So this is Jim Murray’s 2016 World Whisky of the year… Kinda makes me proud to be Canadian!
I have long expressed my love for whiskies produced in the True North, Strong and Free, as well as my opinion that our best can hold their own against offerings from anywhere else. Nevertheless, it certainly is nice to see our whiskies getting a little love today, especially the rye-forward style Canadian drams are known for. Upon reading that Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye had been given top marks in the latest Whisky Bible, I set out get my hands on a bottle. In my fourth stop, I found what I was looking for, too.
Traditionally, I have not been a huge Crown Royal fan. Don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty hard to genuinely dislike “Crown”; it’s worldwide popularity is no coincidence! For me personally, however, I have never really found enough value in Crown Royal – I know of less expensive whiskies for mixing and I prefer several other examples of Canadian whisky for sipping neat. (Visit some of my older postings for reviews of some really excellent Canadian drops, from 100% rye whiskies to 20 & 30 year expressions that cost about the same as a regular bottle of Crown Royal.)
In recent years, a wide variety of new expressions have been released by the Gimli, Manitoba distillery. From a “black” expression to maple and even apple flavoured versions, it seems that there has been an effort to develop a Crown Royal for every palate. I have not yet found mine but, with the new revelation of Northern Harvest Rye being crowned (Dammit, I couldn’t help myself!) the world champ for 2016, perhaps this will be the one.
Here’s what Jim Murray has to say about this whisky:
This year, doubtless there will be many more eyebrows raised because rarely is Canada mentioned when it comes to the world’s top whiskies. But, again, I have no doubt people finding the bottling I tasted will be blown away with this whisky’s uncompromising and unique beauty. It certainly puts the rye into Canadian rye.
Well, we shall see soon enough I suppose! I have my bottle and am excited to conduct my own review to find out whether I can agree with Mr. Murray on this one.