Tasting: Crown Royal Northern Harvest

My first tasting post, on account of the Jim Murray-fueled scarcity of this whiskey.

Northern Harvest Tasting

Crown Royal Northern Harvest 45% ABV

Canadian Whiskey; Gimli, Manitoba, Canada

Colour: Rich Orange.

Body: Syrupy. Clings to the glass with an iron grip.

Nose: Restrained. Sherry, woody and cinnamon like from French oak, slightly sour but soft cereal notes. Candied orange peel. Opens up significantly with just a couple of drops of water.

Palate: Very oily. A sweet wash of stone fruits, mostly apricot. Dusty. Remarkably smooth with little heat. Hard to believe it is 45% ABV.

Finish: Warm spices, nutmeg, ginger, and a little cherry as if from a bourbon. Very long. The alcohol is felt here but still feels far less than the ABV suggests.

Overall: Did someone get Macallan in my Crown Royal? The harmony of the flavours here elevate this Crown Royal offering to, ahem, regal heights. Even though the mash bill is 90% rye, the rye character of this whiskey is subdued, resulting in something quite unique.

So…’Best Whiskey In The World’? Truly I think it’s foolish to say that for any whiskey. This is an excellent whiskey, with a rich and unique character. It is rye-like, scotch-like, and bourbon-like, nurturing traits of each of these great whiskies. It is though greater than the sum of its parts and should be enjoyed for the unique character it offers.

Happy foraging!


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Whisky Forager

I collect whisky. I like good prices for whisky. Living in Toronto doesn’t often allow for both but I'm lucky enough to travel a lot for work. I get to shop around for whisky and I want to share the good buying opportunities that I come across. That’s the premise. I’m not writing about tasting or grading whisky, there’s plenty of other sources for those opinions. I just want to share opportune finds for quality bottles at below market prices. A couple of years ago after discovering a pricing discrepancy at LCBO that provided a few deeply discounted bottles for my collection, I realized that there are lots of opportunities to purchase good single malts at a discount price. And not just outside of Canada but also sometimes in Ontario. It may be hard to believe, but the LCBO can be your ally just as often as it’s your nemesis. This is not a commercial site, I only share my finds based on my own opinions of good prices and good bottles.

2 thoughts on “Tasting: Crown Royal Northern Harvest”

  1. I wish I had a better grip as to what ‘rye-like’ tastes like. Here in Aus we have access to Scotch, to bourbon – and to our own (amazing) home-grown whisky. But out access to even the plainest of rye-based spirit is sadly limited. I’m glad you enjoyed Jim Murray’s latest pick. I hope one day I can discover what the fuss is about!
    Keep on waffling,


    1. That’s truly unfortunate that your access to rye whiskey is limited. Here in Ontario we suffer the reciprocal problem: no Aus whiskies! Last year I saw a few bottles of Hellyer’s but that’s it, they were never replenished. I’ve read about the quality is of Aus whiskies and see periodic reviews so I do hope to be able to find some without having to make the trip all the way there!


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