Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel Background
I walked into my usual whiskey monger and was greeted with the latest store selection. I was excitedly shown a fancy bottle of a single barrel Crown Royal with a box and nifty bag. Nice presentation, but Crown Royal? I’m mostly a Bourbon guy, so I was skeptical, but hey I’ll give a shot.
Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel is actually pretty unique. My experiences of Crown is limited to the standard bottle that is typically a blend of up to 50 different whiskeys. One particular whiskey is their Coffey Rye made on a unique still named after its inventor Aeneas Coffey. The research says the Coffey Rye is one of the bolder component whiskey that goes into the other blends. From this Coffey Rye we get the single barrel expressions of Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel. Also, worth noting the Coffey Rye used here is aged in new American oak and bottled at a ample 103-proof.
Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel is available only to stores buying a single barrel. Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel started a slow rollout late last year in Texas and has since expanded to other states. Interestingly, apparently it’s not yet available in its home country of Canada.
Bottled at 103-proof. No age statement. Thought to be made of 64% corn, 31.5% rye, and 4.5% barley. Paid $55
Earthly, butterscotch, spearmint, fruity with some mango and pineapples.
Mild and sweet. Lots of bananas, brown sugar. Cinnamon. Vanilla. Oatmeal and maple syrup. Sawdust. Grapefruit.
In short, Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel seems like breakfast in a whiskey glass. This isn’t a big bold whiskey and I’d guess it’s either not aged very long and/or aged gently in cold Canadian climate. Also, if I were to guess, I’d say Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel drinks below its 103-proof both in flavor and strength. On the backend it has some heat, but generally is pretty mild and enjoyable.
So, Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel isn’t going to blow you away in flavor and punch, but it’s a unique offering. It’s an interesting example of what’s being made in Diageo’s Gimli, Manitoba distillery and also pull out the more flavorful components going into the widely popular Crown Royal.
I’m more of a Bourbon drinker and I’m not fully on the bandwagon of Canadian rye whiskey. If you prefer rye and enjoy other whiskey coming from Canada, Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel should be in your wheels house. For me, however, the price seems high to be a regular bottle. I’m happy with the purchase and learning about Coffey Rye, but I probably won’t be going back for more.
Buy a Bottle – 3.0 out of 5.0 Rating
(My 5 point scale: Pass, Try a Glass, Buy a Bottle, Buy Again, Shut Up and Take My Money – Bottle price is taken into consideration for recommendations.)