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Drink Review: Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye is made with 90% rye. This is gently spicy with soft pepper, vanilla and butterscotch notes.

Crown Northern Harvest Rye Review:

Nice time for a little Drink Review.

Crown Royal is a quiet Canadian whisky distillery. They have been a major contributor to Canadian whisky for some time. The distillery was founded in 1939 by Samuel Bronfman and remains under the family’s ownership. In recent years their whisky has become a frequent consumer favorite, and no one can be entirely sure why. While I will concede their whisky is good, it is in no way great. Yet, it achieves dual billing with the likes of the Macallans, Johnnies and the Dalmore as a premium whisky.

If you are looking for excellent Canadian whisky at a great price, look no further than Wiser’s. Absolute perfection.

Moving on.

I picked up a couple of bottles of Crown Northern Harvest Rye not all that long ago. This is the rye eots under the Crown Royal name. It is 90% rye, and contains a good measure of barrel aging to give it a good bit of character. Single barrel releases like this are perfect for the “Seasoned” whiskey drinker looking for something a little different.

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Nose:

This is a lot punchier than I expected. It is a honeyed and peppery nose that is quite strong. The nose is quite dry, and it is hard to know if it is really going to come together. Lightly floral with a hint of vanilla and lemon, I would like a bit more overall depth.

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Neat:

Crown Northern Harvest Rye is gentle and smooth. It is sweet and spicy at the same time. The flavours are rich and thick. It is a lot like peppermint bark ice cream. This is good, but I always find Crown Northern Harvest a little lacking in complexity. I find they are consistently restrained, but not necessarily in a desirable way. This should be complex and layered, but as it is it’s like a watered down version of some wonderful thing.

As the flavours wash over the palate, there is a bit of leather. It is not quite what I am looking for.

With a few drops of water it is very much better. The aromas open up and there is an unexpected level of brightness. The rye spices come forward, but somehow the whisky loses some of that crumbly texture. I really like these sorts of drams with a few drops of water.

On the whole, Crown Northern Harvest Rye is a great whisky. It is pleasingly spicy with a good level of sweet notes that tie it together. It is an absolute joy to sip on, and goes exceptionally well with a slice of apple pie.

If you are looking for an excellent rye whisky, Crown Northern Harvest Rye is worth a look. Just make sure to have a few drops of water.

The second dram is a nice one:

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Nose:

Light oakiness with some simple dried coconut and over ripe apples. A few drops of water open everything up without obscuring the aromas.

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Neat:

At first I get a lot of walnuts and walnut shells. Then the rye comes out with an unexpected spicyness. The flavours combine into a nice, yet rustic stew. It’s sweet and spicy, and heavier than I thought it would be. Very nice.

In comes the water. The leather notes come forward, but not without a little added citrus fruitiness. This is deep, bold and a little chocolaty. There is something citrusy and floral in the background.

The rye notes are lifted, but the flavours never lose their rustic tone. Very nice.

On the whole, Crown Northern Harvest Rye is a great whisky. It is pleasingly spicy with a good level of sweet notes that tie it together. It is an absolute joy to sip on, and goes exceptionally well with a slice of apple pie.

If you are looking for an excellent rye whisky, Crown Northern Harvest Rye is worth a look. Just make sure to have a few drops of water.

What I like about Crown Northern Harvest Rye: It’s spicy without being overwhelming. It’s warm without being heavy. The price is pretty great.

What I don’t like about Crown Northern Harvest Rye: Sometimes it feels a bit restrained.

Written by Mark Adams

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