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Jameson vs Crown Royal: Which is the Better Whiskey? (2022)

Last Updated on November 24, 2022 by Lydia Martin

In a world of ever-changing trends and fads, there are some constants that always remain popular. And when it comes to whiskeys, just like Jameson and Crown Royal. 

Both spirits have been around for so long and have their fair share of fans. But if we pit them against each other, which do you think is better?

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of Jameson vs Crown Royal so that you can decide for yourself.

Crown Royal & Jameson Irish Whiskey Compared

Jameson is the best-selling Irish whiskey in the world (in terms of market share), while Crown Royal is the leading Canadian blended whisky.

Jameson is a product from Ireland and the 5th top-selling brand in America.

On the other hand, Crown Royal is a product from Canada and is ranked 2nd (next to Jack Daniels), making it a more popular choice in the US, whether as a sipper or in cocktails. 

Crown Royal uses rye in most mash bills, while Jameson uses unmalted barley to blend with the grain whiskey for the pot stills.

Both alcoholic beverages are top-notch in quality, but Jameson is a bit more affordable than Crown Royal.

Key Differences 

History & Origin

John Jameson, a former lawyer in Alloa, Scotland, founded Jameson in 1780 at Bow St. Dublin. In the 19th century, it became a world-renowned whiskey brand.

In 1966, Jameson merged with John Powers and Cork distillers, which led to the formation of Irish Distillers.

The old distillery in Bow street was closed and replaced by the New Middleton.

Meanwhile, Crown Royal, also known as Seagram’s Crown Royal, was first introduced in 1939 by Seagram’s President Samuel Bronfman as a tribute to the visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

The whisky was then exclusive to Canada until 1964, when it was first exported abroad.

Production & Distillation 

distillery copper stills

Jameson undergoes triple-distillation to remove more impurities in the liquor.

It is a blended whiskey from single-pot whiskey (a blend of malt and unmalted barley) and grain whiskey.

On the contrary, Crown Royal is a blend of more than 50 whiskies.

The ingredients of about 10,000 bushels of corn, rye, and barley daily are all sourced from Manitoba and nearby provinces in Canada.

Maturation 

Both blended whiskey brands have no age statement but are aged at least three years or longer.

All Canadian whiskies must be aged at least three years in Canada, while Irish whiskeys also require three years of maturation in Ireland.

Crown Royal is a blend of at least 50 full-bodied whiskies and is aged in either new or re-used charred oak barrels. It also uses twelve different column stills to produce its product.

On the other hand, Jameson is aged for a minimum of four (4) years in oak casks barrels.

It is aged in various barrels with an undisclosed ratio of Spain Sherry casks and ex-bourbon casks from the United States and bottled at 80 proof.

Mash Bills & Alcohol Content 

pouring jameson whiskey on a glass

Crown Royal is a complex blend and uses five different mash bills, all undisclosed.

The main ingredients in each mash bill are corn, rye, and malted barley, bottled at 80 proof (40% ABV).

Jameson is a smooth, blended Irish whiskey with a mash bill of roughly 80% maize/corn and 20% barley.

The barley used in the single pot is both malted and unmalted barley. 

All of its ingredients are resourced within 50 miles of the distillery.

Canadian Whisky vs Irish Whiskey

Most Irish whiskeys are triple-distilled to make them smooth, although it isn’t required.

They are required to be aged for a minimum of three years in Ireland [1], must not exceed 94.8% ABV, and should have the aroma and flavor of the ingredients. 

On the contrary, Canadian whiskies should be mashed, distilled, and aged for a minimum of three years in Canada.

They may contain caramel or flavoring but should not be below 40 percent ABV. [2]

Tasting Notes 

Crown Royal Blended Canadian Whisky

hand holding crown royal bottle
  • Palate: Soft and creamy with subtle notes of sweet vanilla, ripe fruit, clove, and oak 
  • Color/Hue: Light to golden amber
  • Nose: Hints of vanilla, fruit, and spice with a very low indication of alcohol on the nose
  • Finish: Medium-length finish with sweet notes of caramel, vanilla, chocolate, and toasted oak traces

Jameson Irish Whiskey

  • Palate:  Light and smooth with notes of citrus, vanilla, and malt with subtle hints of sweet caramel, cocoa, vanilla, and banana in the background
  • Color/Hue: Pale gold
  • Nose: A bit grainy on the nose, followed by sweet notes of honey, vanilla, caramel, and pear
  • Finish: Medium-length finish with malty, oaky, and earthy notes

Originating Region 

Jameson was first founded in Dublin, Ireland, but it is presently distilled in County Cork, Ireland; hence it is still labeled as a blended Irish whiskey. 

Irish whiskeys should only be produced and aged in Ireland.

Crown Royal is a blended Canadian whisky that originates in Canada. Like all Canadian whiskies should be, it is mashed, distilled, and aged for at least three years in Canada.

Product Line-Up & Availability

Jameson Whiskey Bottles Line up

Jameson whiskey and its different expressions have reached more than 120 countries worldwide and have surpassed the sales of 8 million cases in 2019.

In America, Jameson’s main products, including the standard Jameson, Jameson Cold Brew, Jameson Caskmates, Jameson Black Barrel, and the smooth Jameson 18 Year, are out on the market but can be hard to find sometimes.

“Crown Royal is a versatile liquid, crafted to be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or your favorite cocktails”

– Stephen Wilson (Director of Whisky Engagement for Crown Royal).

Crown Royal whisky varieties are divided into three categories: the signature, flavor, and master series, which are mostly available. 

But like Jameson and other quality whiskeys, Crown Royal whisky might sometimes not be available in your local liquor stores. 

Ownership & Distillery

Crown Royal is owned by Diageo, a London-based spirit giant company that also owns other famous brands like Johnnie Walker, Guinness, and Smirnoff.

Gimli Distillery near Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, distills Crown Royal. Pernod Ricard, a French company and the second-largest seller of wine and spirits, owns the brand Jameson.

Price & Value

Crown Royal on a shelves

Crown Royal’s flagship Fine Deluxe costs around $32.99 – $36.99 per 750 ml, while the standard Jameson’s average price costs around $21.99 – $22.99.

Both spirits are a good value. In fact, they dominate in their own category; Jameson is the top-selling Irish whiskey, while Crown Royal is the leading Canadian whisky.

FAQs 

Is Jameson a better sipper than Crown Royal?

Jameson is a better sipper than Crown Royal if you want an extra smooth spirit to sip.

Jameson is smoother than the latter because it undergoes the triple distillation process.

Which is stronger, Crown Royal or Jameson Irish whiskey?

The two whiskeys have the same strength, which is at 80 proof.

But since Crown Royal utilizes rye, it has a stronger and spicier flavor normally found on rye whiskeys.

Is Crown Royal a better mixer than Jameson Irish whiskey?

Crown Royal has a slight edge as a mixer compared to Jameson Irish whiskey.

Though Jameson has a smoother taste profile, we think Crown Royal has more profound flavors, which are great for mixing in various cocktails.

Final Thoughts 

Judging between these two spirits is quite difficult, but we favor Jameson in terms of value due to the lower price tag and smoother taste, making it an excellent sipper. 

Although both brands are great and commendable, Jameson is a little cheaper and has almost the same quality.

Crown Royal whisky is on the higher edge in sales volume, but Jameson has a longer history of perfecting its recipe. 

We know everyone has different preferences, so what’s your favorite bottle? Feel free to comment below. Cheers.

References:

  1. https://www.thespruceeats.com/irish-whiskey-basics-760222 
  2. https://vinepair.com/spirits-101/intro-canadian-whisky-guide/ 

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