Skip to main content

Crown Royal: 5 Best Flavors & 3 Alternatives + Recipes

Crown Royal is possibly the best-known Canadian whisky in the world. In this article we’ll look into what makes Crown Royal such a popular choice for whiskies, which flavors to try, and which you’d be better avoid. We’ll also give you recipe hacks for making your own drinks with your favorite Crown Royal whisky.

Created to impress King George VI and Queen Elizabeth back in 1939, it’s only gained more fans since. Since those early days, the brand has expanded to include different flavors and varieties. However, the packaging with its hues of purple and gold to symbolize royalty has largely remained the same.

Today, Crown Royal remains one of the most popular and recognizable whisky brands. The company are well-known for the quality and craftsmanship of their products — despite their whiskies being at most mid-range in terms of pricing. 

Interesting Facts about Crown Royal

Interesting Facts about Crown Royal

Crown Royal is one of the oldest whisky companies in North America, having been created especially to honor the King and Queen for their visit to Canada in 1939.

The name itself was created to reflect this purpose and the brand’s aspiration to make a whisky that’s fit for royalty.

The iconic bottle design of Crown Royal whiskies alongside the gold and purple packaging were created to symbolize royalty. Back in the day the bags were actually hand-stitched and some of these now sell as collectors’ items.

Crown Royal is actually blended from 50 different kinds of whiskies. Purists may frown at this, but it’s actually what makes it so complex yet smooth. Each of the whiskies is aged in white oak barrels before they’re blended together.

The brand’s whiskies can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or mixed into popular cocktails such as Crown Royal and Coke or a classic Whisky Sour (more on these further down in this article).

Crown Royal has received many awards and accolades over the years, especially when it comes to recognizing their products’ quality and craftsmanship. Prestigious spirits competitions across the world have honored the whisky brand with gold medals and more.

The whisky brand is involved in a variety of community initiatives, including their ‘Live Generously and Life Will Treat You Royally’ campaign. This supports charities and encourages acts of generosity.

Crown Royal occasionally releases limited edition whiskies and special bottlings. These often feature unique packaging and showcase innovative flavor creations.

Lastly, here is more of a general whisky fun fact rather than a Crown Royal one: whisky refers to Japanese, Scottish, and Canadian (including Crown Royal) grain spirits. Whiskey with the added E refers to those distilled in the US and Ireland.

What Crown Royal Is

What Crown Royal Is

Crown Royal is a Canadian whisky brand. They make a variety of whiskies and flavored whiskies.

Their regular whisky ranges are made from a blend of different whiskies, which is said to aid in achieving the popular drink’s smoothness and complexity.

Crown Royal comes in a variety of editions, including their Deluxe Whisky, Limited Editions, Special Reserves, XO, XR, Black, and a range of flavors.

Origin of Crown Royal

Origin of Crown Royal

The famed whisky brand originated as Seagram’s Crown Royal.

As mentioned above, it was originally created to honor the King and Queen on their visit to Canada in the late 1930s.

It was exclusively sold to Canadian markets until the 1960s. In 2000 Diageo bought the brand and has been producing it ever since.

Alcohol In Crown Royal Whiskies

Alcohol In Crown Royal Whiskies

Standard Crown Royal whisky is 80 proof, meaning it contains 40% alcohol by volume. The flavored range appears to be slightly lower in alcohol content, with Crown Royal Vanilla ‘only’ coming in at 35% ABV.

The Best Crown Royal Flavors Ranked

The Best Crown Royal Flavors Ranked

Crown Royal doesn’t make a lot of different flavors, but there are some definite fan-favorites among the range they do offer. Some are better for drinking neat or on the rocks, others are ideal for mixing into cocktails. The first may surprise you, read on to find out more.

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye

This special whisky combines regular Crown Royal with the beautiful, fragrant flavors of Canadian rye grain. It’s sweet, spicy and beautiful, and fans laud it as being one of the very best Crown Royal varieties to enjoy.

Crown Royal XO

Crown Royal XO

Described as having hints of rich, dry fruit, spice, and vanilla as part of its flavor profile, Crown Royal XO is one of the most popular varieties you can buy. It’s not the cheapest amongst the selection, but not vastly expensive either.

Crown Royal Vanilla

Vanilla

Budget-friendly, slightly sweet, and perfect on its own or mixed into your favorite cocktails. That’s Crown Royal Vanilla. It’s infused with Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla and most Crown Royal fans absolutely love it. Try it as part of our recipes further on in this article.

Crown Royal Black

Crown Royal Black

People describe Crown Royal Black as more of a wintertime whisky. It’s smooth, easy to drink on its own or over ice, and perfectly balanced.

Crown Royal Black is one of the brand’s more expensive whiskies, but still decently affordable. It has notes of oak, fruity vanilla, and maple.

Crown Royal Honey

Crown Royal Honey

Crown Royal Honey is, in some ways, a similar flavor to their popular Vanilla as it also goes with just about everything. Some find it too sweet, others really loved it.

Sadly, this was a limited edition flavor which was introduced back in 2016.

It’s sadly no longer available at time of writing, but who knows? Honey could make a comeback someday.

Worst Crown Royal Flavors

Worst Crown Royal Flavors

From drinks that use bacon and Crown Royal Maple to apple juice mixed with Crown Royal Apple… This brand knows how to make some horrible flavors.

Don’t get us wrong, Crown Royal is a popular whisky brand and continually makes some excellent spirits, too. It’s just not the ones on our list below.

Crown Royal Blenders’ Mash

Crown Royal Blenders’ Mash

People seem to love to hate this particular impression of Crown Royal.

It has some satisfying flavors including sugar, vanilla, caramel, and even a touch of honeysuckle. However, it doesn’t offer any oaky depth and the finish tastes like wood varnish to some.

Some also say that the mouthfeel is rather watery, which really isn’t what you’d expect or want from a whisky.

Crown Royal Original

Crown Royal Original

Some describe the original Crown Royal as tasting a bit like a light maple syrup, cinnamon, and baked apple. It’s not heavy and it doesn’t carry any sort of ‘bite’.

In short, the original Crown Royal is perhaps a little bit boring for whisky lovers and is better when mixed into other drinks.

It’s been around for a long time so there are certainly fans of this one, but it’s certainly not their best whisky.

Crown Royal Apple

Crown Royal Apple

Crown Royal Apple is generally regarded as one of the worse flavors, alongside some other more heavily flavored varieties (like Maple).

Some describe it as being a bit like drinking perfume, which just isn’t a good thing.

Others like it mixed with apple juice, which frankly sounds equally as bad to us.

Bonus: Crown Royal Texas Mesquite

Bonus: Crown Royal Texas Mesquite

This flavor was thankfully just a limited edition whisky, which is why we’re mentioning it as a ‘bonus’ since we don’t actually know what it tastes like.

From descriptions, however, this was awful. Texas Mesquite was actually just flavored rather than being made with (what might have been tasty) mesquite-smoked grain.

So it was basically just an infused gimmick, which even Crown Royal fans described as being overly smoky, cloying, slightly sweet, and just generally awful. Be glad this one’s gone.

The Original Crown Royal Flavors

The Original Crown Royal Flavors

Crown Royal originated as, of course, the original whisky which is still semi-popular as a mellow, easy to mix spirit today. Their other first ever flavor may surprise you, but more on that in the section we’ve compiled here.

Crown Royal Original

Crown Royal Original

Crown Royal Original is a mellow, fairly basic whisky which incorporates cinnamon, baked apple, and soft maple syrup flavors as mentioned above.

It’s not the most exciting whisky and doesn’t have much of a burn (which may be a good thing if you’re just looking for something to mix into Coke).

With that said, it is the original ‘Original’ so to speak.

Crown Royal Maple

Crown Royal Maple

The first of the actual flavored whiskies was, naturally, Crown Royal Maple. This comes as absolutely no surprise given that Canadians are particularly proud of their maple syrup.

People tend to find the scent of this vaguely reminiscent of vanilla and caramel, which is fairly standard for Crown Royal whiskies.

The taste offers a true-to-life soft maple taste and a slightly woody, somewhat caramelized finish. Some do describe this flavor as perfumey, but if you’re looking for something authentically Canadian, this is it.

All you need to go alongside now is a freshly made poutine.

Types of Drinks You Can Get at Crown Royal

Types of Drinks You Can Get at Crown Royal

Modern day Crown Royal produce three distinct ranges of whiskies: their Signature series, Flavored Whiskies, and what they refer to as their ‘Higher Marques.’ The latter are generally the more expensive spirits as well, but well worth checking out if you like your whisky.

Signature Whiskies

Signature Whiskies

The Signature Series currently includes Crown Royal Fine De Luxe, Crown Royal Black, and the very popular Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye. It’s their more ‘standard’ whiskies, minus any flavoring.

Flavored Whiskies

Flavored Whiskies

The flavored range is more popular for mixing into your favorite cocktails. It includes the popular Crown Royal Vanilla, Crown Royal Salted Caramel, Crown Royal Apple, and Crown Royal Peach. There are sometimes limited edition flavors, too, see Honey and Texas Mesquite above.

Higher Marques

Higher Marques

This includes Crown Royal Special Reserve, Crown Royal XO, and the Crown Royal 18 Year Old Whisky. The latter is quite pricey but praised for its delicious and intriguing flavor profile. If you’re a whisky connoisseur and collector, this range is for you.

Tasty Alternatives to Crown Royal

Tasty Alternatives to Crown Royal

If you’ve tried all of the Crown Royal flavors and are ready to venture into the wider world of Canadian whiskies, we’ve got the list for you. Here are a couple of all-time Canadian favorites which we think you should try next.

Bearface Whisky

Bearface Whisky

This budget-friendly whisky comes in a beautiful bottle that has it looking a lot more exclusive than it really is.

Bearface makes a popular Triple Oak corn-based whisky. It’s aged in a combination of virgin Hungarian oak, French red wine, and ex-Bourbon casks for at least 7 years.

This results in bold whisky that has a delicious, slightly spicy finish.

Pendleton Whisky

Pendleton Whisky

Pendleton Whisky is another Canadian blend that’s actually fairly similar to Crown Royal.

It’s made of blended whiskies, distilled in Canada, and bottled in Oregon.

It’s aged in oak barrels and is described as an excellent sipping whisky. This is largely down to it being mellow and smooth — again similar to Crown Royal.

Pike Creek Whisky

Pike Creek Whisky

This is an interesting whisky because it was actually launched in the Canadian Whisky Guild, a collection of premium Canadian-distilled whiskies. As such, it’s something especially good and consistently gets great reviews.

The Pike Creek 10 Year Old Canadian whisky seems to be particularly popular.

This one has notes of pecans, honeyed raisins, cardamom, and caramel. Some say it almost tastes like rum.

Drinks You Can Make With Crown Royal Whisky

Drinks You Can Make With Crown Royal Whisky

You’ll have gathered by now that Crown Royal makes a great mixing whisky. It’s perfect for adding to cocktails. Here we list a selection of the best recipes to add it to, along with some hacks for getting the perfect cocktails.

Royal Flush

Royal Flush

This delicious short drink mixes sweet and tangy cranberry juice with Crown Royal. You may wish to add a splash of peach schnapps for extra fruitiness. Even better? Pop in a sprig of fresh thyme for a fancy bit of decoration and extra flavor.

Crown Royal Sour

Crown Royal Sour

If you enjoy a regular Whisky Sour, try Crown Royal mixed with lemon juice and simple syrup. Want to make this truly memorable? Add Crown Royal Vanilla instead of regular Crown Royal. The extra sweetness of the vanilla beautifully balances the sourness of the lemon juice.

Crown Royal and Coke

Crown Royal and Coke

Rum and coke or whisky and coke are standard drinks you can get at any bar. Here’s the hack: ask for Crown Royal Vanilla and mix it with Coca Cola. It’ll bring you back to the days of Vanilla Coke for a refreshing, sweet drink that’s irresistible, especially ice cold.

You might also be interested in...
0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5 (0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5)
You need to be a registered member to rate this.
Loading...

Related Posts

Similar Articles