Friday, March 21, 2014

Crown Royal Maple

For some reason, Beth got curious when she saw a small bottle of Crown Royal Maple Whisky. She wanted to try it, and wanted me too, as well. I’m not much of a whisky drinker, nor am I enamoured of maple as a flavour. But years in the wine business has left me curious about tasting wine, beer, and even liquor. So I got the bottle and Beth, of course, declined to sample. My opinion stands thus:

Flavoured whiskeys have become rather hot. I like to read industry gobbledygook that features demographics and statistics that declare that every product is on the rise. I do see a certain eagerness about new flavoured spirits. Jack Daniels came up with Tennessee Honey, which seems to have hit a good stride. Our store was tipped off by a customer about a maple whiskey called Cabin Fever. It was made pretty much entirely by one man, who used syrup from his own sugar bush to flavour the whiskey that he made. He has since sold Cabin Fever to Jim Beam, which ensuingly got bought by the Japanese conglomerate Sun Tory. Tra la.

Flavoured vodka of course is a natural since vodka has little flavour on its own. Vodka flavours have devolved, if you ask me, from fruit and vanilla, to whipped cream, bacon and, omg, cigarette. True story, regular cigarettes and menthol.

Flavouring whiskey is a different matter because of whiskey’s already strong character.  The flavouring has to merge with the whiskey flavour. I was a little surprised that Crown entered the flavoured whiskey space. Like it is above such tactics. The market cries out, however.

Anyway, I poured a dollop over ice. I usually don’t like iced drinks but it seemed like the way to try it. When I tried Cabin Fever, the guy—I don’t remember his name—used ice. Cabin Fever is somewhat sweet and the ice mutes that some.

Crown smelled like maple whiskey. I’ve never had straight Crown, but it clearly was a decent whisky aroma. I got interesting fruit aromas, along with the maple. Orange came thru particularly. I do not suspect the addition of orange, that’s just what happens when Crown Royal and maple converge.

There’s some sweetness to the Crown, possibly less than Cabin Fever. It is quite smooth and lingering. It was a pleasant sip. I would drink it again, but probably not buy it again. I express why above, in the third sentence. You might try adding some to maple syrup, for pancakes or whatever. Not me, I put Frank’s Red Hot on my pancakes. I’ll bet other good cooking uses can be made.

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