Crown Royal is a Canadian Whisky that was started in 1939. The XO is their newest addition to a venerable lineup. Made from a blend of roughly 50 different whiskies, this blend is finished in Limousin Oak Cognac casks. While there’s no word on where the cognac barrels used to finish this release come from (or how long the whisky spends in those barrels), our best guess is that they come from Hennessy, which Diageo has a distribution relationship with. Dark amber in color, Crown Royal XO has clearly picked up some additional color from its time in cognac barrels. The nose on the XO has many of the traditional Crown Royal aromas including caramel, vanilla (which is a little more shortbread cookie here), and oak, but the oak notes are much deeper and stronger. Along with these traditional aromas are some new ones including dried fruit, iris flower, and ginger, all fairly common cognac/french oak related aromas. The nose on Crown Royal XO is well integrated and inviting without being overly strong or assertive. Clear yellow gold amber color, pale gold in the glass.On swirling it leaves a very thin coat on the glass, forming a crenelated edge quickly then thin legs. Typical Crown Royal and Canadian Whisky hallmarks in general only better, sweet entry,toffee and caramel with nuts, vanilla, then the American oak char hits with a thump with char, tobacco, leather and more char, followed by light,more floral oak notes and hints of dried fruit or cognac and Limousin Oak lightening the oak to a nice lingering finish.
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