Crown Royal Regal Apple Flavored Whisky is a blend of Crown Royal’s Canadian whisky with flavoring from Regal Gala apples. For those looking for an extra fruit-forward twist to their tipple, this one’s for you.
Classification: flavored whisky
Company: Crown Royal
Distillery: Crown Royal, Manitoba, Canada
Cask: new and reused charred oak
Still Type: column
Released: 2014; ongoing
Aged: not stated
Awards: Silver, 2018 Canadian Whisky Awards; Silver, 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition
- This is a great starter for someone who’s not yet accustomed to unadulterated full-proof whisky. The sugar and flavoring make it quite easy to drink, and the low proof won’t overwhelm a novice.
- It makes an excellent mixer, especially in a highball. It’s quite sweet when drunk on its own, but dilute it with other ingredients and the apple flavor still comes through loud and clear.
- If you like the taste of whisky, you’re not going to find much of that here. The apple flavor almost totally overwhelms everything else in the liquid, with the exception of the sugar.
Color: Bright gold; a little darker than apple juice, but in the same ballpark.
Nose: Apple juice combined with artificial apple-flavored candy—think Jolly Ranchers—with a hint of whisky in there as well. It smells like an apple candy aimed at adults.
Palate: Intensely sweet, like an apple dipped in honey and then perhaps sprinkled with a little sugar for good measure, or maybe an apple Jolly Rancher melted down and blended with some whisky. A mild kick on the back of the tongue is a helpful reminder that it does indeed contain alcohol. A thick, syrupy mouthfeel pairs appropriately with the syrupy flavor.
Finish: Sweet and quite mild, with hardly any alcoholic bite, which isn’t surprising. The level of sweetness indicates a lot of sugar, which would smooth out any heat from the whisky.
How much you enjoy Crown Royal Regal Apple is probably inversely proportional to how much you enjoy whisky. That sweet-as-candy flavor, said to come from actual Regal Gala apples, goes well in a punch or a cocktail whose purpose is to mask the alcohol. If you’re looking for anything resembling an actual whisky experience, you’re better off looking elsewhere.
But Regal Apple drinkers likely know what they’re getting and what they’re not. This is not a complex spirit worth savoring (at 70 proof, it’s not even a whisky, legally speaking), and it’s silly to judge it on those merits. Taken as an apple-flavored whisky, rather than an apple-flavored whisky, it delivers. It’s pleasant and goes down easily as a chilled shot; served as a highball with sparkling water or ginger ale, it really delivers, with a taste not unlike sparkling apple cider.
There are apple-flavored whiskeys whose apple flavoring is more subtle, and the overall flavor more balanced, namely Clyde May’s. Regal Apple is primarily for drinkers who don’t like the taste of alcohol, and/or for gifting—it’s hard to beat the opulent-looking bottle in the velvet bag.
Crown Royal was created by Samuel Bronfman of Seagrams fame in 1939, in honor of King George VI becoming the first British monarch to visit Canada. The brand didn’t migrate south to the U.S. until the 1960s, but today it’s the top-selling Canadian whiskey in America. Regal Apple, Crown Royal’s second flavored whisky (after the now-discontinued Crown Royal Maple) was introduced in 2014; flavored with Regal Gala apples, it’s now one of four flavored expressions in the Crown Royal range. The base spirit for Regal Apple is a blend of more than 50 different whiskies.
The bottom line: This is a solid and serviceable flavored whisky that goes a little heavy on the apple flavor, but when it’s served properly—heavily chilled or mixed into a cocktail or highball—it delivers as advertised.