Whisky Review – Crown Royal Maple


Crown Royal Maple Finish

Once again, G-LO was out on the interwebz and his efforts produced several samples of Crown Royal Maple. The bottle tells me that this is Crown Royal’s fine deluxe maple flavored whisky.  From the description at their website, the Crown Royal Maple is “a master blend of premium whisky finished with maple-toasted oak for a uniquely smooth finish”. Crown Royal was produced in 1939 especially for the visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth by Samuel Bronfman, then president of Seagram’s. Over the course of the next 60 years, the brand continued to flourish and became the bestselling Canadian whisky in the US. When the Bronfman family divested itself of the Seagram’s portfolio, Crown Royal was acquired by Diageo.

Here is what Crown Royal has to say about the Maple:

The legendary taste of Crown Royal with a touch of natural maple flavor. Our master blender finished our celebrated whisky with maple-toasted oak to yield a uniquely smooth experience. It’s a perfect blend of Crown Royal’s signature caramel and vanilla nose with the elegant aromas of light, fresh maple that creates a flavor profile that finishes on an authentically warm and woody note. Whisky Started, Maple Finished.

We found the Crown Royal Maple to have the following characteristics…

Limpd’s Tasting Notes

  • Appearance: Orange marmalade with lots of legs.
  • Aroma: Maple, maple and maple.
  • Taste: Syrupy sweet with a little hint of spice (cinnamon, black pepper) and a soft, smooth finish.
  • ABV: 40%

If you have ever wondered what Mrs. Butterworth and Aunt Jemima do to kick back after a hard week of selling pancakes, this is it. I imagine the ladies on quite a syrupy bender with this interesting blend of the top-selling Canadian whisky and maple flavoring. I suppose some might find this to be just too sweet and to have had the mild kick of Crown Royal further softened. However, I think this blend might bridge the gap between a liqueur and a whisky.

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G-LO’s Tasting Notes

  • Appearance: Pretty much looks like Maple Syrup in a glass.
  • Aroma: Maple syrup dominates the nose, but I also get a touch of baking spices (vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg) along with a smattering of pipe tobacco.
  • Taste: Slightly syrupy mouthfeel, but definitely not as viscous as I was expecting. That maple syrup sweetness is front and center but it doesn’t completely wash out the whisky flavors. Once the sweetness subsides a bit, the baking spices kick in and are actually quite warming. Sweet maple syrup and cinnamon backed finish that lingers for about a minute. Maple syrup and vanilla aftertaste.
  • ABV: 40%

The last time I drank anything similar to this was when I picked up a bottle of Sortilege (a maple syrup and Canadian whisky liqueur) for my Papa when I was in Montreal way back in 1995 (for you F1 fans out there, I was there for the Canadian Grand Prix and witnessed Jean Alesi’s first and only F1 victory. A great weekend in a great city!). Although the Crown Royal Maple isn’t nearly as sweet as that stuff, it definitely leans towards the dessert drink side of the flavor spectrum. I actually didn’t find it to be as sweet as I was expecting, and am impressed to taste some actual whisky flavor coming through. While it’s a touch too sweet for me to drink straight, I did try it on ice with some club soda and found it to be pretty good. It will probably work even better with some Barritts Ginger Beer served over ice with a wedge of lime.

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Thanks again to Joe Clarkson of Taylor Strategy for sending us this sample!

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17 thoughts on “Whisky Review – Crown Royal Maple

    • Yes! It is indeed an Aunt Jemima bottle lurking in the background along with some real maple syrup and some baking spice containers. Good eye!

      So you like the maple syrup then. The question is, do you like it as much as this guy:

  1. I was looking long and lovingly at this over Christmas because my wife drinks maple liqueur. I didn’t get it because we had a bottle of Flag Hill Maple (based on New Hampshire maple syrup and their apple vodka) and Sortilege – the Canadian whisky and Quebec maple syrup specialty of the Montreal / Quebec City area. Sortilege came first for us: hot and sweet. Flag Hill blew it out of the water: butterscotchy and incredibly smooth and cool. As it was, I broke the Flag Hill by accident and we nearly finished the Sortilege with my sister-in-law after the champagne was gone New Year’s night. I can tell a bottle of this Crown Royal Maple is in my near future.

    • As I mentioned in my tasting notes, my only other experience with this type of liqueur just happens to be Sortilege (I remember liking it when I had it almost 20 years ago). As I was telling Johanne via Twitter this afternoon, I was expecting dreadful, but was pleasantly surprised by this. Not sure if I’d buy a whole bottle though.

  2. My wife doesn’t finish a single glass of wine. But she had 3 glasses of Sortilege and it’s the only drinking I’ve ever done with her of anything even remotely containing whisky (other than Irish Cream). My hope is that introducing Royal Crown Maple might, maybe, be a “gateway” to whisky. If it works I’d try the Royal Crown Cask No. 16. If that flies I’m there! If not, maybe she’d have a maple while I had something else. A man can dream…

    • My wife doesn’t go for the whisky stuff either, but she will entertain a whisky cocktail, i.e. a Whisky Sour, Whisky and Ginger Ale, Bailey’s, etc.. While it would be nice if she joined me in a drink on occasion, my whisky budget thanks her for not partaking. Besides, there’s always wine and craft beer. ;)

  3. This is the type of drink you pour over ice cream! I was thinking maybe even just use it for pancakes but I’d wonder what my friends would say if I grabbed a bottle of this stuff next time we had brunch…

    • Actually, pouring this over some high quality vanilla ice cream would be fantastic! I also like your brunch suggestion and I firmly believe that it would be perfectly acceptable to pour these over your pancakes, french toast, or waffles. I mean, booze is a HUGE part of brunch. While I don’t know the exact origins of brunch, I suspect the fact that it usually takes place on a Sunday between 10AM and 2PM means that this meal was invented as a hangover cure. Bloody Marys, Mimosas, breakfast food, meats and cheeses. If that can’t cure a Saturday night of hard drinking hangover, then nothing will! Dim Sum falls into this category as well. Dumplings, Steamed Pork Buns and a Suffering Bastard cocktail… the new hangover cure!

      • At first, I was a little horrified by the thought of corrupting pancake syrup. But, then I remembered the bottle of Evan Williams infused maple syrup that I just picked up from KY. I guess my initial judgment may have been a bit harsh. Brunch on!

  4. In a word…terrible. Just opening the bottle leaves the room stinking of maple.
    I recently purchased a bottle of Collingwood which has not entered my a list of whiskies, but it is light and I enjoyed the slight hint of maple. I thought I would try Crown Royal Maple. Big mistake. Wish I could get my money back. The maple aroma and taste of Crown Royal Maple is soooo overpowering. As I said…once opened it seems to permeate the room! I will use the balance to make this: http://thebakingbird.com/pear-cardamom-maple-whiskey-bundt-cake/

    • Hi Bob!

      I really didn’t think it was all that bad. Definitely sweet, but somewhat drinkable from what I remember (in small doses of course!). At least you were able to find a delicious use for it. That cake sounds fantastic!

      Thanks for the comment! Cheers!

      G-LO

  5. When I first tasted it, I thought it had way too much maple flavor, but when I turned the amount I poured into a minimal old fashioned (bitters, lemon and a dash of sugar) on the rocks, the flavors came together really well – the bitter seemed to neutralize the maple a little. That’s how I would recommend it.

  6. Pingback: Whisky Review – Crown Royal XO | It's just the booze dancing...

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