Crown Royal Review

Crown Royal Review

Crown Royal was among the first whiskies I drank. The bottle looked impressive at parties in college and it made a nice shooting companion next to the obligatory Jack and Jim. Plus we thought the signature purple bag was petty “on fleek” as I hear the kids say today and we used them for everything one could think of. My favorite was to hold my gaming dice (yes I’m a gaming geek too), but we also used them to hold laundry quarters, as chalk bags when we went rock climbing in the wilds of Wyoming or spare spikes, studs and band patches for our jackets.

Seagram’s first introduced Crown Royal in 1939 to celebrate King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visiting Canada and it remained a Canadian only product until 1964. The beverage giant Diageo acquired the Crown Royal brand in 2000 when Seagram’s was dissolved and since then there have been numerous versions and variations of the original released. Like most Canadian whisky it’s a blend of different grain whiskies of various ages.

Crown Royal Info

Region: Manitoba, Canada

Distiller: Crown Royal
Age: NAS
ABV: 40%

Price: $24 (750 ml)

Crown Royal Review

EYE
Med caramel

NOSE
Cloying caramel, light fruit, light citrus and a light nuttiness create the initial aroma on this light whisky. Some light notes of raw grain, brown sugar and an ethereal vanilla bring up the rear. The whole thing gets topped off with a funky raw note that makes me wonder what the ratio of young to old whisky is in here.

PALATE
Cloying caramel, citrus, vanilla, fruit and a doughy caky quality mix and mingle with a watery sweetness and maple syrup while a brooding raw grain haunts the background.

FINISH
Caramel syrup, vanilla, candy corn, watery maple and raw grain bleed out in a long slow finish that turns cloying.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Balance isn’t that great; feels like it’s lacking in the cohesion department. Medium body and a soft watery texture with only a minor burn.

OVERALL
I haven’t had Crown Royal in about 5 years but after the recent tastes of the Northern Harvest Rye and Hand Selected Barrel I thought I’d pop on down to a shop I know carries the 375s for cheap and give it a try… kinda wish I didn’t. The standard release doesn’t have the amazing complexity and deep robust flavors of the Hand Selected, nor does it have any of the approachable subtle notes of the Harvest Rye. It does work well in cocktails, but unfortunately my “21 year old” memories seem to be a bit more fond of this than my 34 year old senses are of this one.

SCORE: 76/100

Crown Royal Review - Score Breakdown
  • Nose - 76
  • Palate - 76
  • Finish - 76
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 76

Value

Crown Royal isn’t something I’d buy to drink straight, but it works very well in Canadian whisky cocktails. An excellent mixer

Crown Royal Label

Josh Peters
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Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters
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15 Responses to Crown Royal Review

  1. This along with Jack Daniel’s used to be my go-to whiskey’s. I can’t stand this whisky anymore and believe it is grossly overrated. I do still enjoy JD, but I’ve moved on to Scotch and small/&single barrel bourbons.

  2. Ah well, they can’t all be Highland Park 25’s and The Glenlivet Archive 21’s, doggone it!

    It would be nice, though, wouldn’t it? 🙂

  3. Those bags sold so many of those bottles. I don’t know why others didn’t do similar.

    Crown Royal is high school whiskey to me. The most I’ve ever had was at the OU-Texas football game in Dallas in 1987. I was 19, my dad gave me passes to an oil company hospitality tent at the Texas State Fair where you could pour your own crown and coke in as many red plastic cups as you could carry out and I went and watched the game with about four of them. For that, it works well, but hell, what wouldn’t?

    Caught a field goal that day, too. Gave the ball to a kid.

  4. Rebel Yell used to put its bourbon in white bags very similar to Crown Royal bags back in the eighties… you can put lipstick on a pig and get more money for it

  5. Oh yeah by the way how many different kinds of Crown Royal are there now probably at least 20 they are running out of colors to make the bags. I do like the Black Label I will admit

    • I see those get put up on auction sites and whiskey trading sites every now and then and unfortunately they never go for much more than what a current bottle of Crown Royal goes for. Best idea would be to open it up and enjoy it.

  6. Agree with other reviewers that the Crown Royal Black is a very tasty, richer choice in the Canadian whiskey isle. Nothing wrong with regular CR, it’s just so light in flavor. Sometimes that’s just what you want, but for those who want a little change from bourbon that retains a bourbon like character and body, give CRB a try. I picked up a 375 thinking I probably wouldn’t care for it, but I was pleasantly surprised. I’ll buy this one again just for a little change of pace.

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