Crown Royal

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Crown Royal
The distinctive bottle, box and purple velvet bag of Crown Royal.
Type Canadian whisky
Manufacturer Diageo
Country of origin Canada
Introduced 1939 (Canada)
1964 (US and other countries)
Proof (US) 80
Variants Limited Edition, Special Reserve, XO, XR, Black, Maple, Regal Apple, Honey, Northern Harvest Rye, Vanilla.

Crown Royal is a blended Canadian whisky owned by Diageo, which purchased it when the Seagram portfolio was dissolved in 2000.[1] It is the top-selling Canadian whisky in the United States.[2]


The reigning monarch King George VI, and his wife, Queen Elizabeth, visited Canada in 1939.[3] 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.[4]


Diageo Global Supply Crown Royal plant, Gimli, Manitoba, Canada

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.[5] 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.[6] The whisky produced at the Manitoba distillery is stored in two million barrels, located in 50 warehouses over 5 acres (2 ha) of land. The whisky is then blended and bottled in Amherstburg, Ontario.[7][8]

Brand variations[edit]

  • 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 with a gold tasselled drawstring.
  • Crown Royal Black was introduced in 2010, and is a darker, higher alcohol (90 proof) whisky. Comes in a black felt-like bag.[9]
  • Crown Royal Reserve was introduced in 1992. The whiskies are aged for a longer period than the original.[10] 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 This limited-release version is sold in numbered bottles and was originally made from the last batches of whiskey distilled at the now-closed Waterloo, Ontario, distillery; it now features whisky from the also now-closed Lasalle, Quebec,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.[11] It received a 7¼ and 7¾ from Whisky Magazine critics.[12][13] The LaSalle-based Crown Royal XR features a blue colour scheme to distinguish it from the red scheme of the original Waterloo-based version.[13]
  • 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.[14]
  • Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye was introduced in May 2015, and is packaged in an off-white felt-like bag.
  • Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel was introduced in May 2015, and is a single barrel rye that is produced from the brand’s Coffey rye still, the only one of its kind in North America. Selected retailers will be able to purchase an entire cask to dispense to their customers.
  • Crown Royal Monarch 75th Anniversary Blend was created in 2014 to commemorate the 1939 royal visit that inspired the brand and was prepared as a gift for the royal family.[15]
  • Crown Royal Maple Finished was introduced in 2012. It is a blend of Crown Royal with maple flavour and comes in a brown felt-like bag.[16]
  • Crown Royal Regal Apple was introduced in November 2014. It is a blend of Crown Royal with apple flavour. Comes in a green felt-like bag.
  • Crown Royal Honey Comes in a yellow felt-like bag.
  • Crown Royal Vanilla Comes in a tan felt-like bag.

Former variations[edit]

Crown Royal Cask No. 16
  • 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 comes in a black felt-like bag embroidered with the logo and name "CASK No 16".[17] This blend 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. [18] The Special Reserve received an editors choice gold award from Whisky Magazine and received ratings from 7¾ to 8¾ from three of the critics.[19][20]

Jim Murray's "Whisky Bible" named Crown Royal’s Northern Harvest Rye as the World Whisky of the Year for 2016.[21]


Crown Royal sponsored hauler of Jamie McMurray's NASCAR stock car

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,[22] 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.


  1. ^ The Bronfmans: The Rise and Fall of the House of Seagram; Nicholas Faith; Thomas Dunne Books - May 30, 2006 - ISBN 0-312-33219-X
  2. ^ January/February 2001 CANADIAN WHISKY, Beverage Net SPIRITS BUSINESS. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
  3. ^ "The House of Windsor: George VI (r.1936-1952)". The Royal Household. 2009. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  4. ^ Berkey, Chad; LeBlanc, Jeremy (2014). The North American Whiskey Guide from Behind the Bar: Real Bartenders' Reviews of More Than 250 Whiskeys--Includes 30 Standout Cocktail Recipes. Macmillan. p. 101. ISBN 9781624140761. 
  5. ^ "Crown Royal Fine De Luxe From 1963". Davin de Kergommeaux. 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  6. ^ Crown Royal[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Towns look to leave mark on booze bottles". Business Edge News Magazine (Ontario Edition). 
  8. ^ Layoffs land at Diageo at
  9. ^ "Black Whisky: Crown Royal Black - Crown Royal". 
  10. ^ Crown Royal Reserve, Special Reserve. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
  11. ^ About Crown Royal XR[permanent dead link], Crown Royal XR. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
  12. ^ Crown Royal XR Extra Rare, Whiskies. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
  13. ^ a b 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. 
  14. ^ "Crown Royal XO - Crown Royal". Archived from the original on 2014-01-18. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Rare Whisky: Crown Royal Maple - Crown Royal". 
  17. ^ About Cask No.16 Archived 2012-07-22 at, Crown Royal Cask 16. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
  18. ^ " Summary Page for Crown Royal". Retrieved 2012-10-21. 
  19. ^ Crown Royal Special Reserve, Whiskies. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
  20. ^ Crown Royal SR Special Reserve, Whiskies. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
  21. ^ JIM MURRAY’S WHISKY BIBLE 2016 – THE WINNERS, "". Retrieved 2015-11-21
  22. ^ "About Matt Kenseth". Matt Kenseth. 2015. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 

External links[edit]