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Crown Royal Whisky

Review: Crown Royal Canadian Whisky  81/100
a review  by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted February 4, 2010

In the Bottle   5/5

Crown Royal Whisky has a rather unique crown shaped bottle which makes it immediately noticeable on my liquor shelf.  The bottles are sometimes sold in a nice royal blue box with a royal blue/purple cloth bag with golden drawstrings that the bottle can be placed inside.  The presentation is topped with a gold coloured cap which also is shaped like a crown.

In the Glass   8/10

Crown royal is a vibrant amber coloured liquid in my glass.  Very little oil is apparent on the sides of my glass  when I swirl it but I do detect very small skinny legs forming.  The aroma from the glass is what I would describe as dank and corn filled.  It has a stronger aroma than the Crown Royal Reserve which I reviewed last week.  There is more vanilla and corn on the nose and less rye.

In the Mouth   48/60

The Crown Royal is a little soft and buttery in the mouth.  It has that same underlying punky flavour which I described as somehow acrid and vegetal at the same time when I reviewed the Crown Reserve.  This flavour is stronger in the regular Crown Royal, than in the Reserve and elements of corn whisky come to mind.  Beside this dank flavour are oak spices and a sweeter vanilla.   The sweetness is perhaps a little too strong and seems to feed that punkiness I described earlier.  I switched things up a little and added an ice-cube to the whisky and the change was very nice.  The ice mutes the sweetness making this a much nicer drink.

In the Throat   12/15

The finish is somewhat harsh on the throat.   The sweetness seems become a little bitter in the back of the palate after the liquid is gone.  Again, with ice added the experience is much nicer.

The Afterburn     8/10

I found the Crown Royal very difficult to drink neat.  It was a little too harsh and the flavours seemed almost sweet then sour in my mouth.  The addition of one ice-cube worked wonders for the drink and ‘on the rocks’ the Crown Royal was quite nice.  I do however; believe most persons will find this whisky to be more suited to their mixer bar.

You may read some of my other Whisky Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.


Suggested Cocktail

My first suggestion for Crown Royal is a simple Crown and Coke highball.  Although this may not be considered an elegant cocktail, it is nonetheless a great way to drink the Crown Royal.  I have found that Coca Cola is a great mixer for whiskies with a bit of corn in the flavour profile.

Simple Crown and Coke

1 ½ ounces of Crown Royal Canadian Whisky
Poured over ice into a rocks glass
Add Coca cola to taste
Garnish with a Slice of Lime

My second Suggestion is perhaps a little more like a true cocktail:

The Apple Jack

11/2 oz  Crown Royal Whisky
1/2 oz Calvados (Apple Brandy)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2  tsp sugar syrup
Macintosh Apple Slices

Place the first four ingredients in a mixing glass with ice
Mix well, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Add one ice-cube
Garnish and serve with cinnamon sprinkled apple slices (Use a Macintosh Apple)


As always you may interpret the scores I provide as follows.

0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be more familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

8 Responses to “Crown Royal Whisky”

  1. Robert Jordan said

    Have you tried/reviewed Crown Royal Black yet? I have had it several times and would like to know what you thought of it.

    • I tasted the Crown Royal Black only once when a friend brought a bottle over and I tasted it side by side with the Forty Creek Confederation Oak. The Forty Creek Confederation Oak was in my mind significantly better in quality and taste. With only one taste to draw draw conclusions from though you should take what I say with a grain of salt. Many drams improve significantly in my estimation when I get to know them better. Maybe one day Diageo will spring for a bottle of the Black and I can do a proper review in my tasting room.

  2. William said

    Actually CR makes a Limited Edition, the bottle is engraved instead of a sticker slapped onto the bottle, I ended up with a couple bottles of the Limited Edition, and I have to say it was very good. For some reason its not sold in the U.S…

    • Whisky lover said

      From time to time you can find it on ebay…..just go to ebay and search crown royal limited edition whisky.

      • Robert Jordan said

        You can find Crown Royal Limted Edition in stores. At least in Alberta.

        • I suppose I could find it in the stores Robert, but right now I have over 15 bottles of various spirits sent to me by various companies who want me to review their products, (and every week it seems I receive at lease 2 or three more). Last May when the samples started to pile up I made the policy to review industry samples on a fist come, first serve basis. It would be unfair to the companies that support my website with samples to ignore their samples and review items which have not even been sent to me.

          Diageo (who own Crown) are aware of my website, and they have given a few samples so a review of Black is not out of the question. But I will not buy a bottle when others are waiting in line.

  3. Greg said

    Has anyone tried the Crown Royal Limited edition? I see one bottle on ebay!

    • If you mean the Crown Royal XR, I have indeed tried it and my review will be available soon. If you like the Crown Royal style, this is a nice super premium whisky for your shelf.


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