Jul 03, 2015

Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel Review

Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel is Crown Royal’s entry into the single barrel game. Read the Whiskey Jug's verdict here.

Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel Review

Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel is Crown Royal’s entry into the single barrel game. It’s their way of becoming one of the cool kids and offer us a glimpse into what’s happening inside that distillery of theirs one barrel at a time and you know what… I like that. I know it’s not a major advancement or anything, but it’s a new take on an old whisky and sometimes that’s all you need.

The Crown Royal we all know is a massive blend of different whiskies of different ages and is blended to try and achieve a specific aroma and flavor profile, where as this is just a single component of those massive batches. To make matters even a little more special the whisky in these single barrels are exclusively distilled using their old Coffey rye still and aged in new charred oak. So it’s not just a single component, it’s one of their more premium components.

Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel Info

Region: Manitoba, Canada

Distiller: Canadian Royal
Mashbill: 64% corn, 31.5% rye, and 4.5% malted barley
Cask: New oak
Age: NAS
ABV: 51.5%

Cask Strength | Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color

Price: $55*

Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel Review


Rich caramel, vanilla, butterscotch, spice, dark fruit and crushed smarties. It has an overall character that reminds me of a Caramel Machiatto from Starbucks, which is a really weird association to be popping into my brain because it’s been at least 7 years since I had one.

Spice, caramel, vanilla, red fruit, toasted grain, woody notes and marshmallows. The flavor doesn’t trigger the same association as the nose, but provides another shock instead… it’s good. I wasn’t expecting that. It’s been about 5 few years since I’ve had the regular Crown Royal, but I don’t remember it tasting anywhere near this good.

Long and darkly sweet accompanied by light notes of red fruit, wood and nuts.

Excellent balance, round full body and a thick slick feel to it.

Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel is good… at least this barrel anyways and being a single barrel the experience will change from barrel to barrel. But for a project like this brands tend to cherry pick the barrel samples they send out to stores. Putting their best foot forward and all of that.

This sample is rich and full across the nose and palate – I had a hard time not just downing the entire sample in one sitting. I’m simultaneously shocked and happy that this tastes as good as it does. I’ve tasted a bunch of terrible Canadian Whiskies lately and it’s nice to taste something that’s the polar opposite of that. Definitely getting a bottle of this if someone locally gets a barrel since that seems to be the only way to get it outside of Texas or Canada.

SCORE: 89/100

*Disclosure: This sample of Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.

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tagged taste, liquor reviews, whisket