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Crown Royal XR (Waterloo)

Review: Crown Royal XR (Extra Rare) Canadian Whisky  90/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted March 21, 2010

Crown Royal XR , is a unique bottling of Crown Royal Whisky, which includes in the blend, the last aged stocks from the Crown Royal Waterloo distillery which burned down in 1993.  The whisky stocks which were salvaged had been mothballed in 1992, thus the youngest whiskies from this distillery in the XR blend would be 14 years of age as the XR bottling took place in 2006.  In addition to the last aged stocks from the Waterloo distillery,  I  believe that the Crown Royal XR  also contains whiskies from other Crown Royal Distilleries.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

It is quite an exercise to unwrap the Crown Royal XR from its packaging.  It arrives in a rich red coloured square box with the same richly coloured red sleeve surrounding four of the six sides of the box. You must first slide off the boxy red sleeve.  The inner box is constructed as a base which the XR bottle sits on with the other five sides sliding up off of it.  The entire construction is a little like those annoying Christmas gifts with one box inside another inside another.  I find this cumbersome.  The boxy presentation is also large and unwieldy.

On the other hand, I love the crown shaped bottle/decanter, and the lovely cloth bag that protects it.  Crown royal has some of the nicest whisky decanters in the world of Canadian Whisky.  A crystal topped synthetic cork stopper crowns the presentation beautifully.  I should mention that I have noted pictures on the internet that show other bottle designs for this whisky leading me to believe that there has been more than one edition of this whisky.

In the Glass 9.5/10

The XR has a rich oak filled nose with a definite bourbon flair accented by vanilla and toffee scents.    A swirl of my glass reveals all kinds of legs.  An army of long skinny legs first trails quickly back into the glass followed by fat droopy legs which gather as droplets on the sides of the glass.  After the swirl I begin to catch lighter notes of honey and butterscotch as well as a vague nuttiness.   If one waits for it,  a light gathering of brown sugar spices will eventually arrive in the glass as well.

Based upon the different styles of legs on the side of my glass, and the way the aromas seem to change in the winds, it seems as though the blend has two different facets, a younger lighter whisky and an older more oily whisky in the same glass.

In the Mouth  52.5/60

The whisky is very soft and thick in my mouth, and it feels more like bourbon rather than Canadian whisky on my tongue. Hot oak spice  is at the front of the delivery pushed forward by a dank bourbon like corn and vanilla.  Honey maple, toffee,  and a light smattering of fresh fruit round out the flavours. If I let the glass sit, the toffee gains strength and begins to have a nice cinnamon and caramel flavour. I am beginning to be more certain of a duality in my glass. This tastes to me like a mixture more than a blend.  A mixture of two whiskies, one young and one old which have not spent enough time together marrying in the barrel.

In the Throat 14.5/15

The finish is long and spicy with a nice gathering of rye flavour that was not apparent earlier.  An every so slight bitterness creeps in at the end but the experience is well worth repeating.  I am left with a persistent felling of richness and luxury well after the dram is finished.  This finish is much nicer than I was expecting.

The Afterburn 9/10

I always remember this whisky with fondness after each sample.  The experience from the bottle, to the glass, to my mouth, and finally to my throat seems to rise and fall and then rise again to reach a crescendo at the finish.  This is a fine whisky which would be truly great if the taste experience were as nice as the nose and the finish.

You may read some of my other Whisky Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.

(If you are interested here is my review for the newest Crown Royal XR blend, the Crown Royal XR (LaSalle))


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)


5 Responses to “Crown Royal XR (Waterloo)”

  1. Mike Crain said

    I live down the road were crown is made, XR is a waste to mix for sure but normal crown with a Pepsi but XR is the best no better

    • I never really have liked anything mixed with Pepsi. I just find that particular cola to be too cloying and sweet. Crown and Coke, that’s more my style.

  2. Jerry said

    Mixing anything other than ice with Crown Royal XR is a sin to me. That’s what the regular CR is for. XR goes down the throat so smooth straight up. Another good drink is Mount Gay 1703.

  3. lukasz pomerenke said

    Hello there rum chum. I hawe a new crown for you to sample next time we get together. It is calle dcrown royal black and it is 45% achohol and 905 prof aged in charred oak barrels. I hope you will enjoy it as much as i hawe. See you soon.

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