Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye

Who could forget 2016’s “Whisky of the Year?” A lot of folks, apparently. In an age when people are hoarding 4-year sourced bourbon bottled by Costco, Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye literally collects dust. What gives–actually, who cares? It was a $25, no-hassle purchase.

Pour: Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye
Proof: 90
Age: not stated
Color: amber
Nose: honey-lemon, vanilla frosting, fruit salad
Taste: sugar wafer, citrus & floral notes, lightly toasted coconut
Finish: moderate length w/ baking spice, Necco wafer, faint oak & pepper

Overall: I wouldn’t consider Northern Harvest Rye an awards contender, but damn if it ain’t half bad. Seriously, I could see myself buying this whisky again. It’s well-balanced, pleasantly sweet, and sprinkled with a fair dollop of spice. Works for me.

Rating: Royal Ryet.

Pendleton 1910

For years, Pendleton 1910 was a bottle often seen but never purchased. After tasting a generous sample, I enjoyed it enough to acquire a bottle for myself. $40 for a 12-year Canadian rye whisky … not bad. Sure, it’s only 80 proof, but ABV alone hardly defines quality.

Pour: Pendleton 1910 Canadian Rye Whisky
Proof: 80
Age: 12 years
Color: rich amber
Nose: woody honey, Necco wafers, cream soda
Taste: vanilla syrup, gentle oak, mild baking spice
Finish: moderately short – maraschino cherry, brown sugar, rye bread

Overall: Quite satisfying. In many ways, a darker, woodier, creamier Crown Royal Reserve. I wouldn’t call 1910 Rye a bourbon substitute, but the sweet oak character is certainly relative. If WhistlePig’s rye isn’t your jam, Pendleton is a worthy alternative.

Rating: Alryet.

J. P. Wiser’s Rye

I spotted a J. P. Wiser’s Blended Canadian Rye 50ml mini bottle at my local bottle shop the other day and thought, why not? I’ve been continually impressed with Dr. Don, and Lot 40 Cask Strength is amazing. J. P. Wiser’s Rye should at least be solid, right? We shall see.

Pour: J. P. Wiser’s Blended Canadian Rye Whisky
Proof: 80
Age: not stated
Color: straw
Nose: dried apricot, pear, honeydew melon
Taste: lemon icing, cake batter, freshly cut pine
Finish: moderately short – fruit rollup, bitter-sour “zing,” astringent oak

Overall: Not exactly what I was expecting. Manageable, yet not very pleasant all the same. I’m no Canadian whisky expert, but I’m assuming J. P. Wiser’s Rye is an everyday mixing whisky. Even if, with that finish you might want to venture out a bit.

Rating: Seek wiser options.