Crown Royal Single Malt Canadian Whisky


Classification: Single Malt

Company: Diageo

Distillery: The Crown Royal Company

Release Date: June 2024

Proof: 90

Age: NAS

Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley

Color: Light Gold

MSRP: $55 / 750mL (2024)

Official Website

Crown Royal Canadian Whisky is the number-one selling Canadian whiskey brand in the world. According to Diageo, Crown Royal Canadian Whisky was “specially blended to commemorate a grand tour of Canada made by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain in 1939.” Crown Royal Single Malt Canadian Whisky marks the brand's first endeavor into the single malt market. The company says the new release pays homage to the brand's Canadian roots and is distilled at Valleyfield Distillery in a copper still. According to their press release, “the whisky is 'cut from the cold', using Canada's cool climate and topography to distill the whisky delicately.” Notably, the company’s press materials describe the whiskey as being “smooth” multiple times.


A delicate aroma is built on a foundation of light caramel, green apple, toasted oak. It’s surprisingly light overall, yet has a slight warmth and sweetness to it. This only slightly helps it pull from the depths of mediocrity, but it still struggles to give off anything unique about its scents. It lacks presence and as a result is instantly forgettable.


The palate brings a good deal of sweetness, which is delivered with a very light but also mildly creamy consistency. Honey and vanilla cream give way to honey-roasted nuts and cinnamon. These flavors work well together but are hamstrung by the whiskey’s tepid delivery of flavors. Likewise, a thin layer of malt is present however it’s short-lived.


A welcomed amount of spice is brought in during the finish, which livens up this whiskey. A thin layer of barrel char, light brown sugar, toffee, and buttercream finally help bring some complexity to the whiskey’s sip. Yet,due to their lightness, the additional flavors don’t have as much of an impact as needed. The result is a finish that balances spice and sweetness nicely, but it comes so late that it’s not enough to save the sip.


With single malts slowly on the rise, many brands are feeling the need to have a presence in the space. Jim Beam with Clermont Steep, Limestone Branch with Yellowstone American Single Malt, and Diageo with not just Crown Royal Single Malt, but also Bulleit American Single Malt, are just a few of the numerous recently introduced single malts consumers can choose from. One common trait many of these larger brands have compared to the stalwarts in the space like Westward Whiskey, Westland Whiskey, Whiskey Del Bac, and Balcones, is their seeming aversion to putting their malted barley flavor front and center. Single malt whiskeys can be very distinct and challenging, and it seems that many larger brands breaking into the single malt space are taking a careful onboarding path with flavor profiles more in common with bourbon than what the more tenured single malt producers have been releasing.

That is the case with Crown Royal Single Malt. Though it gives off hints of its single malt heritage, it seems designed to come off more like a blended whiskey. It’s light, approachable, and inoffensive - descriptions I also used in my Bulleit American Single Malt review. Coming from the same parent company and both from brands with a very mainstream appeal, it makes sense to tread lightly when trying to introduce their consumers to a completely new style of whiskey. That said, Crown Royal Canadian Whisky has its fans because it offers a distinct style of whiskey. It doesn’t play it so safe with such an approachable whiskey that it has nothing unique to say or is so bland it doesn’t appeal to anybody. That same approach should have been carried over with Crown Royal Single Malt.


Thanks to single malts 100% malted barley mashbills, their price points are typically higher compared to bourbon’s 51%+ corn mashbills, as barley generally costs more to produce than corn. Everything from Yellowstone American Single Malt, Clermont Steep, Stranahan’s, Westland Whiskey, Westward Whiskey, and Balcones fall within the $55-$70 price range.

Coming in at $55, Crown Royal Single Malt is priced $5 less than the company’s own Bulleit American Single Malt. On paper it seems like Crown Royal is offering a decent value in a direct numbers game. But comparing its sip to all of the aforementioned single malts, a rather substantial divide forms. Crown Royal Single Malt is a relatively simple pour that does away with many single malt characteristics for something that comes off much more as an uninspired blended whiskey. If this was priced more in line with the standard Crown Royal Canadian Whisky, I could see more people taking a chance on it. Of course, we also live in a world where people will pay $100 for a blackberry-flavored Crown Royal, so maybe this whiskey is priced exactly right? For those looking for an interesting single malt, Crown Royal Single Malt does not fit the bill. For those looking to try an easy-drinking single malt, it is certainly that, but $55 seems like a high price to pay for that and nothing else.


Crown Royal Single Malt is extremely approachable thanks to its overall sweet flavor profile and proof, but does little to show what makes single malt whiskey special.

For lovers of single malt whiskeys, Crown Royal Single Malt doesn’t offer anything new. It’s yet another major brand getting their foot in the single malt door, just in case the style of whiskey takes off with American consumers. Crown Royal Single Malt goes for approachability and ease of sip rather than offering anything unique or challenging. In a lot of ways, it's the Basil Hayden of single malts. The whiskey itself will likely have little lasting impact, and instead, its benefit to the greater single malt scene may be the attention and awareness it will give to this growing style of whiskey. Maybe that is exactly what single malt whiskey needs at the moment when it comes to skeptical American consumers, who are often less adventurous with new whiskey styles than you might think. It clearly isn’t going to be an overnight success and more of a slow burn. Thanks to the power of the Crown Royal brand, this could be the first single malt many of their customers have ever tried. It’s a stepping stone whiskey of sorts, offering little to the experienced single malt drinker, but acting as an easy place for newcomers to try and explore. Let's just hope consumers don’t interpret this release as all of what single malts have to offer.

The sample used for this review was provided to us at no cost courtesy its respective company. We thank them for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.
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Written By: Eric Hasman

July 5, 2024
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