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Crown Royal XR Red vs Blue Canadian Whisky (2024 Updated)

Crown Royal XR Red vs Blue

Crown Royal is a popular blended Canadian whisky in the US. The brand has gone through multiple downfalls, but its whisky is still rolling in the industry. 

In this article, we got the XR series to compare, Crown Royal XR Red vs Blue edition. 

We’ll dig deeper, make a head-to-head comparison, and discover why they’re considered ’Extra Rare’ whiskies.

Comparing Crown Royal XR Red & Blue Canadian Whiskies

Crown Royal XR Red & Blue Canadian Whiskies with two glasse on a table

The Crown Royal Extra Rare series contains two editions: the Crown Royal XR Red and the Crown Royal XR Blue. 

It might come from one series, but the two-color edition is produced from two distilleries.

Crown Royal XR Red came from Seagram’s Waterloo Distillery, while Crown Royal XR Blue was made from Seagram’s LaSalle distillery.

The tasting notes are notably unique from each other. The Crown Royal XR Red has a fruity yet slightly spicier flavor profile, while the XR Blue has a sweeter flavor profile.

Head To Head Combat 

History & Origin

Samuel Bronfman introduced Crown Royal for the 1939 royal tour of Canada.

It was a gift for the king and queen of England, which is why the brand was named Crown Royal.

Crown Royal was created by Seagram Company and has been owned by the Diageo Brand since 2000.

Its Extra Rare (XR) series started in 2006 with its first XR Red edition. After several years, Crown Royal introduced its XR Blue edition in 2012. [1]

Production & Distillation Process 

distillery copper still

Master blender Andrew MacKay leads the Crown Royal XR series production in the LaSalle distillery in Quebec, Canada. The XR series started after a fire destroyed most of the Waterloo Distillery in 2003.

Since both Waterloo and LaSalle distilleries are now closed, there’s no specific statement about the types of stills used in distillation. 

Its first edition, the XR Red, contained the final Extra Rare batches of the aged whiskies from the Waterloo distillery. 

On the other hand, the XR Blue was handcrafted by precisely blending over 50 component whiskies with one of the final Extra Rare batches from the LaSalle distillery.

Mashbills

Crown Royal Extra Rare whiskies are blended Canadian whiskies made from the finest ingredients of cereal grains of corn, barley, and rye—which are all milled and mashed.

The Crown Royal brand uses five different recipes and mash bills. However, no actual mashbill content is mentioned with the Extra Rare series whiskies.

Maturation Process 

whisky oak barrel

After the distilling process, Crown Royal Extra Rare whiskies are aged into wooden barrels. Also, no exact types of casks cited where it was aged.

But most Canadian whiskies use American oak barrels in the maturing process.

During its process, the whisky’s temperature, location, and humidity strongly affect its maturation. 

Since the Crown Royal Extra Rare series came from two distilleries, the Waterloo and LaSalle distillery, it greatly impacts each unique flavor attribute.

“She filled her glass and fixed her crown. She’s royal.”

– JL MacDougall, Writer

Age Statement

The Crown Royal XR series have no age statements. But as per Canadian whiskies requirement, it must be aged for at least three years in Canada. [2]

Alcohol Content

close up shot of crown royal xr blue bottle

Even though Crown Royal XR Red and Blue are distilled and matured differently, both are bottled with 40% alcohol content.

The brand follows the Canadian whisky requirement that all Canadian whiskies should not be bottled with not less than 40% alcohol by volume. 

Tasting Notes of Crown Royal XR Red vs Blue

Crown Royal XR Red

  • Palate: It has pleasant notes of apples, caramel, pear hints, bites of maple candy with pepper, and rye spice.
  • Color: It has a medium amber color hue.
  • Nose: Rich apple and peach aromas, fruity hints, vanilla, caramel, and rye spiciness.
  • Finish: Medium finish with fruity undertones and lingering rye spice.

Crown Royal XR Blue

  • Palate: It has a pleasant mouthfeel with the sweetness of toffee, honey, dried fruits, and smoky hints.
  • Color: It has a golden amber color.
  • Nose: Rich butterscotch, dried fruit, and vanilla aroma with peppery rye spice.
  • Finish: Long creamy finish ends with lingering spice and hints of caramel.

Ownership & Distillery

Crown Royal XR Red bottle with decanter and glass

Crown Royal brand is a blended Canadian whisky presently owned by Diageo Company—which also owns hundreds of brands, including Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff. 

Its Canadian whiskies are currently produced at Gimli, Manitoba, while the blending and bottling of the whisky are made in a facility in Amherstburg, Ontario.

Crown Royal’s original Waterloo and LaSalle distilleries are closed and no longer produce XR series whiskies.

Price & Value

The Crown Royal XR Red edition has a retail price of around $80 for a 750ml bottle after its launch, but currently, an Extra Rare of this bottle would cost around $1,900.

On the other hand, Crown Royal XR Blue was released with a suggested retail price of about $129.99 for a 750 ml bottle. Today, a Crown Royal XR Blue would cost an average of $900. 

Crown Royal XR Red and XR Blue come with an engraved box and velvet bags, red and blue, respectively. 

FAQs Related to Crown Royal XR Red vs Blue

Are Crown XR Blue and Red discontinued?

Yes, Crown XR Blue and Red versions are discontinued. The Crown Royal Extra Rare whisky series started in 2006, and currently, XR Red and Blue are considered their retired whiskies.

Why is the Crown Royal XR series so expensive?

The Crown Royal XR series are expensive because there is a very limited supply, and they are no longer produced. 
The last batch of these whiskies was distilled at Seagram’s Waterloo Distillery, which was burned down in 1993. It was continued in its LaSalle distillery but is also now closed.

Which Crown Royal XR Variation Offers a Bolder Flavor Profile: Red or Blue?

Crown Royal XR Red typically offers a bolder and more intense flavor profile compared to XR Blue. Its aging in red oak barrels imparts deep and complex flavors, making it a favorite among whiskey enthusiasts seeking a robust taste experience.

Which Occasions Are Best Suited for Crown Royal XR Red?

Crown Royal XR Red is well-suited for special occasions and celebrations where a bold and memorable whiskey experience is desired. Its rich flavor profile makes it an excellent choice for sipping neat or enjoying in sophisticated cocktails.

Can I Expect Noticeable Differences in Aroma Between Crown Royal XR Red and Blue?

Yes, the aging process in different oak barrels imparts unique aromas to each variation. Crown Royal XR Red may exhibit deeper, spicier notes, while XR Blue may offer smoother, more subtle aromatics, providing distinct olfactory experiences.

Are Crown Royal XR Red and Blue Limited Editions or Part of the Permanent Collection?

Crown Royal XR Red and Blue are both limited edition offerings within the Crown Royal portfolio. These special releases showcase the brand’s commitment to craftsmanship and innovation in whiskey-making.

Which Food Pairings Complement Crown Royal XR Red and Blue?

Crown Royal XR Red’s bold flavor pairs well with hearty dishes like grilled steak or roasted game meats, while XR Blue’s smoother profile harmonizes with lighter fare such as seafood or creamy desserts. Experiment to find your preferred pairing.

Are Crown Royal XR Red and Blue Suitable for Gifting?

Yes, both Crown Royal XR Red and Blue make exceptional gifts for whiskey enthusiasts or special occasions. Their premium packaging and exquisite taste make them ideal choices for those seeking a memorable and refined gift option.

Final Say

Crown Royal XR Red vs Blue edition head-to-head combat has ended, literally.

These two extra-rare whiskies are coming to extinction because they are no longer produced.

But if you ever get the luck and come across either of these Extra Rare bottles—give them a try. Their sophisticated and refined blend will never disappoint you.

References:

  1. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/crown-royal-unveils-new-whisky-creating-extra-rare-whisky-series-151744185.html 
  2. https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/C.R.C.,_c._870/section-B.02.020.html 
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