Canadian Whisky - Blended

Crown Royal Special Reserve Canadian Blended Whisky

Rating Information

  • Proof66 Rating
    576 / 891
    Rabble Rating
    3.3 / 5.0
    Price (USD)
    $40
    Proof
    80.0

Rating Description

Tier 1
This is a Tier 1 score in the Whiskey category. It means the spirit has won the highest recommendation at least once and probably many times.
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Proof66 Notes

This is Crown's "special gift" to whisky enthusiasts: Distiller Andrew McKay personally selects whiskies blended to create the reserve. The brand itself has been recently re-packaged and re-launched--part of the re-launch involved the whisky going from Special Reserve to merely reserve, which shouldn't bother too many people except those who run websites and try to keep up with the various names. According to Intoxicologist, the blends chosen represent less than 1% of total whisky stock.

Drink Hacker was a fan of this whisky giving it an A- and saying, "Crown Royal Reserve is a very pleasant whisky, surprisingly easy to drink even without water... Nothing too complex, but really quite compelling... and I keep going back to it."

Crown Royal was first produced to in 1939 by Seagram's (then a Canadian company but now defunct with the label owned by Pernod-Ricard) to honor the Canadian tour by British royals King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Crown is probably the mose widely known and certainly one of the more widely available Canadian Whisky on the market. Currently, it's the top-selling Canadian whisky in the United States; the brand itself is owned by the Big Liquor Conglomerate Diageo. The distillery itself is, of course, located in Canada. Some may recall a narrowly averted labor strike in 2007 that would--heaven forfend!--have interrupted whisky production. One time produced in Ontario but moved production to Manitoba in 1992.

San Francisco World Spirits Competition

  • 2005
  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2010
  • 2012

Beverage Testing Institute

  • This bottle has not been rated by this competition.

Wine Enthusiast

  • 2004
  • 2015
This bottle has 11 ratings and 10 reviews.
KaiserSoze KaiserSoze (93) (2015-12-28)
I received this as a gift from a friend who knows I like whisk(e)y. I was excited initially as I've wanted to try both this and the XO for a while. The presentation is very nice. Gold bag and silk strings with a very nice looking bottle. I agree 100% with Phizbin's review - I can't add anything different. By far, the smoothest whiskey I've had (on the rocks). Certainly not bad, but there's just no real aromas and flavors to really pick out and enjoy. Had I actually paid for this, I'd probably knock the score down to a "2". Given my experience with the Reserve, I think I'll pass on the XO altogether.
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Review Comments
Muncher (2015-12-28):
The XO is much better than the Reserve in my humble opinion. It might be worth at least trying a glass of it at a bar.

KaiserSoze (2015-12-29):
Thanks Muncher, I appreciate the suggestion! I'll be sure to give the XO a try after all.

Muncher Muncher (261) (2014-12-21)
A little disappointing all around. The nose is that of a mediocre rum. The palate, while inoffensive, lacks depth and drinks like a cheap Irish whiskey. It can be summed up in 3 words: mild grainy sweetness.....and there's really nothing else that's remarkable about it. I'm perplexed as to who the target market is with this whisky. I mean who's going to spend 50 bucks for a Canadian carbon copy of Jameson or some other cheap Irish bottle?
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leebehar leebehar (2) (2014-01-08)
Sadly this whisky is overpriced and uninspiring. Little complexity and not even the fruity, grainy lightness of regular Crown Royal. Buy it instead.
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Dakota Dakota (136) (2013-08-13)
This is a huge disappointment. Its very expensive and has a unsatisfying taste. Will not buy again.
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NeatPour NeatPour (172) (2013-08-06)
Crown reserve is the perfect whiskey to get people who may have had a couple 'nasty' whiskey shots in college/at bars to overcome their past experiences of 'harsh nastiness'. The whiskey is the equivalent of 'budweiser select' in that it has literally zero bit / after taste. When I think of smooth I think of this (even more so than the venerable blue label)... however it also lacks many (read all) of the flavors/complexities scotch enthusiasts enjoy. My wife & her gf's like this one the best. If you're look for a whiskey training wheels for friends / gals this is my recommendation.
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flintquatch flintquatch (196) (2013-04-05)
Restored my faith after a very mixed experience with crown products in the past. This goes down without bite and has fairly noticable spices in the mix. Only thing that keeps this from reaching my regular rotation is the steep price for what it is
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TheLibrarian TheLibrarian (55) (2010-10-06)
A good whiskey. A bit saltier & spicier than their normal offering. While drinkable, I prefer "regular" Crown.
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Irishman Irishman (268) (2009-06-05)
This is a beautiful thing and the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because it lacked some of the complexities that I enjoy. Very good though.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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Phizbin Phizbin (200) (2009-03-13)
This is one of the most astonishing and unusual whiskies I've ever tasted.

It is so smooth--so silky smooth--it almost has no taste. After you swallow, you really can't tell if you've swallowed or not. It has no burn.

And it almost has no flavor. It's a testament to how smooth a whisky can be but, in the end, it's kind of characterless. It's like stabbing yourself after you've been numbed in a certain area--it should hurt, but you can't feel a thing.

Weird.

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danurdan danurdan (18) (2009-03-13)
Very smooth and absolutely no aftertaste. An outstanding sipping whiskey, that almost suffers from it's own high quality. It's SO smooth that it's easy to forget you are sipping whiskey.
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We are currently working on tagging every bottle on our site with keywords (that's over 7,000 bottles!), but we haven't made it to this bottle yet.
Here are the barcodes we have collected from various sizes of this bottle. If you have additional barcodes please submit them to us!
  • 087000202436
  • 087000201330
  • 087000003354
  • 087000202238
  • 087000201576
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