Crown Royal Bourbon Mash

Posted: 2019-02-12 in Uncategorized
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I’m going to try a new thing here:  Reviewing and tracking different whiskies and cocktails on this site, as I don’t really have a good place to do so on my phone.  Sure, I can write everything down with pencil and paper, but that would mean that I’d have to carry a pen and paper with me all the time.  I’ve already got the collective experience of humanity in my pocket (via my smartphone), so keeping the WordPress app on my phone isn’t encumbering me any more than normal (phone, wallet, keys…pack light).  I’ll keep these puppies tagged as Whiskey or something.

Recently, I picked up a bottle of Crown Royal’s Bourbon Mash whisky.  Being that Bourbon (per US and international law) is at least 51% corn in the mashbill, aged to at least 2 years in a new, charred, white-oak barrel, and made in the United States, anything made in Canada cannot be called “bourbon,” which has led to some legal issues on Crown’s part (per the Austin Whiskey Vault on Youtube).  Typically, Canadian whiskies are blends.  One unique thing that Canada does with blending is to portion out percentages of liquid when blending bottles.  An American bourbon may have 75% corn, 15% rye, and 10% wheat on the mashbill, meaning that the types of grains used are portioned out 75/15/10 by grain.  As I understand the Canadian blending, they’ll make 100 gallons of pure corn whiskey, 100 gallons of pure rye whiskey, and 100 gallons of pure rye whiskey, then take percentages of the volume of liquid…so, 75 gallons of that corn whiskey, 15 gallons of rye, and 10 gallons of wheat into a new 100-gallon vat, then it’ll get bottled and put on the shelves of your local Kwik-E-Mart.  But, going back to that bourbon designation, there are apparently a few legal ramifications for this whiskey that might see it taken off the market within a year.  If you buy it, and if you like it, you may wanna pick up a few extra bottles.  And, at $20 a fifth, it’s not gonna break the bank (for reference, Jim Beam is about $22 local to me, and Jack Daniels is about $25).

This pertains to my review because CR’s Bourbon Mash Whisky is not a bourbon, nor is it actually indicated as to how it’s blended.  But, it is a blend.  Austin Whiskey Vault described it as “budget bourbon,” but I think a more apt description would be “Bourbon Lite.”  In true Crown fashion, it’s super clean and super smooth; almost unremarkable.  But, while normal Crown tastes like a leather belt, the Bourbon Mash actually does taste like a bourbon.

Whiskey Vault describes the nose as heavy in black licorice.  My wife compared it to the flavor of bubblegum.  I thought of circus peanuts, or the overarching scent of the candy-and-comic-book store that my Dad used to take us to.  Later on, I began smelling something like a pack of Twizzlers.  Neither my wife or I ever got the heavy black licorice scent that Whiskey Vault mentioned.  I got a tiny, tiny whiff of black licorice if I began smelling the glass, then moved it straight downward from my nose while still inhaling.

Then, the flavor.  It has all the right flavors for a bourbon; the caramel/vanilla of the barrel, the sweetness of the corn, the spice of the booze.  I got a little of that candy on the front end, to the point where it almost reminded me of Hochstadter’s Slow And Low.  But, it was a very clean taste, and nothing really lingered on my palate.  I mentioned above that it was almost unremarkable.  I don’t want to disparage this whiskey, or put down the hard work and pride that the Crown Royal employees have put into this, but I found that I just couldn’t get as into it as I wanted to.  It’s good, and I’m definitely excited to go down this rabbit hole of Canadian whisky, but I want to play around with this and see if I can make it more.  I’ve got a few cocktail recipes I’m excited to try with this whiskey and see if it’ll amplify itself.

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