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Crown Royal Black

Average score from 9 reviews and 19 ratings 77

Crown Royal Black

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Crown Royal Black

Described on the bottle as "robust, full-bodied" - it is, relative to regular offerings - but not more than some of the big and spicy ryes or bourbons. Fruity, with bourbon notes and gooseberries on the nose with a nod here and there to rye and soft fruits. Quite juicy on the taste, with fruity rye and corn, vanilla, and oak. Some cacao, cinnamon, and ginger also. A decent offering - treads well through bold and delicate, as you might expect from a crown royal.

For more detailed tasting notes, see my post at whiskywon.wordpress.com/2014/06/…


Tonight I was in the mood for Bernheim, or russels reserve but a mate was sick and I didn't want to foot the bill he has an income I don't.

So I went to foodmaxx and after much browsing and only finding jim beam white label, makers and weak canadian whiskies I went with a halfway point CR Black and it feels different to me I will do the usual review and go from there.

Nose: Oak, spice, vanilla, char, caramel, pepper and more oak more is there like rum raisin, and dry figs. Palate: Strong Oak, spice, vanilla, caramel, char, rum raisin and the mentioned dry figs, cinnamon yet it is smooth like CR usually is. Finish: I got Oak, spice, a long long vanilla and hints of more dried fruit.

I don't highly recommend it unless you can't find what you wanted say this was what you felt like having you should love it.

The glass smells like rum raisin

I'm not saying it was bad, oak was good made it different, if I reviewd it on a night when I was in the mood for canadian I would give it around 85, still if you enjoy it more power to you it will be my halfway point with canadian and bourbon.

Why do you suppose it is black?


Apparently, Crown Royal Black was the most successful new spirit launch of 2010 in the US, and I recall seeing signage with Big Boi of Outkast as its spokesperson - so obviously, this was a huge initiative by Diageo. Pretty impressive given that this spirit hails from a Canadian distillery based in Gimli, Manitoba!

Crown Royal has never been a big go-to Canadian whisky for me, but it is certainly more than drinkable, though somewhat lacking in character. So it's no surprise that the Black expression has proven to be so popular, since it's CR to the power of 10. The packaging and advertising sell the product to bourbon lovers, and I can certainly see the appeal in that direction - but only if bourbon is not on hand!

The colour is a reddish dark amber with gold highlights - darker than most bourbons, so clearly caramel has been dumped in this one. The nose comes with a blast of vanilla underscored by rye grain. Combined with the maraschino cherry, it's a little like nosing a Black Forest cake. Some dark fruits and oak in the background as well as some citrus (orange and lemon). Water tames the sweetness and brings out some rye. Not complex but certainly robust.

There are more cherries in the mouth, with some spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. So we are still with that vanilla / oak / sweet cherry profile. Surprisingly, it has a rather thin mouthfeel for such a full-bodied whisky. Water gives it a creamier mouthfeel and tames the sweetness - which for me, is welcome.

The finish is pretty heavy on the rye, with the citrus becoming grapefruit pith - so a little sour. Also some pine needles just on the death, which is interesting. But I find this to be a somewhat quixotic whisky - is this Canadian whisky trying to be bourbon? Well, kind of, though it still retains some characteristic Canadian rye notes and a distinctive smoothness. But the lightness that I enjoy about Canadian whisky is missing. The Black is rather a blunt instrument, and though it tastes as if it would be a good mixer with Coke, it, like the other Crown Royal expressions, will never be a go-to Canadian for me.


I'll be honest, the one thing that drew me to pick this one up was the dark, caramel colour. I like the look of a dark, DARK whisky. It's always been more appealing to the eye (IMHO). Not sure how much colouring they added to it, but its clearly over the top. On with the review.

Nose -

Coca cola. Sweet. Caramel. Definitely vanilla in there. Almost has a hint of maple syrup at the top.

Body/Palate -

The first time trying this was quite a shocker. I've had similiar whiskys in the past with 45% alc content (ie. Maker's Mark, Jim Beam, etc) and this was nothing like it. This was creamy, no burn, somewhat soft even at first arrival. EXTREMELY smooth. Delicious. As it went down, it started to really open up, no more softness, but fairly rich, bitey (nothing huge), and the sweetness arrived. Brown sugar came up as well. Add a little water to it, and it opens up very nicely; mellows it and makes for a VERY easy sipper. Much better in my opinion with water. However, add ice, and we get a very undesireable and even unenjoyable change.

Finish -

Pleasant, sweet after taste, but doesn't linker very long as some others say.

In the end, I've picked this one up 2 times so far and i'll be taking a break now since I've gotten to know it more. Time to move onto other tasty treats lurking out there. However, with that being said, don't be afraid to give this one a try. Its much more bolder, complex and richer then its older brother. For some this may be a good thing, and for others not so much.


Well I forgot this gem in my cabinet and Id have to say its a bit of a shame that I forgot it so I decided to give it justice here we go.

Nose: It has nose like a well aged rum kind of delicious actually (Im a little biased due to my aged rums in my house.) Notes include a tad bit of molasses, vanilla, and extra oak. There is some evident spice like black pepper in the nose. It hints towards a good robust whisky.

Taste: Slightly sweet, vanilla is evident, Char is also evident and oak exists also. With digging nuts are also tasted. This is a little more robust for Canadian whisky not too much more complex than the original CR.

Body: Medium and creamy especially at the beginning it is smooth on most aspects of the drink.

Finish: Medium length and a slight spicey taste at the end and relatively easy on the way down. Pretty good stuff overall.


Tried it neat first and was not impressed. I’m a huge bourbon fan so it takes a lot to impress me. Poured over ice improves the taste immensely. A fair whiskey, but the original is better neat. In my opinion the Canadians try very hard, but just can’t quite match a fine American (Kentucky) bourbon. A distillery tour of Kentucky’s bourbons is on my bucket list. Jack’s Old No.7 is just as smooth and pleasing to the palate. Might as well tour that too in Tennessee. They don’t call it Kentucky STRAIGHT Bourbon Whiskey for nothin’!


I suppose the upstanding folks at Diageo expect us to attribute the dark colour of Crown Royal Black to the charred casks it is aged in. Notice they don't come right out and say it, but simply imply the connection. Frightening colour aside, how does this stuff taste? The short answer is "pretty good."

On the nose it definitely resembles regular Crown but comes across as woodier, more bourbony. So far, so good. Bigger oak, also more of a floral influence. Sweetly fragrant, with hints of caramel and chocolate that you don't get from the Deluxe edition. Gets even more so on ice. Underneath there are some toasty grain aromas but the sweet charred oak dominates.

Follows through on the palate. Straight up it is somewhat restrained, with a touch of bitterness that we might attribute to an overdose of caramel colouring. On ice it is creamy, floral, and altogether pleasant. It lacks the charm of regular CR (comparing from memory), but offers more body and bigger spice.

It finishes nice and consistent, with decent length. That sweet woody taste persists.

Overall, Crown Royal Black does the job. It is a bigger, juicier version of the original, missing certain elements but introducing several new ones. A touch of bitterness throws it off rather than contributing to balance, but that is a minor point. A welcome addition to the Canadian whisky section, and worth the extra bucks over Crown Royal Deluxe.


I've had regular Crown and was pleasantly surprised by it. This is adds a few sweeter and spicy notes, perhaps evidence of ex-sherry casks. I largely prefer scotch to any other whisky, but when it comes to everything, this one seems to hold it's own rather well. I wouldn't mind it as a break every once in awhile from my peaty favorites.

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