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Canadian Whisky Rated A Rated A- Reviews Whiskey

Review: Crown Royal Cask No. 16 and XR “Red Label


Two additional Crown Royal bottlings for your consideration. This classic  Canadian whisky continues to expand its portfolio upward and onward, with rarer and more expensive blends. (See also our review of Crown Royal Reserve.) Both of the below whiskies land at a perfectly accessible 80 proof.

Crown Royal Cask No. 16 – This is a very unusual whisky, a blend of 50 different whiskys that are then brought together to age in old cognac casks made from French oak. (The “16” comes from a stamp put on the casks to indicate their place of origin and authenticity.) Served neat, you get fruit notes and a good slug of vanilla. Very smooth, it’s a fine whisky. Crown Royal recommends it served on the rocks, but I preferred it at room temperature. The cold brought out some bitterness which I found disagreeable. A / $100

Crown Royal XR Extra Rare – A curious blend of bourbon and rye characters, this spicy number carries an initial punch of vanilla, then backs it up with strong rye grain notes. It’s creamy in body, but the finish fades quickly, leaving you with a modest, oaky note. It’s good enough, but I think the #16 is a better, more interesting, and better balanced whisky. For your $180, though, you will at least get a great story to tell: The XR was crafted from whatever rare whiskys that they managed to save when one of Crown Royal’s distilleries, Waterloo Distillery, burned down. So, yeah, that’s pretty rare. A- / $180


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Crown Royal XR Extra Rare



Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content company.

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  1. michelle morris February 9, 2009

    where can I purchase a gift set with Crown Royal cask no 16, XR, special reserveand black lablel.

  2. bill October 22, 2009

    I like cask 16 and have never paid over $60 +CA tax.

    I did just buy 3 bottles for $52.32 delivered and NO tax.

    Like mine in a brandy snifter after a steak dinner.

  3. rob November 6, 2009

    cask 16 @bottle king in nj 4 $30 bucks!!!

  4. Rich December 31, 2009

    Where did you buy the cask #16 @ $53.00/bottle……come clean my man!!!!

  5. Christopher Null December 31, 2009

    You can find it for $60 online pretty easily…

  6. chris skelly March 21, 2010

    I bought a bottle of cr xr and it was absolutley great i intend to by another one very soon although i still have some left because i have been nursing it since super bowl 44 it is great i want no need more.

  7. Michael Walther June 12, 2010

    I have been a big Crown Royal fan since 1978. I have tried all the blends except for Cask 16. I was unimpressed with XR as I was expecting something better in smoothness than Crown Royal Special Reserve.

    Recently I purchased a bottle of Crown Royal Black and was impressed with it’s extra body and oak heritage. Being a higher proof 90 I was surprised by it’s faithfulness the Crown Royal history.

  8. FuzzyDog August 11, 2010

    Impressed ! Neat ! Ice did it no good. Paid $ 44.95 in Southern Maryland.

  9. BENweezyKU September 14, 2010

    I disagree completely with the article. The XR is absolutely more than amazing and to have your hands on a bottle of it is a present in itself. The presentation of the box, gorgeous red bag, and gold bed that it sits on is something to put on display for all to see. For only being 22 years old you might find my opinion to be nonsense. I have tasted all the crown, and I believe the black is ok, the special reserve to be pretty special for its dollar, the cask no 16 is phenomenal but i feel for the dollar if you are going to spend the money, and have the chance, the XR is the way to go. On my 3rd bottle now, and i think one ice cube in it serves as no threat to all the different flavor profiles that are offered. I still believe Remy Louis XIII is by far the finest beverage known to man and especially at a restaurant when you order it and the manager has to serve it to you and places on top of the warm brandy glass just draws all attention to you and the bottle.

  10. Jimmy Z November 29, 2010

    I have been a loyal CR drinker for many years, mainly mixed with cola or Squirt. More recently…..in my older age where quality rather than quantity is more important…..I have been enjoying it on the rocks or mixed with a little water. I have had a few bottles of Special Reserve and really enjoyed it but at almost 2x the cost of regular CR not sure if it is worth it. Always wanted to try the Cask 16 but could never pull the trigger on the $70 to $80 (although I see here it may be possible to get for $50 to $60) Never even considered the XR that the owner of my company always talks up. At $150 and up, it may be in his budget – but not mine. Anyway, to make a long story even longer, I was at the in-laws this past Thanksgiving and found a great liquor store in Missouri that is right on the boarder of a dry county in Arkansas – found XR on sale for $82 and couldn’t pass it up! Now I just hope someday I can bring myself to take it off the display shelf, open the bottle and try it.

  11. Mark R. October 1, 2011

    I have been a neat whiskey drinker for 25 years and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the great taste and smooth finish. I have tried many whiskeys but this is the best I have tasted so far also the most expensive. I feel the price wasn’t out of line and would recommend it.

  12. John October 23, 2011

    I just purchased a bottle of No. 16 in WY for 89.99, after state tax was close to 100.

  13. Andrew February 9, 2013

    79.99 cask no. 16 good times.

  14. Craig Logan March 25, 2016

    I really enjoyed Crown Royal XR red from their Waterloo distillery. So much so in Canada where I live it was $200 with taxes so I bought it every time I went to Grand Forks for $115 and $107 and no taxes. Now I have 22 bottles of XR red and now have stopped drinking. My kids will get it when I,m gone. I,m 66 so I hope it won,t be for a few years yet. It is very smooth and I drank it on the rocks, no water.

    1. bill December 16, 2017

      i would be interested in buying some of these if your selling any

  15. m. ethier June 4, 2019

    I have a bootle of the crown royal xr red mint in the box I bought in 2007


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