Crown Royal and Jack Daniel’s are two of the most recognizable whiskey brands when it comes to whiskey. Each derives its flavor using different ingredients and distillation processes that result in tastes that are unique in their own right. Both have legions of fans from around the world, which inspired this article comparing the two brands. We’ll be taking a look at each of their backstories and going into detail about what makes each of these a mainstay in the whiskey community.
About Crown Royal
Crown Royal is a blended Canadian whiskey. It was originally created in Canada and sold exclusively there for a period of time before the company opened up sales internationally. Fun fact: Crown Royal was first made as a gift for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in honor of their visit to Canada in 1939. It has since grown to become the top-selling Canadian whiskey in America. It was sold to Diageo PLC (the world’s largest producer of spirits) in 2000 but still maintains strong sales and presence in the whiskey community.
You are likely to have come across Crown Royal during your most recent trip to the liquor store. This brand of whiskey is easily recognizable by its iconic tulip-shaped bottle and gold crown cap. Crown Royal’s bottle design is not only eye-catching but also resonates with a lot of fans who absolutely adore this timeless design and signature features.
Crown Royal is well-known for its signature original flavor. It also produces, markets, and sells a variety of other flavors as well. Some of their other popular variations include
- Crown Royal Black
- Crown Royal Reserve
- Crown Royal XR
- Crown Royal Maple Finished
- Crown Royal XO
- Crown Royal Regal Apple
- Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye
- Crown Royal Hand-Selected Barrel
- Crown Royal Monarch 75th Anniversary Blend
About Jack Daniel’s
Jack Daniel’s is the number one selling American whiskey in the world. Owned by the Brown-Foreman Corporation and distilled at the historic Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee, this Tennessee whiskey undergoes a unique process to create its unique tastes.
There is a small but significant difference between Tennessee whiskey (which is what Jack Daniel’s is) and straight bourbon whiskey. One extra step in the production process yields the subtle differences in flavor that separates Tennessee and Bourbon whiskey. This is known as the “Lincoln County Process” (named after the region it originated from). The whiskey is filtered first through sugar maple charcoal chips, after which it is placed in wooden caskets to be aged. This added filtration process also removes impurities, further adding to its smooth taste that clearly distinguishes it from regular bourbon whiskey.
Similar to Crown Royal, Jack Daniel’s has an original signature flavor as well as several variations. These include
- Gentleman Jack
- Single Barrel
- Tennessee Honey
- Tennessee Fire
- Green Label
- Silver Select
- Winter Jack
- No. 27 Gold
- Sinatra Select
- Sinatra Century
Crown Royal Vs. Jack Daniel’s: Flavor
A major part of Crown Royal’s production process involves blending multiple whiskeys (sometimes up to 50!) in white oak barrels. The whiskeys will be of varying ages, from young to well-aged. The company will also incorporate grains such as corn, rye, wheat, and barley. The result is a rich and smooth-tasting spirit with a distinct flavor. Crown Royal’s flagship flavor will taste very closely with rye whiskey.
The other variations of Crown Royal will have subtle differences in taste depending on the particular distillate used in the production process. For instance, Crown Royal’s Hand Selected Barrel was made from single barrel rye, which created its own distinct flavor from the rest of the collection. Crown Royal XR was made by blending the final batches of whiskey from the Waterloo and Lasalle distilleries. Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye incorporates hints of wood, baking spices, and pepper. This adds a unique flavor while still staying true to the original.
Compared to its contemporaries in the whiskey industry, some will say that Crown Royal’s flavor lands on the milder end of the spectrum. With sales of this spirit consistently doing well, it is clear that there is a definite market for this type of flavor.
Jack Daniel’s is a Tennessee whiskey, born from the bourbon family. It has a distinctively stronger flavor, thanks to the use of charcoal in the filtration process. The whiskey is steeped through a layer of maple charcoal that removes some of the harshness found in bourbon. The company markets Jack Daniel’s as “double-mellowed,” in reference to the additional processing step taken to create Tennessee whiskey. In terms of flavor, you can expect a bold taste that is oaky with hints of caramel.
For those looking for a technical description of the flavor, many enthusiasts have described it this way. It offers a smooth flavor that starts off tasting woody with a subtle fruitiness. Then you will experience the signature oak taste, blended with tastes of caramel and vanilla.
Smoothness is definitely a feature the company spends a lot of time perfecting for Jack Daniel’s. As you venture into its higher-end variants, such as Gentleman Jack, you’ll notice the level of smoothness go up as more effort is made in the filtration process.
Both Crown Royal and Jack Daniel’s offer flavors unique to each of them with varying levels of smoothness. One’s enjoyment over the other is a matter of preference. If you enjoy the uniqueness of flavor you get by blending whiskeys together and a milder taste, go with Crown Royal. If you are one to prefer a bolder taste and stronger flavor, go with Jack Daniel’s.
Crown Royal Vs. Jack Daniel’s: Cost
Both Crown Royal and Jack Daniel’s are similarly priced. You’ll be able to find them at most stores in the $22 – $25 range for a 750 ml bottle. Crown Royal does tend to be the more expensive of the two, though. That being said, the difference is typically only a few dollars, so neither of these will break the bank.
Crown Royal Vs. Jack Daniel’s: Favourite Drinks
Both Crown Royal and Jack Daniel’s are excellent spirits for mixing cocktails. Each of them offers unique characteristics that lend themselves well to specific ingredients. For those who may be starting out, mixing with coke is never a bad choice.
Both mix very well with the soda and is an easy drink to order for any occasion. And for those looking for a little adventure, here are some fun drinks to consider the next time you are out.
Crown Royal Sour
- 1.5 oz. Crown Royal Canadian Whisky
- .5 oz. lemon juice
- .75 oz. simple syrup
- 1 egg white (optional)
This is a simple mixture using Crown Royal that is easy to order or make yourself. It involves mixing Crown Royal, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a shaker. Pour over ice and garnished with a nice lemon wedge. The lemon juice provides a good citrus flavor that helps balance the whiskey taste.
Using equal parts Crown Royal and lemon juice ensures that the flavors do not favor either direction. This is a perfect drink whether you are a whiskey lover or someone looking for a refreshing cocktail on a hot summer day.
Jack Daniel’s Manhattan
The Manhattan is a classic cocktail and one of the most famous out there. It is a simple mixture that combines whiskey or rye, vermouth, bitters, and typically garnished with an orange peel. Using Jack Daniel’s in your Manhattan will give it a bolder taste that does not overpower the drink with whiskey flavor.
This is perfect for those looking for a strong drink that is well-balanced. One tip to get the perfect Manhattan, good ice. You will want this drink to be cold the entire time you drink it. Big, round ice cubes not only keep the drink cold but also melt slower so as to not dilute the drink.
Crown Royal and Jack Daniel’s are two of the most popular whisky brands. Each offers a signature flavor as well as many variations, so there’s something to enjoy for everyone. Crown Royal and Jack Daniel’s have created communities of fans who love their unique tastes as well as the different cocktails that can be made. Whether you are new to whiskey, prefer a whiskey of a certain taste, or looking for that perfect mixture, Crown Royal and Jack Daniel’s each offer their own unique characteristics that will make your experience an enjoyable one.