Crown Royal Brand Discussions

Part
01
of five
Part
01

Crown Royal-Editorials

Based on articles at sites including the New York Times, The Whiskey Wash, Whisky Analysis, and Punch, the overall attitude toward Crown Royal is positive.

POSITIVE REVIEWS

  • In 2016, the author of "Jim Murray's Whiskey Bible" named Crown Royal’s Northern Harvest Rye the best whiskey of the year. Murray described the rye grain in the whisky as "not just turning up to charm and enthrall but to also take us through a routine which reaches new heights of beauty and complexity. To say this is a masterpiece is barely doing it justice."
  • In Search of Elegance rated the Crown Royal Blender's Select Canadian Whisky "Highly Recommended" and had this to say: "Really nice I like the oak, and not as sweet as I feared but, still, in my opinion this whisky shines at a higher proof like my beloved hand selected barrel. Still, this is wonderful..."
  • J.R. Bergey had this to say about Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel: "Wow, this is really good. Surprisingly good. This is not your father’s Crown Royal—this is good sipping whisky, which is something you can’t say about many Canadian whiskies. Seriously, this is better than most bourbons I’ve had in the last year. It’s loaded with fall flavors—this is just about the perfect whisky for autumn. As the leaves change color and fall to the ground, you can’t ask for a better whisky to sip."
  • Discussing the Crown Royal brand in general, Punch stated, "Often mocked in America due to their ostentatious packaging, this Diageo brand actually produces several praise-worthy, higher-end bottlings."
  • When discussing the process used by Crown Royal for blending their whisky, Richard Hammond of Whiskey Bon said, "The end result of having complete control over how each whisky is blended and aged is that Crown Royal whiskies have a very wide range of flavours — everything from vanilla and smoke through to dried fruit and spices."
  • Sam Temsah-Deniskin went to the launch party for Texas Mesquite and had this to say: "Crown Royal Texas Mesquite is a blend of Crown Royal Deluxe infused with the smoky soul of locally sourced Texas mesquite wood. The result is a unique flavor that is smoky and spicy with the distinctive smoothness of Crown Royal."

NEGATIVE REVIEWS

  • Shauna McKnight at The Whiskey Wash had this to say after tastings a particular Crown Royal whisky: "I didn't feel any particular way about Crown Royal Blenders' Mash. It was very sweet, with nothing too exciting going on, and it definitely tasted like Crown Royal. If I were to bring home a bottle, I would use it to make Mint Juleps or Manhattans, because the sweetness would go nicely with the sweetness of the whisky."
  • Whiskey Analysis had this to say about Blender’s Select: "My own real complaint here is that it lacks mouthfeel, and seems kind of watery for the ABV. I would have to rate this one as comparable in quality to Northern Harvest Rye, on par with Crown Royal Reserve and the one Hand Selected Barrel I’ve had (which seems to have been somewhat sub-par for the class, based on the other reviews I’ve seen). Nothing really compelling here over the rest of the line, but a solid expression for Crown Royal."
  • Jake Emen at Distiller said this about Texas Mesquite: "Unfortunately the flavors are disjointed and in a blind tasting, you'd likely be hard pressed to classify this as "whiskey"."
  • Jordan from Breaking Bourbon reviewed the Bourbon Mash (later changed to Blenders Mash) and had this to say: "From a whiskey standpoint though, the product itself is a disgrace to the bourbon name, even if it wasn’t technically legal. If you’re going to release a bourbon mash version of your flagship product at least try to bring some of the good with it."

SUMMARY

  • It was more difficult to find negative reviews for Crown Royal's whiskies than it was to find positive reviews. This indicates that the editorial opinion toward Crown Royal leans toward the positive.
  • The negative reviews generally focused on the products being bland or not a "typical" whisky rather than being completely critical of the taste of the whisky.
  • The positive reviews tended to be over the top favorable.
  • Words used repeatedly in the reviews we examined were sweet, complex, oak, and depth.
Part
02
of five
Part
02

Crown Royal-Lifestyle and Liquor Review Sites

Based on the analysis of reviews from industry expert sites, such as Intoxicology, Whisky Jug, Whiskey Wash, Boozedancing, Spruce Eats, Spirits Review, and a few others, Crown Royal has an overall positive impression on its whiskey. Further details of what these review sites think are in the findings below.

POSITIVE REVIEWS

  • Intoxicology reviewed Crown Royal Peach Whisky and has commented that it is so good, it will only take one a sip to like it.
  • The Whisky Jug has rated Crown Royal Texas Mesquite a 77 over 100 score. The site commented that the liquor is "easily drinkable and works well in cocktails."
  • The Whiskey Wash gave Crown Royal Noble Collection 13-year-old Blenders' Mash, a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. The site commented that it is "smooth, interesting, and takes the imbiber through an ebb and flow of sweet and spicy." "While neither as subtly complex as an equivalently priced Scotch, nor has bold as a bourbon, it still has an admirable balance that makes it a worthy sipper."
  • Boozedancing reviewed the Crown Royal Noble Collection French Oak Cask Finish and thinks that it is a solid winner. It is smooth, not overly dry, easy to drink, and has a great finishing taste.
  • According to Spruce Eats, Crown Royal is "the best-selling and most beloved brands of whiskey in the world". It is also the perfect choice for cocktails, especially in recipes that do not require a specific brand of whiskey.

NEGATIVE REVIEWS

  • Drinkhacker has given Crown Royal Peach Whisky a C rating on its review and has commented that the liquor smells aggressively sweet and that it does not taste like whiskey. The site mentioned that the whiskey has an "overwhelming sweetness that tastes like those peach candies have been liquefied and turned into booze."
  • Liquor.com has commented that the Crown Royal Texas Mesquite "wasn't awful, but it also wasn't very good". The site reviewed that its strong smoky, ashy flavor dominates the palate and has a very astringent and bitter aftertaste.
  • Honest Boost Review commented that the Crown Royal Noble Collection French Oak Cask Whisky is not as good as its original and that the price you pay is not worth the value. The site rated it 4 out of 10 and would recommend getting other brands like Lagavulin or Chivas instead.
  • Although the Spirits Review has given Crown Royal XO Blended Canadian Whisky a pretty high rating, the site did not recommend it in their review as it is too pricey for its value.

SUMMARY OF REVIEWS

  • Crown Royal, in general, has very positive reviews through most lifestyle and liquor review sites. Reviewers have commented that Crown Royal's premium liquors are smooth, easy to drink, and is great for cocktails.
  • Negative reviews, on the other hand, are very minimal, only a few reviewers have commented that the taste of the whiskey is not to their liking, but the most common negative review is that the price tag being a little high for its value, and would rather recommend other brands.
Part
03
of five
Part
03

Crown Royal-Customer Review Sites

Based on an examination of reviews for Crown Royal on sites including Total Wine, Distiller, and Walgreens, consumers have an overwhelmingly positive impression of Crown Royal.

POSITIVE REVIEWS

  • "Good ol' original Crown Royal. Solid "go to" whiskey for any occasion." (page 2 of Tastes)
  • "Slightly floral and ethereal, not overwhelmingly sweet, but approachable, universal and comforting in truly royal manner." (page 3 of Tastes)
  • "Regular, apple, and vanilla. All reliable flavors of Crown Royal. It's like I can't choose one that's the best because on an individual level they all bring something different to the table. I work at a bar so I've experienced them and I can't choose a favorite. This review was originally left on influenster.com." (page 2 of Reviews)
  • "Crown royal has always been a favourite in my family. It was what my dad drank with ginger ale. It is a bit on the pricier side but to me this is not a drink everyday type of whiskey this is more for special occasions like a wedding. I like how they also have flavours like honey. This review was originally left on influenster.com." (page 10 of Reviews)
  • "Crown Royal! Simply the best! My mom and dad used to drink this years ago, and now I do and I totally know why! There is only one Crown!" (review from 2 years ago)
  • "I have been a fan and drinker of Crown for many, many years. It never fails to please." (review from 10 months ago)
  • "If it comes down to taking a shot of whiskey, I will always most likely take Crown Royal over other brands or hard liquor drinks. This original flavor or crown has a kick to it when you first take a sip, but it doesn't last long. It definitely has a smooth taste to it and allows you to enjoy a shot or drink with anyone regardless of what they are drinking Crown Royal Deluxe Canadian Whisky" (review from 2 days ago)
  • "Crown royal is a Canadian tradition! I love how it tastes either on its own or with a splash of dark soda (you know the one, it rhymes with poke). This is an affordable whisky option and it tastes good!" (review from 1 month ago)

NEGATIVE REVIEWS

  • "For me, not sure why this one is so well known. Did not enjoy straight and even prefer other mixers over this one." (page 10 of Tastes)
  • "This stuff is garbage and I'm convinced the my out gasoline in it. Never drinking again. Tried it once and I regretted it. Taste was so rough and gross and just not normal ____ The green apple was a little better but not by much. Wouldn't recommend. But will probably mess you up. This review was originally left on influenster.com." (page 6 of Reviews)
  • "Let's keep this simple, if you drink bourbon this is not for you. If you drink Scotch this is not for you. If you like mix drinks and a good hangover form over priced cheap whiskey this is for you. Hint better quality if you buy black box whiskey and much cheaper then this cooking alcohol." (review from 11 days ago.)
  • "It had too much of a bite for me. I liked the flavored versions better. I can drink it mixed with Coke. I tried it because my stepdad always drank it." (review from 4 days ago)

SUMMARY

RESEARCH STRATEGY

To uncover how Crown Royal is discussed on customer review sites, we looked for online sites that sell whiskey. This led us to Total Wine, which had about 100 reviews, and Walgreens, which had over 600 reviews. Additionally, we utilized the customer review sites that were found in the initial hour of research, including Drizly, BC Liquor Stores, and Distiller.

All reviews included above came from a mix of these five sites.
Part
04
of five
Part
04

Crown Royal-Social Media

Crown Royal has very positive reviews throughout its social media platforms, where consumers mostly comment about how much they enjoy many of their flavors. The brand has very few negative reviews, which include comments regarding their Texas Mesquite flavor.

TWITTER

POSITIVE
  • In July 2019, Crown Royal announced that the Crown Royal Peach would be available for a limited time. For this post, most comments were positive. For example one user stated "Why only a limited time? This stuff is way too good" and another user said "Still holding on 2 bottles, this was selling out faster than Air Jordan’s."
  • The brand posted in early 2019 about its Crownberry Apple, which received positive comments such as "This is definitely my drink of choice!!"
NEGATIVE
  • Some bad reviews were given in a 2018 post about their Crown Royal Texas Mesquite. One review stated "Worst crown I’ve ever tasted. I can’t even drink my newly brought bottle of Texas mesquite. Way too strong flavor."
  • Another bad review for Texas Mesquite was "Absolute garbage! It's like you told an intern to run a batch through the charcoal filter and instead he dumped a bunch of charcoal into the barrels instead; then you sold it."

FACEBOOK

POSITIVE
  • With a 4.9 out of 5 score review in Facebook, users on this platform seem to love the brand. One review example is "Nothing comes close to the smooth taste of Crown Royal. It is in my opinion the best whiskey."
  • Another Facebook user is very pleased with the brand, as it doesn't give him strong hangovers. He stated "I can steady drink Crown Royal all weekend and feel as right as rain on Monday for PT."
NEGATIVE
  • One user gave the brand 1 out 5 because Crown Royal was following federal regulations. This user's comment stated "How can posting the name of a dead service member violate the federal law of not selling to those under 21? You'll make a toast to them ONLY if they were 21 or older?! Disgusting."

INSTAGRAM

POSITIVE
  • Instagram users seem to really enjoy Crown Royal Vanilla. Some comments include "Crown vanilla is my favorite!" and "Loveeeeeeee crown vanilla!! My favorite drink."
NEGATIVE
  • There are many comments along all the brand's posts on Instagram asking to bring the peach flavor back, as this was a very popular limited edition product. However, there is one negative comment complaining about why the brand has not released the flavor again, which states "Ok Crown Royal family, I have inquired about the peach flavor, end of July, then early August, now late Sept. mid Oct. So which one is it. You yourself are giving us no choice but to go to your competitors. Who carry peach flavored whiskey. I have bought the competitors 3 separate times. And at 1/2 the cost. You see the numbers, and still don't make the flavor. We the consumers want what we want."
  • Although the brand has not many negative reviews, one Instagram user made a comment regarding the look of the product, stating "But that cheap plastic cap kills all that..."

SUMMARY OF REVIEWS

  • In general, Crown Royal has very positive reviews through all three social media platforms. Most consumers of the brand really enjoy the peach, Crownberry Apple, and vanilla flavors and wish the peach flavor was not a limited edition. Also, some reviewers consider it to be their favorite brand of whiskey.
  • Negative reviews are few and are mainly about their Texas Mesquite flavor, which was not popular among Twitter users. The other negative comments, like losing clients because of a lack of peach flavor or following a federal regulation, are not common in their social media sites.
Part
05
of five
Part
05

Crown Royal Consumption

The most common ways to drink whiskey, as recommended by articles giving instructions, are Neat, Up, Straight Up, and Straight. Very few recipes were found for Crown Royal that suggested specific cocktails. Unfortunately, there is no quantitative data available in the public realm on the consumption habits of Crown Royal in the U.S. Some interesting and relevant general facts on consumption are provided below.

Crown Royal Facts

  • Crown Royal is the second most popular whiskey purchased in the U.S. in the 52 weeks ending May 19, 2019, with a total value of $311.62 million sold.
  • In the calendar year 2018, about 6.33 million 9 liter cases of Crown Royal were purchased in the United States.
  • A brand affinity study of Crown Royal purchasers shows that the most common brands purchased with Crown Royal are 7Up, RedBull, Canada Dry, and Simply Juice.
  • Crown Royal Drinkers tend to be in the 40 to 100 thousand dollar income range.
  • 9% of Crown Royal shoppers make their purchase in the morning, 18% around noon, 39% in the afternoon, 31% in the evening, and 4% classified as late.
  • A ranking by state/territory of the per capita consumption of straight whiskey in the United States showed that Kentucky, New Hampshire, and D.C. had the highest per capita consumption.

Research Strategy

We began our search by confirming the terms for ordering and drinking liquor. We found a definition for each of Neat, Up, Straight Up, and Straight. We used those definitions in our search and findings.

We then searched for surveys on Crown Royal consumption, whiskey consumption, alcohol consumption, what were people drinking, and how they were drinking it. While we found interesting statistical information, some of which are included in the key findings, we did not find anything specifically related to how people drink Crown Royal.

We turned our search to information on Crown Royal specifically. We were hoping to find articles on how Crown Royal is consumed. There are many reviews of Crown Royal, ads about the new flavors released (peach, salted caramel), statistics about consumption, and demographic information on purchasers. We also found individual comments in some reviews about the way that the reviewer preferred to drink Crown Royal, but there was no quantitative data.

Thinking the number of recipes that call for Crown Royal might give us some insight into how people drink it, especially if the recipes had reviewer comments, we looked for recipes not published by the distiller which explicitly listed Crown Royal. There are very few recipes, and most were centered on the newer flavors — i.e., peach and salted caramel. A recent article on the ten ways to drink whiskey included the traditional recipes for a Manhattan, Whiskey Sour, and others, but no reference to usage of the recipes either by bartenders or at home.

We found a demographic report on buyers of Crown Royal with what brands they most often bought with that purchase. We included that in the key findings.

There is a report available behind a paywall, called Cheers On-Premise Barometer Handbook. The cost is $1995.

After an extensive review of the available information, we determined that there is no quantitative information available on how U.S. consumers commonly drink Crown Royal.
Sources
Sources

From Part 05
Quotes
  • "on-premise beverage alcohol consumption by brand; on-premise non-alcohol beverage consumption patterns; data on demographics, promotion and advertising. Also included are exclusive results from the Cheers OnTrac Bar Managers study, including most effective beverage alcohol promotions, key drivers behind beverage alcohol selection, non-alcohol beverage preferences, brand specific data by type of establishment and 21 key metro markets; restaurant industry trends; and consumer demographics and drinking preferences."