Crown Royal’s XR (Extra Rare) offerings are worthy of their elitist namesake. The first 2006 iteration was composed only of the scant remaining whiskeys saved from their Waterloo distillery, which burned down in 1993. Don’t hold out for a bottle of the 2006 XR, though. The limited run bottles have all either been safely stored away in buyers’ cabinets or drunk, savored and expelled.
But mourn not: Crown Royal’s Crown Royal XR Extra Rare — 2012 LaSalle Distillery Release ($130), the first XR since 2006, is fresh on the shelves. No, there wasn’t another fire. But this XR still carries a cool, limiting history: LaSalle Distillery was the very first opened by the Bronfman family, founders of the original Crown Royal in 1939, and the whiskeys used in the 2012 release are some of the distillery’s last — it closed in 2003. Crown Royal Master Blender Andrew MacKay’s blend echoes dried fruit and honey, finishing with the spice of Canadian rye, raisins, cocoa and brown sugar. Almost sounds like the ingredients list for a delicious cake, right? We want to have our cake, and drink it too.
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