Crown Royal Black and the classic Regular Vanilla. I’m diving into a side-by-side comparison of two interesting expressions
Let’s start with Crown Royal Black. This variant stands out with its intensity and depth. It’s aged in charred oak barrels, which imparts a rich, smoky flavor profile. You’ll notice a stronger presence of caramel and oak, with a subtle undercurrent of vanilla. It’s bottled at a higher proof, making it a robust choice for those who appreciate a whisky with a bit more bite.
Now, onto the Crown Royal Regular, affectionately known as Vanilla. It’s the milder of the two, with a silky, smooth texture that Crown Royal is famous for. This whisky is a blend of fifty different whiskies, resulting in a harmonious mix of vanilla, fruit, and a hint of spice. It’s an approachable choice, perfect for sipping on a relaxed evening.
Here’s a bit of trivia: Crown Royal was first created in 1939 as a gift for the visiting King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, making it a whisky with a royal heritage. Interestingly, each bottle of Crown Royal comes in a signature velvet bag, a nod to its regal origins.
So, which one of these whiskies wins my personal favor? As we move forward, I will share my preferred pick between the robust Crown Royal Black and the smooth Regular Vanilla.
It’s a tough choice, but I’m excited to reveal which one resonates more with my palate.
Crown Royal Black vs Regular: Quick-look Comparison
|Crown Royal Black
|Rich oak with sweet maple notes
|Creamy and velvety, featuring caramel sweetness with oak richness
|Bold and engaging
|Deeper bourbon notes with an extendedspicy warmth
|Charred oak barrels
|45% ABV/90 Proof
|Crown Royal Regular
|Rich vanilla bean with delicate hints of oak
|Viscous and warming with hints of Creme Brule
|Soft and silky
|Creamy vanilla with a smooth, light whisky finish
|A mix of fifty whiskies for a refined taste
|40% ABV/86 Proof
Crown Royal Black vs Regular: Crown Royal Black Review
Crown Royal Black presents a robust, nut-brown color. This deep hue sets the stage for a whisky that promises intensity and richness.
It visually suggests a departure from the typical amber tones of many whiskies, leaning towards a more assertive and bold character.
You could tell the flavors it has inside its bottle.
Nose or Aroma
On the nose, Crown Royal Black is a delightful mix of rich aromatics. You’ll be greeted by a blend of cocoa, toffee, and caramel. These scents come together to create a warm and inviting aroma, hinting at the complexity and depth that this whisky offers.
The mouthfeel of Crown Royal Black is notable for its dryness and complexity. It strikes a balance between boldness and smoothness, making it an engaging sipper. The whisky’s texture is rich and enveloping, providing a sensory experience that complements its flavor profile.
Flavor or Palate
Regarding flavor, Crown Royal Black is a journey through a landscape of taste. The palate is treated to a complex array of notes including toffee, espresso, and hints of cigar wrapper and leather.
This rich tapestry of flavors finishes bold and spicy, with a burst of alcohol heat that adds to its character. The whisky’s high proof contributes to this boldness, making it a choice for those who appreciate a stronger taste profile.
The finish of Crown Royal Black is a journey in itself. It’s warm, and lingering, and wraps up the experience neatly. While it’s straightforward, the heat it carries is notable, reminding me somewhat of Jim Beam or Jack Daniel’s.
This similarity lies in their shared boldness and enduring finishes, though each retains its unique character. The Devil’s Cut is known for extracting deep flavors from the wood of the barrels, and I find a parallel in the way Crown Royal Black’s finish brings out its depth.
Alcohol by Volume (ABV)
Crown Royal Black stands proudly at 45% ABV or 90 Proof. This higher alcohol content significantly contributes to its overall character, especially its flavor. It’s robust and commanding, ensuring that each sip delivers a full-bodied experience.
This ABV places it in a league where it commands attention, much like other high-proof whiskies, yet it maintains a smoothness that is distinctly Crown Royal.
Regarding the price, Crown Royal Black finds its niche at about $126 for the 100cl. There are a few suppliers selling the 70cl bottle for as little as £49. This pricing situates it comfortably as a mid-range whisky, making it accessible to a wide range of enthusiasts without compromising on quality.
Its price reflects its standing as a premium offering from a renowned brand, yet it remains within reach for those looking to explore beyond entry-level whiskies.
My journey with Crown Royal Black began neat. Tasting it in its purest form allowed me to fully appreciate the complexities and nuances of its flavor profile. The warmth, the subtle spice, and the depth of character come through best this way. After the initial tasting, adding a single ice cube subtly changed the expression. It softened the edges and brought forward new layers, making it a slightly different yet equally enjoyable experience.
For those who enjoy a little more adventure in their whisky drinking, Crown Royal Black serves as an excellent base for a Manhattan-inspired cocktail.
The whisky’s bold nature complements the sweet vermouth and bitters in the cocktail, creating a sophisticated and robust drink. This combination showcases the versatility of Crown Royal Black, proving it’s a whisky that can hold its own both neat and in a well-crafted cocktail.
Crown Royal Black vs Regular: Crown Royal Regular
Crown Royal Regular displays a rich golden amber color in the glass, a classic and inviting appearance for whisky enthusiasts.
This color hints at a refined and traditional whisky experience, setting a tone of elegance and simplicity.
Nose or Aroma
On the nose, Crown Royal Regular is quite delightful. It offers a blend of corn, vanilla, and caramel sweetness, accompanied by subtle notes of char and oak. There’s also a hint of rye spice and raw grain, adding complexity.
The aroma is not overpowering but rather gentle and elegant, creating an inviting bouquet for the palate.
In terms of mouthfeel, Crown Royal Regular is medium-bodied with a smooth and creamy texture. It strikes a fine balance, being substantial enough to be enjoyed on its own while still light enough for those who prefer their whisky in mixed drinks.
The mouthfeel is a testament to its versatility and approachability, making it a popular choice among a wide range of whisky drinkers.
Flavor or Palate
When it comes to taste, Crown Royal Regular offers a harmonious blend of flavors. There are balanced hints of vanilla and subtle spices, along with rich dried fruit. The whisky’s finish is long, lingering, and remarkably smooth.
This smoothness is a defining characteristic of Crown Royal, making it a favored choice for both neat sipping and cocktail mixing.
Crown Royal Regular offers a warm and pleasant finish, lingering just enough to leave a lasting impression. Its finish is not overly complex, but it does have a certain charm, akin to what you might find in some bourbons like Maker’s Mark.
This lingering warmth makes it quite enjoyable for a relaxed sipping experience.
Alcohol by Volume (ABV)
The Crown Royal Regular is bottled at a standard 40% ABV, typical for many mass-market whiskies.
This ABV contributes to its approachability, ensuring it’s not too overwhelming for casual sipping but maintains a presence in mixed drinks.
One of the most appealing aspects of Crown Royal is its affordability. Priced around $34.99 or £24.95, it offers a quality whisky experience without a hefty price tag. This makes it a fantastic option for both everyday enjoyment and special occasions.
I find that Crown Royal really shines when sipped neat. This allows you to fully appreciate the vanilla notes and the subtle nuances of its flavor profile. Once you’ve savored it neat, I recommend adding a splash of water.
This simple addition opens up the whisky, enhancing its aromas and flavors.
While it’s also enjoyable on the rocks, I prefer it mellowed with water. The slight dilution brings forward a creaminess and smoothness that’s hard to beat.
Crown Royal Black vs Regular: The Comparison
The Black version smells like caramel and oak, which are deep and strong scents. It’s a smell that fills your nose and gives you a hint of what the whisky will taste like.
The Regular Crown Royal has a softer smell. It’s more like vanilla and fruit, and it’s not as overpowering. It’s a pleasant and inviting smell that’s not too strong.
Crown Royal Black feels heavier in your mouth. It’s like the flavors are full and wrap around your tongue. This is because of its higher alcohol content and the way it’s aged.
Crown Royal Regular feels lighter and smoother in your mouth. It’s easier to drink and doesn’t feel as heavy. This makes it a good choice if you don’t want something too strong.
Crown Royal Black has a strong and rich taste. It’s like a dark, heavy flavor that you notice when you drink it. This comes from the way it’s made, which makes it stronger and gives it more of a kick.
Crown Royal Regular, on the other hand, is lighter and smoother. It’s a bit easier to drink and has a balanced taste. It’s not as strong as the Black, making it a good choice if you’re looking for something that’s not too heavy.
The finish is how the whisky feels in your mouth after you swallow it. Crown Royal Black has a long finish, which means the taste stays with you for a while. It’s warm and stays in your mouth, making the experience last longer.
Crown Royal Regular has a shorter finish. The taste doesn’t stay as long, and it’s smoother. This makes it a good choice if you want something that doesn’t linger too long.
Alcohol by Volume (ABV)
Crown Royal Black has an ABV of 45%, which is higher than many standard whiskies. This means it has more alcohol, contributing to its stronger taste and feel.
Crown Royal Regular has a standard ABV of 40%, which is common for many whiskies. This lower alcohol content makes it smoother and easier to drink.
What Should You Pick?
If you’re new to whisky or prefer something smoother and not too strong, I’d suggest trying Crown Royal Regular. It’s easy to drink and has a nice, balanced taste.
If you like a whisky with a stronger flavor and don’t mind a bit of a kick, then Crown Royal Black might be more up your alley. It’s great for colder days or when you want something with more depth.
In short, Crown Royal Black is for those who like a stronger, richer taste, while Crown Royal Regular is great for a smoother, more balanced whisky experience.
Each has its own qualities, and your choice depends on what kind of flavor and strength you enjoy in a whisky.
Crown Royal Black Food Pairings
Pairing Crown Royal Black with the right starter can elevate both the drink and the dish. The bold flavors of Crown Royal Black pair exceptionally well with smoked salmon. The whisky’s rich oak and vanilla notes complement the smoky flavor of the salmon, while its slight spiciness adds an extra dimension to the dish.
Garnish the salmon with dill, lemon wedges, and capers to enhance its flavor. This pairing brings together the richness of the whisky with the delicate, smoky flavors of the salmon, creating a harmonious balance on the palate.
Moving on to the main course, Crown Royal Black pairs splendidly with a classic grilled steak. The key here is to cook the steak to a perfect medium-rare, allowing the natural flavors of the meat to shine. Accompany the steak with roasted vegetables and a rich peppercorn sauce.
The robust character of Crown Royal Black, with its deep caramel and oak undertones, complements the savory flavors of the grilled steak, enhancing the overall dining experience. The peppercorn sauce adds a spicy kick that pairs well with the whisky’s bold profile.
For dessert, consider pairing Crown Royal Black with a decadent chocolate lava cake. The whisky’s rich and intense flavors are a perfect match for the dark, gooey chocolate.
The vanilla notes in Crown Royal Black bring out the sweetness of the chocolate, while its strong character cuts through the richness of the cake, preventing it from becoming overly sentimental. This pairing is a delightful way to end a meal, combining the warmth of the whisky with the indulgent taste of chocolate.
Crown Royal Regular Food Pairings
When it comes to starters, Crown Royal Regular pairs beautifully with lighter, more delicate dishes. A perfect choice is a fresh apple and walnut salad. The crispness of the apples and the earthy crunch of walnuts complement the smooth, vanilla notes of Crown Royal Regular.
The whisky’s subtle spice and fruit undertones bring out the freshness of the salad, creating a delightful balance. Add a light vinaigrette dressing to tie all the flavors together, enhancing the smoothness of the whisky.
For the main course, Crown Royal Regular goes well with dishes that aren’t too overpowering. A perfect pairing is an herb-roasted chicken. The herbal flavors in the chicken, along with a hint of lemon, work wonderfully with the whisky’s mellow and slightly sweet profile.
The oak and vanilla notes of Crown Royal Regular enhance the savory taste of the chicken, while the whisky’s smoothness complements the dish’s tenderness. Serve the chicken with a side of roasted vegetables to complete this harmonious pairing.
To finish off, Crown Royal Regular pairs excellently with desserts that are not overly sweet. A classic crème brûlée is an excellent choice. The creamy texture and the caramelized sugar top of the crème brûlée resonate with the whisky’s creamy and smooth nature.
The vanilla and caramel notes in Crown Royal Regular echo the dessert’s flavors, creating a satisfying and elegant end to the meal.
Crown Royal Black vs Regular: Final Thoughts
Reflecting on Crown Royal Black and Regular, each offers unique experiences. Crown Royal Black stands out with its bold and rich flavor, ideal for those who enjoy a deep and complex whisky.
Crown Royal Regular, conversely, is all about smoothness and balance. It’s a versatile choice, great for casual drinking or cocktails, thanks to its lighter and approachable profile.
To compare these whiskies more systematically (and impartially as I could), let’s look at a table outlining their scores across various characteristics.
|Crown Royal Black
|Crown Royal Regular (Vanilla)
Crown Royal Black vs Regular: Author’s Verdict
When you place Crown Royal Black and Crown Royal Regular side by side, each has strengths that might appeal to different people or suit different occasions.
Starting with their appearance, both whiskies share a similar color. This means that just by looking at them, you wouldn’t notice much difference; they both have that characteristic whisky hue that suggests a certain richness and depth.
Moving on to the aroma, again, it’s a draw. Both have their scents that are pleasant and inviting in their own right. Neither stands out over the other significantly, which means the choice comes down to personal preference.
Maybe you’d like the bold, oaky notes, or perhaps the softer, sweeter scent is more to your liking.
The mouthfeel is where things start to diverge. Crown Royal Regular is notably smoother – it’s gentle and easy on the palate. This makes it a great option for those who prefer a whisky that doesn’t give too much of a kick or for those new to whisky.
It’s also why it could be the preferred choice for casual sipping or enjoying a meal.
On the other hand, Crown Royal Black has a more pronounced taste. It’s richer and has a depth that can be satisfying if you’re looking for a whisky with more intensity. This makes it a potentially better choice for those who enjoy strong flavors or for occasions that call for a whisky with a bit more character.
As for the finish, the Regular slightly edges out the Black. It’s smoother and doesn’t linger as long, which some might prefer, especially if you don’t like your whisky to hang around too long after you’ve sipped it.
In total, when you tally up these characteristics, Crown Royal Black comes out ahead by the slimmest of margins. It’s a close call, and that one-point difference shouldn’t be the sole factor in your decision.
The Crown Royal Regular has qualities that the Black doesn’t replicate – it’s got a character all its own. For some, its smoothness and balanced flavor will be the winning traits. For others, the boldness and complexity of the Black will be what they’re after.
Even though the Black has a slight edge in this assessment, it really isn’t about which one is better overall. It’s about which one is better for you. Your tastes, the occasion, what you’re pairing the whisky with – these are all things that might influence your choice.
Looking at it impartially, the Black may have come out on top this time, but only just. And that’s not to say it will always be the winner in every situation or for every person. Whisky, like all things taste-related, is subjective. Sometimes you might be in the mood for the mellow smoothness of the Regular, other times you might want the full-bodied richness of the Black.
So, when you’re choosing between these two, think about what you’re looking for at that moment:
Are you after something bold and flavorful?
Or are you looking for something a bit more subdued and easy-going?
Your answer to that will tell you more than any score ever could.