Introduction of Crown Royal Whisky
Aptly named, Crown Royal whisky came about as a gift to The Crown. It was King George VI, and his spouse, to be exact. In 1939, the King visited Canada along with the Queen and Crown Royal was created ahead of his arrival as a gift of honor. From there, the brand has blossomed into arguably the most iconic Canadian Whisky.
What Makes a Canadian Whisky, Canadian?
In fact, Canadian Whisky is about what is not in it more than what it contains. While many spirits are governed heavily by ingredients, Canadian whisky roams free of all those cumbersome rules. The only true regulation is that it must be aged for a minimum of three years. Otherwise, it can contain any percentage rye, corn, or barley on the mash bill. While it must rest in a cask for those three years, the Canadians care not which kind of cask it sleeps in. Some would say this allows for a more diverse, creative, and thus tasty group of whiskies.
Crown Royal prides itself on its local heritage and production. Approximately 80% of the grains used in the recipe, including corn, rye, and barley, are sourced in the Manitoba province and surrounding area. The water used is from Lake Winnipeg, which is naturally filtered by a layer of limestone resting beneath the lake. Crown Royal is a true blend, comprised of fifty whiskies painstakingly blended together to create their signature taste.
Crown Royal Whisky Prices
From its inception in 1939, Crown Royal has taken its blending process seriously. From the painstaking perfection required of a visit from the King and Queen to the ever growing and competitive spirits market of today, Crown Royal understands the necessity of a high-quality product. A product of this quality is destined to find itself in the upper mid-range of whisky prices.
Crown Royal currently offers twelve varieties of its Canadian whisky. More than simple flavor twists, like many spirits offer, Crown Royal presents truly unique adaptations of its signature blend. From unique ingredient blends like the award winning Northern Harvest Rye to different aging processes like the charred oak of Crown Royal Black, the differences are palpable outside of a simple addition of a new fruit flavor.
Variety Brings Cost Fluctuation
With such disparity in ingredients and processes, one can expect some significant difference in price throughout the brand as well. As seen in the chart below, the low price runs the gambit from $20 to upwards of $150. This is quite the price range for products from the same brand! However, Crown Royal has valid reasoning behind their higher priced products.
Common Crown Royal Whisky Prices List
Crown Royal Blender's Mash
$28.99 - $31.99
$58.99 - $61.99
Crown Royal Deluxe
$32.99 - $36.99
Crown Royal Rye
$19.99 - $24.99
Crown Royal Black
$28.99 - $29.99
Crown Royal Wine Barrel Finished
$59.99 - $69.99
Crown Royal Reserve
$36.99 - $47.99
Crown Royal XO
$47.99 - $49.99
Crown Royal XR
$149.99 - $199.99
Crown Royal Texas Mesquite
$23.99 - $29.99
The Crown Royal XR is the perfect example of a higher price point earning its value. Crafted from a rare stock of whisky from the now closed LaSalle distillery, it is truly a rare blend. LaSalle was known for a richer blend and flavor, thus the Crown Royal XR delivers the same.
Comparisons in the Canadian Whisky World
Known for its smooth taste and often affordable price point, Canadian whisky is quite popular. Obviously, Crown Royal dominates the landscape as an international brand. However, there are others available out there from smaller distilleries.
Canadian Club is a popular name heard as a choice for Canadian whisky in bars. While it lacks the mystique and potentially robust flavor that Crown Royal boasts, it certainly makes up for it in price point. A typical bottle of “CC”, as the locals call it, can come in around $20.
Canadian Mist is as simple as they come, offering one whole variety. Just one. While simplistic and maybe best reserved for mixers or an overly involved cocktail, it is easy on the wallet at $15 or so per bottle.
With the evolution of local distilleries, more and more small batch spirits are popping up on the landscape. Canadian whisky has not been excluded from this influx. Bottles from a more local place can range from $25 to $200 and up depending on the ingredients and distillation process. Many of the smaller distilleries create unique blends, as they can experiment further with smaller batches.
As you can see, there are certainly cheaper or more expensive options out there. It is simply about what you are expecting in a Canadian whisky and what you intend to do with it. Paying up for a brand like Crown Royal is usually best when sipping or creating whisky forward cocktails, while spending less is certainly reasonable when drinking with a heavier mixer.
Common Recipes: What Goes With Crown Royal Whisky?
While Crown Royal is often seen as a sipping whisky enjoyed on its own or over rocks, there are certainly cocktails to be made with it and its varieties. Here are a few simple ideas.
The Crown Rose
Fill a shaker with ice and add all the ingredients. Shake it, shake it, shake it! Strain all into a martini, or coupe, glass.
The Crown Royal Flush
Fill that shaker with ice again and add all the ingredients. Simply strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. For flair, garnish with an orange peel – the smell is nice while sipping.
The Crown Royal Red Snapper
Fill a highball style glass with ice. Combine all ingredients in said glass. Use that orange for another garnish of orange peel – it looks great, your guests will love it!