|Country of origin||Canada|
1964 (US and other countries)
|Variants||Limited Edition, Special Reserve, Cask No. 16, XR, Black, Maple|
Crown Royal is a blended Canadian whisky, 40% alcohol by volume, 80 proof. The brand is owned by Diageo, which purchased it when the Seagram portfolio was dissolved in the year 2000. It is the top-selling Canadian whisky in the United States.
The reigning monarch King George VI, and his wife, Queen Elizabeth, visited Canada in 1939. Crown Royal was introduced that year by Samuel Bronfman, President of Seagram as a tribute to the royal visit. It was available only in Canada until 1964.
Today, Crown Royal is produced solely at the Crown Royal distillery at Gimli, on the shores of Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It was also produced in Waterloo, Ontario until the plant there closed in 1992. Daily production of Crown Royal uses 10,000 bushels of grain and requires 750,000 imperial gallons (3,400,000 L; 900,000 US gal) of water. The whisky produced at the Manitoba distillery is stored in 2 million barrels, located in 46 warehouses over 5 acres (2 ha) of land. The whisky is then blended and bottled in Amherstburg, Ontario.
2006 sales of Crown Royal amounted to over US $500M.
- Crown Royal was introduced in 1939 and is the original version of the brand. It was available only in Canada until 1964. Crown Royal comes in a purple felt-like bag.
- Crown Royal Black was introduced in 2010, and is a darker, higher alcohol (90 proof) whisky. Comes in a black felt-like bag.
- Crown Royal Reserve was introduced in 1992. The whiskies are aged for a longer period than the original. Crown Royal Reserve comes in a tan, velvet-like bag with coarse gold drawstrings.
- Crown Royal XR (Extra Rare) was introduced in 2006. This limited-release version is sold in numbered bottles and was originally made from the last batches of whiskey distilled at the now-closed Waterloo, Ontario distillery; it now features whisky from the also now-closed Lasalle, Quebec distillery. It received a 7¼ and 7¾ from Whisky Magazine critics. The LaSalle-based Crown Royal XR features a blue color scheme to distinguish it from the red scheme of the original Waterloo-based version.
- Crown Royal Maple Finished was introduced in 2012. It is a blend of Crown Royal with maple flavor. Comes in a brown felt-like bag.
- Crown Royal XO was introduced in January 2014. It is a blend of 50 whiskies that is then finished in Cognac casks from the French Limousin Forest. It is packaged in a bag with gray and gold embroidery accents.
- Crown Royal Cask No. 16 was introduced late 2007. It was made from over fifty blended and individually aged whiskies in 12 year old cognac barrels. These barrels were made of oak from the Limousin forest in France. The whiskies were designed to have a cognac type of finish with notes of rye, grain, and fruit. Cask No. 16 came in a black felt-like bag embroidered with the logo, name and "CASK No 16" This brand was discontinued in late 2012.
Crown Royal offerings have generally performed well at international spirit ratings competitions. For example, the basic Canadian whisky was awarded a string of five gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competitions between 2005 and 2012. The Special Reserve received an editors choice gold award from Whisky Magazine and received ratings from 7¾ to 8¾ from three of the critics.
Crown Royal is often mixed with another, usually non-alcoholic, beverage for added flavour such as ginger ale or cola. Common names of these beverages include: Black Tooth Grin, Crown Sidecar, Crown & Soda, Crown & Coke (rye and coke), Crown Lemon-Lime, Crown & Ginger Ale (rye and ginger), and Crown Fizz. A mixture made with Royal Crown Cola is called a Royal Wedding, an RCCR (Royal Crown Crown Royal), or a Pair of Kings (Pair of Queens if served with a maraschino cherry). Another mixed drink made with Crown Royal is to drop a shot of Crown into a glass of Red Bull energy drink; more prominently known as a Chili Bomb.
Crown Royal can also be mixed in equal parts with banana liqueur to make a "Rock Star" or "King Kong" (Crown Royal being the "King" and banana liqueur being the "Kong"). The Rock Star or King Kong can be served as a shooter or on the rocks.
Very common in the U.S., Crown Royal is also enjoyed "on the rocks" or blended with 7-Up.
Crown Royal is often consumed by itself as a shot or on the rocks, with the latter being popular with Canadian whisky and rye aficionados.
Among its advertising venues, Crown Royal advertises in various motor sports events and cars. Crown Royal sponsored the #17 Ford of Matt Kenseth from 2010-2011, and has sponsored NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races since 2006.
Crown Royal is a sponsor of the Grand American Road Racing Association's Rolex Sports Car Series. In 2010, Crown Royal also began sponsoring the #60 Daytona Prototype car of Michael Shank Racing in the Rolex Sports Car Series.
From 2004 until 2006, Crown Royal was the title sponsor of the International Race of Champions. Crown Royal was a primary sponsor of the Washington International Horse Show for several years in the 1990s and since 1995 has sponsored the Crown Royal American Turf Stakes, a Thoroughbred horse race run annually at Churchill Downs.
- The Bronfmans: The Rise and Fall of the House of Seagram; Nicholas Faith; Thomas Dunne Books - May 30, 2006 - ISBN 0-312-33219-X
- January/February 2001 CANADIAN WHISKY, Beverage Net SPIRITS BUSINESS. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
- Crown Royal
- "Crown Royal whisky is distilled in Gimli, but bottled further east, in Amherstburg, Ont. Wayne Hurst, mayor of the southwestern Ontario town - population 22,000, 25 kilometres south of Windsor - says the bottling plant plays an important role in the community. He, too, would like to leave a mark on millions of bottles of booze."
- Business Edge News Magazine - businessedge.ca - Ontario Edition - Towns look to leave mark on booze bottles
- "The Amherstburg plant blends and bottles the company's top-selling Crown Royal whisky for both domestic and international consumption."
- Layoffs land at Diageo
- Crown Royal Black
- Crown Royal Reserve, CrownRoyal.com Special Reserve. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
- About Crown Royal XR, CrownRoyal.com Crown Royal XR. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
- Crown Royal XR Extra Rare, WhiskyMag.com Whiskies. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
- Bettridge, Jack (May 18, 2012). "Crown Royal Releases a New XR Edition - Drinks - Cigar Aficionado". Cigar Aficionado - The Good Life - Drinks. Cigar Aficionado Online. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
- Crown Royal Maple Finished
- About Cask No.16, CrownRoyal.com Crown Royal Cask 16. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
- "Proof66.com Summary Page for Crown Royal". Retrieved 2012-10-21.
- Crown Royal Special Reserve, WhiskyMag.com Whiskies. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
- Crown Royal SR Special Reserve, WhiskyMag.com Whiskies. Retrieved January 4, 2008.