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.