Crown Royal Reserve - you know it's premium because it comes in a spiffy gold velvet bag, rather than the pedestrian royal purple of its little brother. Luckily, there's a lot more to it than a marketing gimmick - the reserve is blended from a selection of the top few percent of young whiskys at Crown Royal, and aged for longer than the original. Does it make a difference?
Well, in a word, yes. The color is a very deep amber, and the aroma is subdued and sweet - honey and molasses, with some fruit and floral notes. The flavor is also fairly mellow, but with a surprising and interesting rye kick immediately demanding notice. It's a little bit discordant with the rest of what's on the palate - honey, nougat, vanilla, and some spice - but still enjoyable.
I unfortunately don't have any regular Crown Royal around, so I can't do a side-by-side comparison, but if my memory is accurate, this is much better. Smooth and drinkable, with just enough complexity to keep things from getting too boring. Canadian whisky isn't really my bag, but I haven't found a better one than this.
Overall Quality: 16/20