It’s a Canadian product that managed to make its way into more than one country song. Now Crown Royal is expanding its offerings with Northern Harvest Rye and their Hand Selected Barrel Series. Lucky for us, we got to give both a try this week.
Northern Harvest Rye: With the classic Crown bag and look, this bottle makes a great gift (even if only for yourself). Weighing in at 90 Proof, Crown Royal’s first ever blended rye whiskey got our tasters feeling pretty good. With hints of maple and a smooth taste, this is a sweeter alternative for Crown fans that gets better as you sip. This one will look just as good on your bar as it tastes in your glass. Mix it with coke to tone it down or sip it on the rocks to put some hair on your chest.
Hand Selected Barrel: If you can get your hands on one of these special edition bottles you won’t be disappointed. It smells sweet, almost like vanilla, and tastes like your new favorite whiskey. This one is special because retailers have to buy entire barrels for bottling. The Hand Selected Barrel you buy in LA won’t be exactly the same as the one you buy in Philly, but that just makes it more exciting.
This week’s tasting offered something even more than new Crown Royal. Blade and Bow Bourbon, a new guy on the circuit, also filled our glasses. Named after the two parts of a skeleton key and paying homage to the Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Kentucky, this bourbon is an instant bar staple. It’s smooth, sweet, and boozy with subtle hints of caramel. It’s light with just enough of that smokey taste to remind you of its roots. It can stand alone or be served on the rocks for a refreshing sip after a long day. Out of the three great spirits we tried this week, Blade and Bow gets our highest praise.