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Is Crown Royal Bourbon Or Not? (2024 Updated)

Is Crown Royal Bourbon Or Not

Last Updated on March 13, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Crown Royal’s “The Blenders’ Series – Crown Royal Bourbon Mash” gathered so much attention after its release because of its confusing name. 

Is Crown Royal bourbon? To avoid confusion, here’s our intensive research about Crown Royal.

Is Crown Royal Real Bourbon?

Crown Royal, Is crown royal bourbon

We hate to break it to you, but no, Crown Royal is not a bourbon whiskey but a Canadian blended whisky. Production of bourbons is highly regulated, and it has to meet certain requirements to be labeled one [1]. 

Bourbon and whiskey can and cannot be the same; all bourbons are whiskey, but not all whiskeys are bourbons.

While it uses the key ingredients (corn, rye, and barley) that qualify the contents of bourbon, the production process and flavor blend of Crown Royal do not fit the qualification. 

It’s A Canadian Blended Whisky 

Crown Royal is a Canadian blended whisky, and even if the brand uses the same key ingredients like bourbon, it cannot be considered a bourbon.

Based on Food and Drug Regulation [2], Canadian blended whisky shall be produced and aged in Canada.

Moreso, it should have a minimum of 40% ABV and be aged for a minimum of three years. 

It is made from the finest Canadian ingredients, and 80% of its grain is locally sourced from Manitoba and other surrounding provinces.

It contains 40% ABV (80 proof), and like other bourbon and whiskey, the distilled spirit can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in cocktails.

But does Crown Royal whisky go bad?

What Makes Crown Royal A Bourbon (Or Not) 

Crown Royal Black

Is Crown Royal considered a bourbon? No, Crown Royal is a Canadian blended whisky, but because it uses the same mash bill of bourbon and is labeled with the name, it was confused as a bourbon.

The mash bill contains above 51% corn, rye distillates, and malted barley. With this, Diageo came up with the Crown Royal Bourbon Mash label, which is part of the company’s The Blenders’ Series whisky line.

In addition, it is aged in oak barrels, but unlike bourbon whiskey, which uses new charred oak barrels every production, any Canadian whisky can be aged in new wood barrels or ex-bourbon barrels. 

Fun Facts 

Fun Facts 

Production Process

The production process of Crown Royal whisky starts with the locally sourced grains (corn, barley, and rye) that are fermented and distilled in twelve distillation columns.

The corn, malted barley, and rye are distilled and matured separately for a certain time before blending and bottling. 

Unlike Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey, Canadian whiskies do not undergo filtration in ten feet of charcoal to be smooth.

The whiskey recipe makes the distilled spirit a smooth, classic Canadian whisky.

The distilled rye and corn are matured in new or ex-bourbon oak barrels to develop the distinct character of the classic Canadian whisky. Find out the differences between Crown Royal and Pendleton whisky here

Mash Bill


The spirit is made from 64% corn, 5% malted barley, and 31% rye. The starches from corn and rye are converted to sugar and then into alcohol.

They use five different whiskey recipes, then blend them before aging in charred oak barrels. 

Who Makes It

Crown Royal is a Canadian whisky brand owned by Diageo since 2000.

In 1939, Queen Elizabeth and King George VI visited Canada, so Sam Bronfman crafted a whisky as a gift to honor the Royal Crown.

It features a purple bag and a drawstring made of gold with gold tassels. 

Right now, the production of Crown is at Gimli, Manitoba, while the bottling of Canadian whiskies takes place in Amherstburg, Ontario.

Trivia: Bronfman tried more than 600 blends of corn, rye, and barley before arriving at the final blend. 

Flavor Notes

Crown Royal with glasses

The blended whisky has robust and rich subtle notes of fruit and vanilla. It is exceptionally smooth and creamy with the sweetness of vanilla, toasted oak, sweet caramel, and buttery toffee. Moreso, it has a long and lingering finish suitable for the Royals. 

Also Read:

Does Crown Royal Make A Bourbon?

Crown Royal does not make bourbon whiskey, but it is known to be an expert in creating Blended Canadian whisky.

Bourbons should be made inside the US to be legally called one, and since Crown Royal is made outside the USA, it cannot be called bourbon. 

Since the “Blenders’ Series- Bourbon Mash” is produced outside the USA, the company was forbidden to use it anymore, and Diageo revised the label. 

Check out Crown Royal XR Red vs Blue here.

What’s Bourbon Mash Crown Royal? 

Bourbon Mash Crown Royal

The Bourbon Mash Crown Royal has an interesting journey because the Blenders’ Series drew attention for its confusing name.

Clearly, it is a Canadian whisky that uses a mash like a bourbon to produce a smooth-tasting whisky. 

However, bourbons should only be made in the USA, so even though the Transfer and Tax Bureau (TTB) approved the label, the brand was forced to rename the brand from Bourbon Mash to Blended Mash. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Crown Royal top shelf?

Yes, Crown Royal is a top-shelf whisky, and it is considered one of the best Canadian whiskies in the world.

It had almost 600 trials before the final blend to ensure that it would fit the royalty standard. 

How many flavors of Crown Royal are there?

There are twenty-three flavors of Crown Royal that are readily available in online and physical stores.

There are four Signature Series, six Master Series, four Flavor Series, five Retired Whiskies, and four Ready-to-Drink selections. 

Is Crown Royal a bourbon or whisky?

Crown Royal is a Canadian whisky, not a bourbon. It is produced in Canada and follows the regulations set by the Canadian government for whisky production.

Canadian whiskies, including Crown Royal, often have a distinct flavor profile and may undergo different aging and blending processes compared to bourbons.

Why is Crown not a bourbon?

Crown Royal is not classified as bourbon because it is not produced in the United States and does not adhere to the specific regulations that define bourbon.

Bourbon must meet certain criteria, including being produced in the U.S., containing at least 51% corn in the mash bill, and being aged in new charred oak barrels.

Since Crown Royal is a Canadian whisky, it follows the regulations set by the Canadian government for whisky production, which differ from those governing bourbon.

Can you use Crown Royal instead of bourbon?

While Crown Royal is not a bourbon, it can be used as a substitute in some cocktails that traditionally call for bourbon. Keep in mind that the flavor profiles of Canadian whisky and bourbon differ, so the substitution may result in a slightly different taste.

Experimenting with different ratios and adjusting the ingredients to your preference can help you achieve the desired flavor in your cocktails.

What type of alcohol is Crown Royal?

Crown Royal is a Canadian whisky. It is known for its smooth and mellow character, which is achieved through a blend of different aged whiskies.

The specific blend of grains used in Crown Royal’s mash bill and its aging process contribute to its unique flavor profile, distinguishing it as a Canadian whisky.

Is Jack Daniel’s a bourbon?

No, Jack Daniel’s is not a bourbon. It is a Tennessee whiskey. While similar to bourbon in many ways, Tennessee whiskey undergoes an additional filtration process known as the Lincoln County Process, where the whiskey is filtered through sugar maple charcoal before aging.

This process imparts a distinctive smoothness to the final product.

Is Hennessy a bourbon?

No, Hennessy is not a bourbon. Hennessy is a type of cognac, which is a variety of brandy produced in the Cognac region of France. Cognac has its own set of regulations and production methods, distinct from those governing bourbons or other types of whiskies.

Cognac is made from white wine grapes and is aged in oak barrels, resulting in a rich and complex spirit.

Is Crown Royal considered Scotch?

No, Crown Royal is not considered Scotch. Scotch whisky must be produced in Scotland and adhere to specific regulations, including the use of malted barley as the primary grain. Crown Royal, on the other hand, is a Canadian whisky.

It is made in Canada and typically contains a blend of different grains, such as corn, rye, and barley.

Is Crown Royal a bad whisky?

The quality of Crown Royal, like any whisky, is subjective and depends on personal taste preferences. Crown Royal is a popular and well-regarded Canadian whisky known for its smooth and mellow profile.

It has won several awards, and many people enjoy its flavor and versatility in cocktails. Whether it’s considered a “bad” whisky is a matter of individual opinion, as tastes can vary widely.

Is Jim Beam a bourbon?

Yes, Jim Beam is a bourbon. It is a well-known American whiskey brand, and its flagship product, Jim Beam Original (White Label), is a straight bourbon whiskey.

To be classified as bourbon, a whiskey must meet specific criteria, including being made in the United States, containing at least 51% corn in the mash bill, and being aged in new charred oak barrels.

Is Crown Royal a brandy or cognac?

No, Crown Royal is neither a brandy nor a cognac. It falls under the category of Canadian whisky.

Brandy is typically distilled from fruit juices, while cognac is a specific type of brandy produced in the Cognac region of France from specific grape varieties.

Is Crown Royal a top-shelf whiskey?

Crown Royal is often considered a mid-range whisky in terms of pricing, and whether it is considered “top-shelf” depends on individual perspectives and preferences.

While it may not be as expensive as some premium or ultra-premium whiskies, Crown Royal has a strong reputation and is enjoyed by many, making it a popular choice for both casual and seasoned whisky enthusiasts.

Is Jack Daniel’s the same as Crown Royal?

No, Jack Daniel’s and Crown Royal are different types of whiskies from different countries. Jack Daniel’s is a Tennessee whiskey, produced in Tennessee, USA, and known for its charcoal mellowing process.

Crown Royal, on the other hand, is a Canadian whisky, produced in Canada. Each brand has its own unique production methods, flavor profiles, and characteristics, making them distinct from one another.

Finval Verdict: Is Crown Royal Bourbon

Crown Royal is confused as a bourbon, but it is a Canadian whisky. The production process does not fit the qualification of being a bourbon, but whether a whiskey or a bourbon, one thing is for sure, Crown Royal is good whiskey made for the Royals. 

What is your favorite blended whisky? Please share it with us in the comment box below!


  1. 5 Rules That Make It Bourbon
  2. Canadian Whisky, Canadian Rye Whisky or Rye Whisky
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