My mum is ace. Not only is she so into the programme Outlander that she attends gatherings and events, but she also uses this collection of lovely people to get world whisky delivered direct to Yorkshire for me! One such dram that was picked up for me via this complex system of geeky whisky mules, was the Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye.
Crown Royal are a Canadian Whisky company that primarily make blends. Their company started when Seagram (Their parent company at the time) created a blend to celebrate the visit of the Queen and King of England in 1939. They are based in Gimli, Manitoba and use water from the nearby hills and lake. They are now owned by Diageo and have been since 2000.
This dram was flung into the spotlight in 2015, when Jim Murray awarded it his world whisky of the year in 2015. This caused much consternation amongst the whisky community and has led many people to ask whether this is possible. Now we are sure that no whisky can live up the tag best whisky in the world, but is this dram worth tracking down and drinking?
Price: £60-100 where available.
Appearance: Apart from the obvious awesome (or amazingly terrible depending on your opinion bottle, the liquid inside is a golden, caramel?!? brown colour.
Aroma: Now this is a dram that through me, because it smells so richly or vanilla and cherry. It made me immediately think of creating an Old Fashioned and all the joy that this would bring me. However, I know that to judge and review a dram fully, it must be drunk neat.
Taste: The initial notes of this dram are all about spiciness. There are wooden, oaken spices, that mingle with cake spicing, such as ginger, cinnamon and all spice.
This spice opens out, becoming less spicy, less hot and wider. This wideness means that there is more space for the other notes of the dram to appear in. These notes are sweetness of vanilla and the fruitiness of cherries. This gives the dram a distinctly cake like quality and it becomes all the more enjoyable for it.
The finish of the dram is all about a richness of fruit and the cherries are the most prevalent flavour, alongside the lingering wooden parts of the dram.
Mouthfeel: Light, but spicy.
Overall: The World Whisky of the Year? We are not convinced all by this tag, as there have been many more that we have enjoyed much more than this one. Sadly, we haven’t had chance to drink every other one in the world to have the chance to make this proclamation. We liked it, but weren’t blown away and certainly wouldn’t be able to justify the price tag that this dram attracts. Its a good rye though and it makes us want to drink more of them, so that when someone asks our opinion, we can tell them the best rye in the world!
Real Dram Factor: 7.9
Source: Bottle shipped by the lovely Outlander Gang.
More Information: Crown Royal Website
Buy Online: Not sure that I would recommend you purchase a bottle, unless you can find it at the price they pay in Canada!!