies, carefully selected by our Master Blenders and infused with the subtly salty-sweet taste of indulgent salted caramels – imparting lush, creamy notes that perfectly compliment the richness of Crown Royal Whisky.”

I tasted this flavoured whisky when I was a juror for the 2018 Canadian Whisky Awards, and wrote out brief tasting notes when I was scoring it. The tasting flights were blind, but after the event when each spirit was revealed I noted those which appealed to me with the aim to review them on my website at some point during the next year.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

Crown Royal Whiskies have a rather unique presentation. They use a nifty/elegant crown shaped bottle with each brand having its own distinctive shape. For Crown Royal Salted Caramel, the whisky is sometimes housed in a decorative display box and caramel coloured display bag with drawstrings (not shown).

As well, each variety of Crown Royal utilizes a ‘crown’ shaped gold coloured screw cap to close the bottle. I like the presentation very much, and in the flavoured whisky category, this is the best bottle presentation I have seen to date.

(BTW: Crown Royal Salted Caramel is produced at 35 % alcohol by volume.)

In the Glass 8/10

The flavoured whisky has an amber/copper colour in the glass and when swirled the liquid shows us fat thick legs consistent with a flavoured spirit which has added sweetness. The aroma from the glass is very similar to a pleasant light maple syrup. There is some fine wood and grain spice evident in the air and perhaps a touch of vanilla; but it would be true to say that the caramel sweetness covers over the oak and grain spice to a large degree.

In The Mouth 50/60

The delivery brings the flavour of maple and caramel forward with a nice peppery spiciness of oak and grain following along. I am happy that the spirit is demonstrating its whisky character despite the firm flavour of maple. As I sip I notice the spiciness carries a light flavour of black pepper and orange peel zest.

Sipping over ice is preferred as this helps to mute the maple sweetness and allows the whisky character underneath even more expression. Adding a splash of ginger-ale with the ice makes this a very pleasant deck drink.

In The Throat 12.5/15

The added sweetness gives the spirit body and length in the finish. I taste lingering flavours of caramel, oak spice, pepper and orange peel. There is also a whisper of salt which is quite pleasant.

The Afterburn 8/10

I like the flavoured Salted Caramel Whisky from Crown Royal. Although it has a heightened sweetness, this sweetness it also has the characteristic spiciness of grain and oak which helps provides a suitable foil which prevent the drink from becoming cloying. A whisper of saltiness is found in the finish which also adds to its overall character.

My final score is 82.5/100 which corresponds to a spirit with light sipping potential as well as strong mixing potential.

You may read some of my other Whisky Reviews (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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