Crown Royal is a blended Canadian whisky brand created by Seagram owned by Diageo since 2000.[1] It is the top-selling brand of Canadian whisky in the United States.[2]

Crown Royal
The distinctive bottle, box and purple velvet bag of Crown Royal.
TypeCanadian whisky
Country of originCanada
Introduced1939 (Canada)
1964 (US and other countries)
Proof (US)80
VariantsDeluxe, Limited Edition, Special Reserve, XO, XR, Black, Maple, Regal Apple, Honey, Northern Harvest Rye, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Peach
Crown Royal 'Red Waterloo Edition' XR Extra Rare Whisky


Crown Royal was introduced in 1939 by Samuel Bronfman, president of Seagram, as a tribute to the royal visit of King George VI and his wife, Queen Elizabeth, the first of a reigning monarch to Canada.[3][4] It was available only in Canada until 1964,[5] being introduced to the United States in the 1960s.[3]


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

Crown Royal is produced solely at the company's distillery at Gimli, on the shores of Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Daily production of Crown Royal uses 10,000 bushels of rye, corn and barley sourced from Manitoba and surrounding provinces,[6] and requires 750,000 imperial gallons (3,400,000 L; 900,000 US gal) of water naturally filtered through the limestone beneath the lake.[6] The whisky produced at the Manitoba distillery is stored in 1.5 million barrels,[7] located in 50 warehouses over 5 acres (2 ha) of land. The whisky is then blended and bottled in Amherstburg, Ontario.[8][9]

Crown Royal was also produced in Waterloo, Ontario, until the plant there closed in 1992.[10]

Current bottlingsEdit

  • 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 tasseled drawstring.
  • Crown Royal Black was introduced in 2010, and is a darker, higher alcohol (90 proof) whisky. Comes in a black felt-like bag.[11]
  • Crown Royal Reserve was introduced in 1992. The whiskies are aged for a longer period than the original.[12] 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 This limited-release version is sold in numbered bottles and was originally made from the last batches of whiskey distilled at the now-closed Waterloo, Ontario, distillery; it now features whisky from the also now-closed Lasalle, Quebec,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.[13] It received a 7¼ and 7¾ from Whisky Magazine critics.[14][15] The LaSalle-based Crown Royal XR features a blue colour scheme to distinguish it from the red scheme of the original Waterloo-based version.[15]
  • 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.[16]
  • 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.[17]
  • 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 Vanilla Comes in a tan felt-like bag.
  • Crown Royal Salted Caramel Comes in a burnt-orange felt-like bag.
  • Crown Royal Texas Mesquite was introduced in 2018 and comes in a blue felt-like bag.
  • Crown Royal Peach was introduced in early 2019 and comes in a peach felt-like bag. (Limited Edition)
  • Crown Royal Wine Barrel Finished

Discontinued variationsEdit

Crown Royal Cask No. 16
  • Crown Royal XR (Red) The first edition of Crown Royal XR contained the final batch of aged whiskies from the legendary Waterloo distillery and is a very rare find – it is no longer in production.[18]
  • 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".[19] This blend was discontinued in late 2012.
  • Crown Royal Honey[20]
  • Crown Royal Maple Finished[21]


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.[22] The Special Reserve received an editors choice gold award from Whisky Magazine and received ratings from 7¾ to 8¾ from three of the critics.[23][24]

Jim Murray's "Whisky Bible" named Crown Royal's Northern Harvest Rye as the World Whisky of the Year for 2016.[25]


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

Crown Royal advertises in motor sports, horse shows, and horse racing. It sponsored the No. 17 Ford Fusion of Matt Kenseth from 2010 to 2011,[26] the No. 26 Ford Fusion of Jamie McMurray from 2006 to 2009, and has sponsored NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races since 2006. From 2004 until 2006, Crown Royal was the title sponsor of the International Race of Champions.

Crown Royal is a sponsor of the Grand American Road Racing Association's Rolex Sports Car Series. In 2010, it also began sponsoring the #60 Daytona Prototype car of Michael Shank Racing in the Rolex Sports Car Series.

The brand 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. ^ a b
  4. ^ "The House of Windsor: George VI (r.1936-1952)". The Royal Household. 2009. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Towns look to leave mark on booze bottles". Business Edge News Magazine (Ontario Edition).
  9. ^ Layoffs land at Diageo Archived 2008-01-31 at the Wayback Machine at
  10. ^ "Crown Royal Fine De Luxe From 1963". Davin de Kergommeaux. 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  11. ^ "Black Whisky: Crown Royal Black - Crown Royal".
  12. ^ Crown Royal Reserve, Special Reserve. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
  13. ^ About Crown Royal XR[permanent dead link], Crown Royal XR. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
  14. ^ Crown Royal XR Extra Rare Archived 2008-10-05 at the Wayback Machine, Whiskies. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ "Crown Royal XO - Crown Royal". Archived from the original on 2014-01-18.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Crown Royal Red Label XR | Rare Whisky". Crown Royal. Retrieved 2019-03-27.
  19. ^ About Cask No.16 Archived 2012-07-22 at, Crown Royal Cask 16. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
  20. ^ "Crown Royal Honey | Crown Honey". Crown Royal. Retrieved 2019-03-27.
  21. ^ "Crown Royal Maple | Crown Maple". Crown Royal. Retrieved 2019-03-27.
  22. ^ " Summary Page for Crown Royal". Retrieved 2012-10-21.
  23. ^ Crown Royal Special Reserve Archived 2007-12-27 at the Wayback Machine, Whiskies. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
  24. ^ Crown Royal SR Special Reserve Archived 2007-10-16 at the Wayback Machine, Whiskies. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
  25. ^ JIM MURRAY’S WHISKY BIBLE 2016 – THE WINNERS, "". Retrieved 2015-11-21
  26. ^ "About Matt Kenseth". Matt Kenseth. 2015. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 18 December 2015.

External linksEdit