On 1st July 2017, Canadians worldwide celebrated 150 years of independence from British rule. Having a Canadian amongst our midst within the WU troop, there was no better opportunity to celebrate all things Canadian than with a barbecue, a 17 hour playlist of Canadian tunes, an air hockey tournament and some sweet, sweet Canadian whisky. Not only was the day full of celebration, but with whisky geeks in tow, it was time for our Canuck to bring out the big guns and here we have it: Jim Murray’s Whiskey of the Year for 2016 – Crown Royal’s Northern Harvest Rye, brought to Blighty from the land whenst it came. The bottle boasts that this expression is a blend crafted from a mash of 90% rye to create an “extraordinarily smooth” dram with tastes of “fruit, cloves and spice”. Well, that’s put that to the test…
M: Strong booze on the nose. Really sticky sweet with a bit of liquorice.
M: Totally sweet with corn syrup-like flavours upfront with that thick rye kind of spice cutting right through.
M: A boozy brash finish that I was not expecting from the world’s best whisky. Strong Demerara sugar sweetness and depth followed by that liquorice/aniseed flavour lingering for a long, long time.
M: I’m still not that versed in rye whiskies, but this seems to have taken the rye flavours that I do recognise and has amped them up to 11, with some popcorn sweetness added in to try and balance it out. It’s sweet, it’s dry, it’s got a herby kinda spice to it. It’s lingering. It’s intriguing. It’s not my cup of tea, if I’m being honest! Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t dislike BUT I’m willing to explore further – is it the best rye out there? According to Jim Murray it is. But I’m not him and I’m going to have to explore more rye whiskies to prove a point (it’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it) Only then, if our glorious Canadian doesn’t finish it off first, might I come back again to see what I’ve learned.