Crown Royal is celebrating their 75th anniversary with a special limited edition blend that elevates the classic Canadian whisky with specially selected stocks, and it arrived just in time for the holidays.
Crown Royal started out in 1939 when the royal couple, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, took a train across North America, and one intrepid Canadian entrepreneur prepared a special whisky that came in a purple bag to represent the robes worn by royalty. At the time, the train was stocked with 10 cases of the whisky, and the brand grew from there as news spread about the wonderfully blended new spirit, and how well it was received on the royal train.
To launch Crown Royal 75th Anniversary Blend, also known as the Monarch Blend, Crown Royal Master Blender Joanna Scandella hosted a special launch event in Toronto where she spoke about the limited edition, and how it differs from the classic whisky.
In honour of the whisky’s tradition, Scandella chose a range of quality stock to make Crown Royal Monarch 75th Anniversary Blend, including stock that she said dated back to when the company was still in Waterloo, Ontario, which suggests that elements of the blend were over 20 years old. To top it off, Scandella said during the event that specially selected batches from their Coffey still were used to complete the flavour of the whisky, just like in their normal blending process, but with a little more emphasis on the Coffey whisky.
On the outside, Crown Royal Monarch blend has the same colour as classic Crown Royal, but it comes in a special bottle that is more sophisticated and looks sharply elegant, like it’s been dressed up for a night on the town. The bottle is wrapped in a special silver bag, to mark the anniversary, which is in an unique display box, and every bottle is individually numbered.
On the nose, the whisky is similar to classic Crown Royal, aside from an aroma that has a hint more sweetness, like ripe fruit, and flowing caramel, but it smells and tastes more refined.
Once you take a drink of Crown Royal Monarch blend, the differences emerge as the whisky opens up on your tongue. The whisky is incredibly smooth, with a hint of vanilla on caramel, and perhaps a hint of dried figs, with an extra spicy finish. It tastes as a fine Canadian whisky should–it’s an elevated edition for the special anniversary–but it’s also still a whisky that you can mix, like in the “King George” they served at the event, which combined lemon juice, cranberry juice, maple syrup, and the Crown Royal 75th anniversary blend.
Above all, the whisky is delicious, whether you mix it, or drink it neat, or on the rocks. Sampling it neat, I was impressed with how smooth it is, especially for a $75 whisky, and it seems like it should have been priced a little higher. As it is a limited edition, it could disappear off store shelves at any time, so for fans of Crown Royal who want to enjoy the unique experience, or for anyone looking for a great last-minute host gift, or gift for the holidays, I would recommend picking it up.
As a long time fan of Crown Royal I may be biased, but the Crown Royal 75th Anniversary Blend is fantastic.
Event photos by W. Andrew Powell.