Crown Royal Apple / Crown Royal XO

Crown Royal Apple

Thanks to my buddy for letting me have some of this. And by letting, I mean he’s welcome that I drank some of it.

Crown Royal is finding ways to bring out whisky to the masses. And what do the masses like to do? Binge drink, dance, and do shots. Am I judging them? Fuck no, I was one of them. In my yesteryears, I did shots because they tasted like sugar and I didn’t have to hold a drink on the dancefloor. Am I a good dancer? Hell no!

Thus some shots, the taste of fruit and eventual bile in my mouth, and some dancing. But at least I had bartending practise to know what I could order (Electric Banana until you can’t feel feelings). Most people have other things to think about, like education and family and friend connections. They need easier things!

Enter Crown Royal Apple. Right there you know it: I’m getting whisky drunk and tasting apples. Eventually, I’ll be angry enough to take on Becki because she took my man.

But how does it taste when you sip it neat? Well let’s find out, shall we?

Price: $30.45 CAD at the LCBO

Region: Canada

Abv: 35%

Colour: 2.5Y 7/10

Nose: Green apple flavouring

Think of green apple candy. Now think of lots of it. Now breathe it all in. Got it? Great, we’re drinking sugar folks.

Taste: Apple, cinnamon, simple syrup

Ok, a bit going on here. Yes, it’s not as artificial at first, and there’s even a hint that whisky may be in here with some cinnamon. And of course sugar. Gotta keep dancing to random music all night.

Finish: Caramel, melon, cereal, rough alcohol

The finish oddly enough goes in a different direction. Either because Crown Royal was playing around or realized that most artificial apple has the aftertaste of getting for face kicked by a donkey, it’s not all apple.

That, of course, doesn’t mean it’s great, but it’s not apple! More like a melon, caramel, and rough alcohol flavour going on.

Conclusion: It’s sugary shooter juice mixed with just enough whisky to add some complexity over apple vodka. Try it in an appletini instead of cheap vodka. Maybe use it as a base in a hot cider if you run out of actual apple cider.

Frankly, I was happier with the maple because it felt less sweet. If you’re looking for a better shooter, may I recommend the Washington Apple Shot? It’s more balanced and you’ll be happier.


Thanks to /u/blaw84 for the sample.

Crown Royal XO is a blend of fifty whiskies that were finished in ex-Cognac casks. It seems like a simple idea, right? Well as an accountant who has done the financial management on ex-Cognac casks I can tell you they don’t come cheap.

From what very, very little I understand of brandy maturation is that there is a use for casks that have become neutral, and as such, they hold value longer.

Also, they make a world-famous spirit in them. Might be that. Anyway, let’s see how this tastes, shall we?

Price: $75.95 CAD at the LCBO

Region: Canada

Cask type used: Cognac Casks Finish

Abv: 40%

Colour: 2.5Y 8/10

Nose: Brown sugar, woody, lemon, peach

Nice molasses note from (I assume) the cognac. Not a lot of rough notes, surprisingly given the number of grain whiskies in Canadian whiskies.

Good acid. Not very strong on the nose.

Taste: Brown sugar, mint, sugar, lemon, wood

More of the same, really. Some sugar and mint added to it. I’m not hating this, I’m just looking for a bit more.

Granted some molasses from the Cognac casks again. There’s that.

Finish: Mineral, cinnamon, wood, menthol, herbal

Bit different going on here. Some salt, some spice, some heat, more herbal.

Pretty much finishes like that first time you ever used the spice rack. Hard to pick anything else.

Conclusion: Certainly wasn’t hard to drink at all. I’ve had a few Crown Royal whiskies and they typically have some rough edges.

That all said, if you bought this expecting a Cognac infused masterclass in flavours, you’re going to be one sad panda. It’s mostly spice, wood, herbal/mint, and molasses. It’s not rough. I certainly enjoyed not having my tongue burnt or roughed up.

That all said, we really need a higher Abv., less grain whisky, and a bit more time for this to be worth the price tag.


World Whisky review #372-3, Canada review #118-9, Whisky review #1791-2

One thought on “Crown Royal Apple / Crown Royal XO

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