Is Crown Royal Bourbon Or Not? (2023 Updated)

Last Updated on August 22, 2023 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 Really Bourbon?

Crown Royal

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. 


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. 

Key Takeaways

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!



Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.

One thought on “Is Crown Royal Bourbon Or Not? (2023 Updated)

  • June 3, 2022 5:21 am at 5:21 am

    Crown Royal XR is my favorite but since y’all don’t make it anymore I don’t know what I’m gonna do please bring back XR


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *