View Full Version : Crown Royal over the years

05-20-2007, 13:41
Recently I got from an uncle a 1/4 filled bottle of a CR distilled in 1964 (sold in '74 per the stamp markings of the day). It smelled very clean, it had no apparent oxidation or other faults.

I compared it to a current, regular CR and also XR - the luxury version of CR recently released confected of remaining stocks from the (now closed) Waterloo, ON distillery. Of course, the '64 CR would have been all-Waterloo whisky.

The 1960's version of CR and XR were quite similar with a mostly oak-driven taste and something underneath (probably the very small amount of low proof rye batch whisky in there). The 1960's whisky had a better mouthfeel and was more satisfying drunk neat.

The current CR was rather different. It tasted less oaky, smelled more spirity, but at the same time was more whisky-like, as if some youngish bourbon was part of its make-up.

The XR was almost as good as the 1960's CR but had more of a tannic bite and a less complete finish. Probably it contains older whiskies than were used for the 1960's CR.

The 1950's CR and earlier versions, which I've had on other occasions, seemed different again, sweeter and older-tasting.

I liked best from the current flight perhaps the 1960's CR, but I also liked the current, regular issue because it seemed more whiskyish. As good as a complex oak flavor is, when based seemingly mostly on an aged neutral spirit, my assessment has to be qualified. The current CR seemed to taste, and smell, more of real whisky.

After, I tasted the current Pikesville straight rye as a kind of "control" but here is something funny: it didn't taste THAT much different than the others. It was more intense, certainly, but one could see that CR is part of a genuine rye whisky tradition, albeit modified.

So it is a trade-off, but all things considered, the current, regular CR upholds the name and tradition of CR very well.


05-20-2007, 14:55
Post-script: Later, my wife sampled the 4 whiskeys, doing it semi-blind also.

She chose the 1960's CR as the best, the XR second, the regular, current CR third and said the Pikesville was "different".


05-21-2007, 08:45

I have a CRXR, but haven't opened it yet. I am glad to see you think its of good quality. Your thread made me think about the CR Special Reserve. What is that exactly? Do you know offhand? I wonder how it stacks up to the current CR offering and what the marketed difference is.

05-21-2007, 11:32
Yes, the XR is quite close to the 1960's CR, the common source of the Waterloo distillery seems to show.

Special Reserve is good too, it is another iteration. It seems a little deeper and richer than regular CR, but not significantly.


05-21-2007, 21:16
I have a few friends that are HUGE Crown Royal fans. I enjoy a regular Crown & 7 with them occasionally. I have also tried the Reserve and XR (straight). Last week while dusty bottle hunting I cam across a few bottles of Crown Royal from Waterloo distillery. I popped one open last night and must say it is very very good. I like it about the same as the XR which is very good but not worth the money they ask in my opinion. At that price I would rather have quite a few other things...

05-22-2007, 13:29
I have a bottle of CR "Limited Edition"...

Does anyone know what is different, if at all, about this Limited Edition bottling?

I bought it in Canada at a Duty Free store....

05-22-2007, 14:09
Yes, this is yet another CR iteration. I was told by a CR rep at Spirit of Toronto (a whisky tasting here recently) that it contains more "batch" whisky than the other CRs. I think he meant that Limited Edition contains more single batch low-proof spirit than the others (maybe more rye spirit - i.e., in effect it may contain more straight rye, although I am not clear when the mingling is done, after or before aging, I think they do it after). It does taste quite good but again, I don't find it all that different from the others. It seems "firmer" and less bourbon-like than the others, yes. Basically he said this was the most whiskeyish of the various offerings and I would agree.


05-23-2007, 15:02
Thanks for the info Gary....

I havent seen it here in the U.S. . . . Do you know if it is sold only in Canada?

05-23-2007, 16:28
I have seen Limited Edition in the U.S., I believe at Liquor Barn (KY) not long ago. Still, it won't be easy to find. A good approximation would be half Pikesville and half, say, Black Velvet, in fact, the blend would be better IMO.