Crown Royal managed to squeeze in yet another addition to its limited release Noble Collection before the end of 2021. For this, the sixth release in the series, Crown went a bit off script, bottling a wheat whiskey of unspecified age made with 51% winter wheat, 39% corn, and 10% malted barley — instead of the usual rye.
And it is, without a doubt, the best Noble Collection release to date.
The aroma is deep and sultry with dark caramels, oak shavings, creamed corn, and torched sugar. A bit of peach cobbler creeps in with some air, along with a subtle spice and more beautifully-balanced oak. In my experience, Crown Royal’s whiskies, be they standard offerings or more limited affairs, just don’t typically punch with this kind of rich, wood-driven aroma. The palate doesn’t quite deliver on the richness of the aroma, but there’s still an impressive amount of complexity to admire with dried stone fruit, honeycomb, applesauce, syrupy caramel, and a bit of black tea, all well-layered, sweet but not overly so, and delivering tons of flavor. A healthy dusting of pie spice and brown sugar carry things into the finish, which is a touch thin but warming with cinnamon and clove. A great winter sipper if there ever was one.
A- / $70 / crownroyal.com