Encased in a plush purple sack with gold embellishments, Crown Royal is an iconic Canadian whisky. Made from a blend of 50 whiskies in the town of Gimli, near Manitoba's Lake Winnipeg, Crown is renowned for its smooth, sweet taste. In addition to its signature Deluxe whisky, Crown offers a number of other options.
Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel, $54.95
Comprised of one of the 50 whiskies that go into Crown Deluxe, Crown's Hand Selected Barrel clocks in at 51.5 percent ABV. The heat comes through intensely at first, with some tasters comparing it to White Rain hairspray, but dissipates as it opens up, offering notes of powdered sugar, fig and freshly baked pie. On the palate, it's equally delightful with cocoa and caramel shining through.
Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye, $32.95
Named 2016 World Whisky of the Year by whisky writer Jim Murray, Crown's Northern Harvest Rye is an exceptionally smooth take on the style. On the nose, there are notes of dust, anise and cherry with a sweet under-layer of vanilla—leading to "Luden's cough drop" comparisons. On the palate, those medicinal flavors remain and combine with hints of pepper and sawdust. The finish is smooth for a rye.
Crown Royal Maple, $24.95
Though the bottle claims this 40 percent ABV whisky is finished with "maple-toasted oak," there's nothing natural about this cloying, over-the-top offering. Likened to "Mrs. Butterworth's bathwater," "French Toast Crunch" and "an IHOP-scented candle," Crown Royal Maple features an off-putting fake butter flavor that tasters compared to "hungover pancakes."