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Crown Royal De Luxe

Review: Crown Royal De Luxe Canadian Whisky  83.5/100
a review  by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
February 04, 2016

Crown Royal®Canadian Whisky is currently produced in Gimli, Manitoba, at the Crown Royal Distillery. The distillery and the brand are owned by the global spirits conglomerate Diageo, and I think it is fair to say that Crown Royal is Diageo’s flagship Canadian whisky. The brand was introduced in 1939 (by Samuel Bronfman of Seagrams) as a special whisky bottling to commemorate the Royal Tour of Canada by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth who traveled across the Country by train that year. (Apparently, the train carrying the Royal Couple was stocked with 10 cases of the new Crown Royal Blend.) Until 1964, the whisky was only available in Canada; however, today it is available world-wide, and is in fact the number one Canadian whisky brand sold in Canada and the USA by value. (I believe Canadian Club is still the number one brand in Canada by volume.)

Crown Royal De Luxe is the company’s flagship brand said to be blended from 50 selected whiskies. These selected whiskies are made from milled corn, rye and malted barley, and aged in a mixture of seasoned and new white oak barrels. The final blended whisky is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

crown-royal-sam_2753In the Bottle   4.5/5

Crown Royal De Luxe 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   8.5/10

The whisky is a vibrant amber colour in my glass. When I tilt and twirl my glencairn I see only a light sheen of whisky on the inside of the glass with small droplets forming at the crest. It takes only a little while for slender legs to fall.

In the past this blend was very corn forward, it seems that this year (2016) more rye is apparent as breezes above the glass reveal a mixture of both corn and obvious rye grain. There is a nice mixture of lightly sweet caramel and oak sap melding into those corn and rye scents with some dusty dry wood and grain spices following.

In the Mouth  50/60

The whisky is a little soft and buttery in the mouth. I taste a light butterscotch sweetness complimented by an accompanying rye-like bitterness. The two opposing facets of flavour work very well together. There is an underlying dankness of corn, and we also taste accents of oak spices, vanilla, a touch of cinnamon, and a light marzipan. Adding a bit of ice to the glass reveals some nice underlying chocolate flavours.

In previous visits to the flagship Crown Royal whisky, I would have begun with cola rather than with ginger ale as my initial mixing soda. This is because corn works well with cola, and rye works well with ginger-ale (at least for me). This time however, my inclination is to go with the ginger-ale. The result is a nice bar drink, I could happily sip on my back deck this summer (see down below). Of course, Crown and Coke is delicious as well.

In the Throat   12/15

The finish is short and brings a light burn to the back of the palate and throat. The exit flavours are lightly sweet toffee followed by white pepper. With ice added, I begin to taste more chocolate.

The Afterburn     8.5/10

Crown Royal Seems to have improved over the last six years. I found that over ice I could happily sip the spirit, although it is true that I will be adding ginger ale or cola more often than not.

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


Suggested Serving:

Crown Royal Splash SAM_2394Crown Royal Whisky Splash

2 oz Crown Royal De Luxe
2 or 3 Large Ice-cubes
Splash of Ginger-ale
Slice of Lime

Add the Ice-cubes to a rocks glass
Pour the Whisky over the ice
Add a splash of Ginger Ale
Garnish with a lime slice

Note: If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!


 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 De Luxe”

  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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