Whisky Advocate

New Crown Royal “Black” Canadian Whisky

March 24th, 2010

This came in yesterday while I was in New York City. I have enjoyed some of the Crown Royal whiskies. I like the idea of a higher proof and “more robust whisky” description. I’ll let you know my thoughts after I taste it. (A review sample is coming.)

Here’s the information I was sent. It’s not a formal press release, but it’s what they are providing now.



We are pleased to announce the launch of Crown Royal® BLACK. This new extra bold whisky with a darker, more robust whisky blended at 90 Proof, still embodies the signature smoothness of Crown Royal.

Product description:           

Crown Royal® BLACK is a new extra bold whisky with a darker, more robust whisky blended at 90 Proof, which still embodies the signature smoothness of Crown Royal. Enjoy on the rocks.


Crown Royal® BLACK is hand-crafted by Master Blender Andrew MacKay in Manitoba, Canada.


A robust Canadian whisky devoted to full-bodied flavor. Matured to perfection in charred oak barrels and blended at a higher proof to impart more concentrated flavor. Crown Royal Black has deeper bourbon notes and a rich texture.

Tasting notes:                      

Color: Dark red-brown

 Nose: Deeper oak background with sweet maple notes and light vanilla towards the finish.

 Taste: A creamy profile as well within the Crown Royal family and ‘velvety’, which is a pleasant surprise at a higher proof. Overall profile exhibits some subtle dried fruit notes, mainly fig.

 Finish: Deeper bourbon notes and smooth at a higher proof.

Sizes:   50ml, 375ml, 750ml, 1L, 1.75L          

 Suggested Retail Price:      $30.00 (750ml

Alcohol by Volume:               90 proof, 45% (ABV)

51 Responses to “New Crown Royal “Black” Canadian Whisky”

  1. Gary says:

    Canada is a great place! I look forward to enjoying this whiskey.

    • Red_Arremer says:

      Haha yeah– Canada is a great place, Gary! Myself though, I can’t just burning cash on whisky from great places.

      • Gary says:

        So am I to understand that you are not a fan of Canadian whiskey? Too mellow? Not a challenge…just curious. Thanks.

        • Red_Arremer says:

          I’ve never had any Crown Royal Cask no. 16 or the Canadian Club 30 yo or anything like that so I can’t speak to the whole category. But when it comes to the more entry level offerings I find Canadian to be exceptionally one dimensional– all tepid, underwhelming, slightly sickening, grainy sweetness. I do like Forty Creek a real lot, but that tastes like a whole different style if that makes any sense.

          • Neil Fusillo says:

            Indeed. Forty Creek’s double barrel reserve is quite nice, and their latest port finish experiment is worlds away from any of the usual Canadian whiskies I’ve tried.

          • Gary says:

            I have had the 40 Creek and do enjoy it as well. Thanks Red. I would have to say as a “mostly” bourbon fan Canadian whiskey is pretty tame.

          • Sir Drinksalot says:

            Any Crown Royal is fine by me!

  2. Red_Arremer says:

    The marketing of Canadian has dug it into a “smooth and easy” hole. Relatively speaking, this is a huge move away from that by a big name brand. If the stuff takes off, and it might because the price is right, this could be the beginning of whole great things for the Canadian whisky. It could spark interest and export potential for the smaller Canadian distilleries, who are already doing good work, and much more besides.

  3. jimi says:

    Curious, the bottle pictured says 48.5% abv (97 proof).

    • Bob Siddoway says:

      I’m hoping they keep it at the pictured 97 proof, regardless of what the unofficial press release says! It will be interesting to see how this new one is received by people who are used to drinking Crown because the standard one is like water, but most (non-whiskey lovers) consider it to be one of “the best” whiskeys.

      Here’s to hoping for more whiskey flavor!

      I just hope it doesn’t end up like some of the newer “black versions” of popular drinks, like Captain Morgan Tattoo or Jose Cuervo whatever it was called, among others that are awful.

      • sam k says:

        97 proof? Oh, my heart…

      • Lizinkc says:

        I am regular Crown Royal drinker. The taste was mellow to be 90 proof. I did get a headache. I never got the headache with Crown Royal 80 proof. So today I am just having some red wine. I will not buy it my self Crown Royal cost enough where I buy it at.
        I will see what others think because I drink a pint of Crown Royal 80 proof but did not finish the Crown Royal Black.

  4. sam k says:

    Oh my God! A 90 proof Canadian whisky? Pigs flying, Hell freezing, etc., etc.?

    This is a major step into the late 20th century for the staid Canadian distilling industry, and is hopefully a harbinger of things to come. Great news from up north!

  5. Chef! says:

    I enjoyed Cask 16 very much otherwise I’m not a big Canadian fan nor do I seek it out when I have a budget on whisky purchasing. But this sounds promising! Can’t wait to give it a shot.

    • Red_Arremer says:

      What exactly is so special about this Cask 16?

      • Monique at the Dell says:

        It’s aged in Cognac. It’s really about the only Canadian that I can stomach (although there are some great 40 Creeks out there too!). The Cognac lends it an authenticity, a depth of flavor that I don’t normally get in typical Canadian whiskies. They seem too sweet, flat and caramel-influenced. Nice to see another one taking a cue from successful Scotch whiskies.

  6. MrTH says:

    For $30, I’ll take a flyer, if I happen to see it. At worst, it’s an innocuous whisky to have toward the end of an evening.

  7. Hunter says:

    I’ve been surprised/pleased with Forty Creek’s offerings, so maybe I’ll have to give this one a try.

  8. pj says:

    for people in the twin cities: I saw this on sale at morellis market for $22.

    edit: also, I didn’t look close enough to see the abv.

  9. tee roc says:

    I just tasted the crown black and its very smooth to be 90 proof. They should consider a reserve in deed.

  10. Mike says:

    I can see why most bourbon/Scotch drinkers are underwhelmed by Canadian whisky, but most of these drinkers have only tried standard offerings by Canadian Club, Wisers, etc. The aged varieties are much better, though they are still quite subtle (not “flat” or “tasteless”) compared to Scotch and bourbon. Forty Creek is pretty good though I would take Crown Royal over Barrel Select any day. Can’t wait to try this Black version. If you can find it, Crown Royal Limited Edition is quite good as well.

    • Whisky lover says:

      YOu can find it on ebay from time to time…the Crown royal limited edition. Just go to ebay and then search for crown royal limited edition whisky.

  11. SCOTT TOMES says:


  12. Mark says:

    It is Now available in Tn. Bought a bottle a few minutes ago in Lavergne. Smoother than regular Crown, but now quite as smooth as Reserve. Nice price though, only 3 bux higher than regular.

  13. Jeff K says:

    The staff at my local carryout pointed this out to me a couple of weeks ago when it first hit the shelves in OH (same price a the regular here). A friend of mine in a CR nut so I took the bottle over and let him check the Black out. We did a taste test with reg Crown, Black and Reserve an we both liked the Black better than the reg CR. We compared it to a Sam Adams Lager vs Coors Light, fuller flavor but still a smooth finish.
    I just happen to be one of those that just do not care for scotch or bourbons but I really enjoy the smoothness of Crown (I prefer my whisky over ice without any mix) so the Black will be my choice in the future. Definately worth a try.

    • Sir Drinksalot says:

      Im a huge CR fan and have injoyed it for years…but I’ve got to say not very impressed with the black.

  14. Dan H says:

    Crown regular, Crown CR, Crown Reserve, Crown Limited (only available in canada) are the only whiskey that passes my lips. I can not wait for another stronger version of the orignial as long as it does not have that bite that scotch whiskey lovers seem to like. The Limited is the absolute best, I used to bring back a case (12) each year but not been there in the last two years so I am looking forward to taste of the black when it hits the store shelfs. Cask16 was more cognac than I care for, 40 creek is not bad but not even close to crown but cheap and ok if the store is out of crown.

  15. badvegan says:

    Crown Royal is to whiskey what Mc Donalds is to food. This new offering of Crown Black tastes suspiciously like regular Crown with chemicals added. The only black i care for however is Jim Beam Black, however it is usually a tad tricky to find. Here in Lubbock Texas a 750 sells for $27.95 however liquor is usually high here. It is indeed 45% so the 97 proof almost made it down here but not quite.

  16. samkenny says:

    i just tired the crown royal black in my mind it is amazing. it a full flavor and a nice smooth taste to it. noted i have drank every crown royal, jack, knob creek, jamson products. but noted some of the best whiskey you can get can only be found in kanas its called most wanted. i has a nice smooth full flavor and is only 15 a bottle not to shabby aye?

  17. Ray Abraham says:

    Well boys and girls….. I , cannot wait to try the Crown Royal Black. Any offering from Mr. Mckay is fabulous!

    John, remember about a month or so ago I mentioned I boughta bottle of original Crown and how I said it was much darker and had a more magnified taste? Perhaps they had mistakenly poured some into regular bottles by error? This black is going to be exciting to taste, perhaps again?

  18. Mike M says:

    I tried the crown black last night for the first time. I have drank all of the crown royal brands and honestly still my favorite is the reserve. The reserve for me has the best flavor and is by far the smoothest.

  19. JimmyD says:

    I have just tried the Crown Royal Black and unfortunatly I have to say it was terrible. First of all no Crown Royal should be mixed with anyhting except maybe ice. Crown Royal Black on ice is just awful.
    I still believe the Crown Royal Cask16 and the XR and of course the original Crown Royals are the best so far
    JimmyD NYC

  20. Kathi says:

    I don’t care for it! First time ever to get a headache from a Crown Royal product

    • JPG says:

      You must try Pendleton. It is fantastic, smooth smooth smooth and by far the best dollar for dollar canadian whiskey out there.
      the jam

  21. Ray Abraham says:

    Yes, I tried it also. For the sake of eating crow, I have to also admit it was lousy!!!!! Stay away. Hey Crown get with it!

  22. Ron says:

    I sitting here looking at the bottle and have not tasted it yet, but I think it will be good. I am a Crown Royal partaker for 20 something years and prefer nothing else. Sometimes you get immune to some things and need to try something stronger in the same line.

  23. […] While I personally have not dabbled in this new drink – or any other Crown Royal drink for that matter – it has been described to have “…notes of maple and caramel [that] are deeper, and longer…“, and “A creamy profile… and ‘velvety’ … exhibits some subtle dried fruit notes, mainly fig“. […]

  24. bill h says:

    I tried it recently, two separate evenings (World Series games 😉

    And I like it. No headaches. Very smooth. I like the mild aftertaste, it did not taste bitter at all.

    I did not try it over ice – I don’t drink any whiskey, bourbon, or scotch over ice….

    I’m a fan. Woodford Reserve, Maker’s Mark, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel (well, when it first came out, it was amazing, now……seems diluted by demand, no pun intended), joined by Royal Crown Black.


  25. M.M. says:

    Just received a bottle for my birthday, and I absolutely love it. Very strong if taken straight, but add in some mix and it is one gorgeous drink.


  26. iain mcneill says:

    this i would like to try , where do i find it?

  27. KR says:

    My wife bought me a bottle of CR Black. My first reaction was, “why did you buy this”? I guess whiskey, like most other things, is a matter of personal taste and preference. All I can say is I love this stuff! Maybe too much!

  28. JO says:

    Crown Black and Diet Coke tast wonderful!!!!

  29. Danny Amirault says:

    Received a bottle for Christmas and I loved it.The problem is I can’t get it here
    any time required.

© Copyright 2017. Whisky Advocate. All rights reserved.