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Crown Royal launches Northern Harvest Rye

Diageo’s Canadian whiskey brand Crown Royal is launching Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye, its first blended rye whisky, and expanding its Hand Selected Barrel programme.

“With rye whiskies serving as integral components of the Crown Royal Deluxe blend for more than 75 years, it was a natural and authentic extension to provide our loyal fans a rye offering,” says Yvonne Briese, VP marketing, Diageo North American Whiskey. “There is also a tremendous growth opportunity within the rye category as consumers gravitate toward quality products they know and trust while experimenting with pre-Prohibition era cocktails.” 

The distinct Canadian climate provides the ideal conditions for growing rye grains. This is because the grains are planted in the autumn, then blanketed with snow during the harsh winter months and only finish their growth cycle once they have sprouted throughout spring and summer. The extra time the grains take to fully mature results in flavourful hints of fruit, cloves and spice.

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye has a very smooth and spicy flavour profile that can be mixed into traditional rye cocktails, such as the Manhattan or Old Fashioned.  Available at 90 proof / 45% ABV, Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye will be sold at a RRP of US$29.99 for a 750ml bottle.

To further enhance its portfolio, Crown Royal will also expand its Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel whisky program to select markets across the country. First offered exclusively in Texas, Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel features the heart of the Crown Royal blend, a Coffey Rye whisky, a single barrel liquid that is produced from the brand’s unique Coffey Rye Still, the only known still of its kind in North America, located in Gimli, Manitoba.

This is the first national rollout of a barrel program by the Crown Royal brand, where select retailers are able to purchase an entire barrel for their whisky enthusiasts to enjoy.  To commemorate the purchase, every bottle produced from the barrel will also feature a personalised medallion denoting the retail location.  Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel is 103 proof / 51.5% ABV and will be sold at a RRP of US$54.99 for a 750ml bottle.

Both Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye and Hand Selected Barrel include a box and a felt bag, two packaging features consumers have grown to know and love. 

16 May 2015 - Felicity Murray Th Drinks Report, editor