Jump to content
R-Savage

Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel

Recommended Posts

fishnbowljoe

I've seen the Crown Royal Single Barrel at a couple of places in my area. One local (big chain grocery) store actually did two barrels. I've really been tempted, but so far I haven't given in. The cost here (on sale) is $52.99 a bottle. Crown was my go to pour for many years before I discovered bourbon. I have a feeling that cask strength CR might be pretty good, but I can get OWA and PS OWA's for $23.99-$25.99 a bottle. I'm pretty happy with that for now. Ya' never know though. :huh:

Cheers! Joe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
R-Savage

Thanks joe. If you do give in to a bottle don't forget to post here.

 

cheers bud!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Harry in WashDC

Circa 21 December, I posted a note in "What bourbon did you purchase today Fall 2015" about some bourbons and the CR HSB 103 proof I bought at the same time after reading an old Steve Uri (Jan 2015) blogpost about it. (SEE sku's recent eats - http://recenteats.blogspot.com/2015/01/crown-royal-hand-selected-barrel.html ).

I was as intrigued by his mentioning  "soapy bourbon notes" as I was about tasting one of the base whiskies used in CR itself.  As the box it comes in says, this particular whisky is a Single Barrel (although not barrel strength) from the Coffey still in Gimli.  Although it says it is a "rye whisky" on the label, remember that Canadian whiskies are almost all called that, and sku says the mash bill for this really is majority corn with rye as the second grain.

As I mentioned in that 21 Dec post, there is a soapy note, and overall the HSB is really different; do not think you are getting a classic American rye or a variation of CR.  It is also really sweet, IMO, even compared to other Canadiian whiskies regardless of proof.  I don't have extensive tasting notes on it; I hadn't yet decided I want to spend a lot of time with it right now with so much else going on what with the holidays and food.  BUT, now that there's a thread, I'll throw myself on my bottle so you don't have to. 

On the plus side, it IS a single barrel @ 103 proof which is rare for Canadian offerings; I'm glad I bought it if only to encourage more playing around up there.  Now, if I can develop a taste for it . . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LCWoody

To me CR has had 2 very good offerings, CR Cask 16 and this one (CRHSB). The HSB has almost a "bourbony" taste to it. I guess that's why I like it. To me it's one of the best whiskey's coming out of Canada. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Darwin

Plenty of it down here for $45.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Black Tot

I don't think this actually IS a single barrel product. It seems more like a very large batch all at the same proof, sold as a single barrel.

Do I have proof of this? No, but the "Texas edition" sure has been on a lot of shelves with a lot of bottles. They seem to taste the same to me.

Given our sensitivity to labeling accuracy in US whiskeys, we should probably be more offended with this than we seem to be, in practice. I haven't seen anyone taking issue with it in the blogosphere. It kind of sets an uncomfortable precedent.

I'm fairly sure someone on this forum knows.

It certainly is an enjoyable bottle, however, and fairly priced. I've got a few put away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tanstaafl2
14 minutes ago, The Black Tot said:

I don't think this actually IS a single barrel product. It seems more like a very large batch all at the same proof, sold as a single barrel.

Do I have proof of this? No, but the "Texas edition" sure has been on a lot of shelves with a lot of bottles. They seem to taste the same to me.

Given our sensitivity to labeling accuracy in US whiskeys, we should probably be more offended with this than we seem to be, in practice. I haven't seen anyone taking issue with it in the blogosphere. It kind of sets an uncomfortable precedent.

I'm fairly sure someone on this forum knows.

It certainly is an enjoyable bottle, however, and fairly priced. I've got a few put away.

It is a bit of a curiosity given that as best I recall nowhere on the box or bottle does it say "single barrel". Rather it says "Hand Selected Barrel". I don't think either phrase has much in the way of legal standing to mean something specific. Davin de Kergommeaux wrote his report in Whiskey Advocate a year ago when it first appeared as though he was pretty sure it was a single barrel so I have given it the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.

And as you so it is a nice whisky with an interesting high rye bourbon style mashbill distilled to a relatively low ABV, aged at least 7 years in new oak and bottled at a solid proof so hard to complain too much!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
R-Savage

Great notes guys thanks. It's not here in alberta yet. Hopefully we'll see it here. Lots of CR drinkers in alberta.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Black Tot

Personally, I'm waiting for someone to have the sass to call one a "tongue selected barrel".

I don't know about you, but my hands don't care what they drink!

We're obsessed with this hand thing, though. I hate it's usage - it's always got that red flag feel of sleazy marketing to it.

Seriously though, "pretty sure" just doesn't work where Diageo is concerned. Their good faith was burned to the ground a long time ago.

I'm headed down to the mess room for a hand-dipped ice cream cone (FFS...).

(this was a hand-typed post)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Black Tot

Personally, I'm waiting for someone to have the sass to call one a "tongue selected barrel".

I don't know about you, but my hands don't care what they drink!

We're obsessed with this hand thing, though. I hate it's usage - it's always got that red flag feel of sleazy marketing to it.

Seriously though, "pretty sure" just doesn't work where Diageo is concerned. Their good faith was burned to the ground a long time ago.

I'm headed down to the mess room for a hand-dipped ice cream cone (FFS...).

(this was a hand-typed post)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tanstaafl2
13 hours ago, The Black Tot said:

Seriously though, "pretty sure" just doesn't work where Diageo is concerned. Their good faith was burned to the ground a long time ago.

OK, I must concede that point!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GreggJ

I have to say, I am really enjoying this Whisky.  It is excellent on its own but, I have been mixing it with Crown Royal 75th Monarch.  60/40 Monarch to Barrel and is an absolutely outstanding pour.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
portwood
On 1/4/2016, 11:15:25, tanstaafl2 said:

It is a bit of a curiosity given that as best I recall nowhere on the box or bottle does it say "single barrel". Rather it says "Hand Selected Barrel". I don't think either phrase has much in the way of legal standing to mean something specific. Davin de Kergommeaux wrote his report in Whiskey Advocate a year ago when it first appeared as though he was pretty sure it was a single barrel so I have given it the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.

And as you so it is a nice whisky with an interesting high rye bourbon style mashbill distilled to a relatively low ABV, aged at least 7 years in new oak and bottled at a solid proof so hard to complain too much!

Does the label state:

- high rye content? (not "rye" in the Canadian sense ... 'cause all whisky in Canada is "rye")

- distillation abv?

- aged 7 years?

With all due respect to the very knowledgeable Mr de Kergommeaux, if its not on the label, its hearsay! Furthermore, as much as he blows the horn for the industry, Canadian whisky isn't well known for openness, disclosure, or high reputation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Harry in WashDC

Per Portwood's penultimate sentence - TO WIT:

FRONT LABEL (which is now in front of me) does not mention "high rye content" and does not use the word "rye" and does not state an age.  It does say "HAND SELECTED BARREL" but doesn't say "one" or "single".  It does say "51.5% ALC BY VOL" and, in italics, "One of the 50 finest whiskies that go into the Crown Royal De Luxe Blend".

BACK LABEL (which is now in front of me) does not mention "high rye content" and does not use the word "rye" and does not state an age.  It also says "HAND SELECTED BARREL" and "CANADIAN WHISKY".  It also touts, in italics, that Crown Royal is proud to present us drinkers with the "opportunity to savor the raw magic of its unique Coffey Rye Whisky".

CARDBOARD BOX (which is now in front of me) does not mention "high rye content" or use the word "rye" and does not state an age.  The front of the box says "HAND SELECTED BARREL" and "CANADIAN WHISKY" and, in italics, "Distilled in Gimli by passionate and dedicated local residents".  The back of the box also says "HAND SELECTED BARREL" and "CANADIAN WHISKY".  It also touts, in italics, that Crown Royal is proud to present us drinkers with the "opportunity to savor the raw magic of its unique Coffey Rye Whisky".   The second paragraph on the back of the box says,  "The whisky is proudly named following a long standing Canadian tradition of referring to local whiskies as simply "rye".  The actual mash bill is not disclosed.

The bottle and the box have some other words but none answering PW's rhetorical questions.  The really nice burlap sack with leather thong closer strap in which the bottle is covered has doodly squat on it - just "Crown Royal" in italics and "HAND SELECTED BARREL" in block print.  Seems to be a little sturdier than the regular "velvet" bag on CR proper, though.

AND, I'm still dealing with how SWEET this is - almost like one of those HUGE milk chocolate candy bars sold by door-to-door charities with the not-quite-identifiable flavor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paddy

Dear Harry,

You had me at... "leather thong closer strap".

Forever yours,

Paddy

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tanstaafl2
19 hours ago, Harry in WashDC said:

Per Portwood's penultimate sentence - TO WIT:

FRONT LABEL (which is now in front of me) does not mention "high rye content" and does not use the word "rye" and does not state an age.  It does say "HAND SELECTED BARREL" but doesn't say "one" or "single".  It does say "51.5% ALC BY VOL" and, in italics, "One of the 50 finest whiskies that go into the Crown Royal De Luxe Blend".

BACK LABEL (which is now in front of me) does not mention "high rye content" and does not use the word "rye" and does not state an age.  It also says "HAND SELECTED BARREL" and "CANADIAN WHISKY".  It also touts, in italics, that Crown Royal is proud to present us drinkers with the "opportunity to savor the raw magic of its unique Coffey Rye Whisky".

CARDBOARD BOX (which is now in front of me) does not mention "high rye content" or use the word "rye" and does not state an age.  The front of the box says "HAND SELECTED BARREL" and "CANADIAN WHISKY" and, in italics, "Distilled in Gimli by passionate and dedicated local residents".  The back of the box also says "HAND SELECTED BARREL" and "CANADIAN WHISKY".  It also touts, in italics, that Crown Royal is proud to present us drinkers with the "opportunity to savor the raw magic of its unique Coffey Rye Whisky".   The second paragraph on the back of the box says,  "The whisky is proudly named following a long standing Canadian tradition of referring to local whiskies as simply "rye".  The actual mash bill is not disclosed.

The bottle and the box have some other words but none answering PW's rhetorical questions.  The really nice burlap sack with leather thong closer strap in which the bottle is covered has doodly squat on it - just "Crown Royal" in italics and "HAND SELECTED BARREL" in block print.  Seems to be a little sturdier than the regular "velvet" bag on CR proper, though.

AND, I'm still dealing with how SWEET this is - almost like one of those HUGE milk chocolate candy bars sold by door-to-door charities with the not-quite-identifiable flavor.

I happened to be looking at the label and box myself this morning so thanks for saving me the trouble with your detailed report! Few bottles reveal mashbill or distillation ABV of course and age as we all know too well is a hit or miss proposition in the industry. It also does not say whether CR takes advantage of the option of up to 9.09% of "something else" in a bottle of Canadian "Rye" whisky which might well explain the sweetness we have encountered.

I am happy to have had the opportunity to try it and do find it interesting enough to drink on occasion although I doubt I will ever buy another since I already have several including from the first round sold exclusively in Texas.

I also rather thought that they went cheap with the burlap sack as the Texas bottles came with the more typical velvet bag albeit in a cream color as I recall.

In the end I think if I had to choose between the two I would go with the Alberta Rye Dark Batch as my first choice in mysterious unknown bastardized Canadian whisky category!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Harry in WashDC

Agree re: wondering about that "something else" space and about the real age and mash bill (although Davin does talk directly to the makers UP THERE so maybe . . .).  I, too, am glad they are offering these non-traditional products.  This won't go to waste, but it won't get a twin.  Also, I recently passed on an Alberta Dark Rye because I had this HSB sitting at home unopened.  We used up some non-bourbon spirits (mostly aperitifs and older liqueurs in cocktails) over the holidays so I now have some shelf space.  I may take a chance on the ADR; it'd be nice to find something from Canada that I like to sit with my Wiser's Legacy.  So, thanks for that.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fishnbowljoe

Well, I finally decided to break down and buy a bottle of this. :unsure:  I just happened to spot it way behind the checkout counter at a local place I frequent. It was $46.99, which was $6.00 dollars less than the "sale" price at a local grocery store chain. 

I've tried it a few times now, and I'm still not quite sure what to make of this. Interesting to say the least.

Here are my tasting notes, as best as I can do for now.

 

Color- Fairly light amber, with a slight reddish hue.

Legs- Not much at all. They slide down the glass fairly quickly and in basically one fell swoop. Not much separation at all.

Nose- Heavy vanilla with hints of caramel.

Taste- Very sweet on entry. The vanilla is definitely there, along with a pecan like nutty undertone. The mid-plate is where the rye/spiciness becomes apparent. It's warming, but not too much so. The finish is what mystifies me. The spice is still there, but along with that is some light oak and smoke too. (Possibly from being aged in new charred oak barrels?) The finish isn't all that long either, especially considering it's a 103 proof, supposedly 7 year old, rye based whiskey. What gives here? Like I said, it mystifies me.

Many years ago, I cut my teeth, so to speak, on CC and CR. I like CR. I like CR Black even better, and I thought the CR Cask 16 was very good. I was really looking forward to a 103 proof CR product. All in all, a bit of an odd bird if you ask me, and a slight disappointment. Not bad by any means, and drinkable for sure, but not at all what I was expecting. Probably worth a try if you're looking for something kinda different to try. As for me, I probably won't be buying another bottle unless the price drops by at least $10-$15 a bottle. 

Cheers! Joe

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paddy

^^^Nicely done Joe.~

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
camduncan

Great review Joe... thanks!  I'm a CC & CR convert, having only got onto them in the last few years - well after my bourbon interest started.  The sweet notes you found in this really got me attention, so if it makes its way to Australia, I'll definitely grab a bottle based on those points alone!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Harry in WashDC

Excellent notes, Joe.  You said what I wanted to say but never focused enough to do so.  Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paddy

Joe,

Did your bottle come with a really nice burlap sack with a leather thong closer strap?

Seems to me that, with this 'extra' value added enhancement, this product would be most hard to resist...:rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...