Review: Crown Royal Maple

crown royal maple finished“Finished” has a particular meaning in the world of whisky, normally implying that a whisky has been moved from one type of barrel to another, usually a different type of wood or, more commonly, a barrel that once held another spirit or wine. “Maple finished” has actually been done before: Woodford Reserve made a maple-finished limited release Bourbon in 2010.

That’s not what Crown Royal Maple Finished Canadian Whisky is.

This, in fact, is standard Crown Royal that’s been flavored with maple. How that is achieved is, well, a little confusing. Crown says it is “made with the perfect balance of whisky and natural maple flavors to create a high quality product for Crown Royal’s consumers” — indicating that maple syrup has basically been dumped into the vat before bottling — but also that “the new installment is finished by running the whisky through maple toasted oak.” I’m not sure how you “run whisky through oak” but perhaps we can put all that aside. The fine print on the label says it’s “maple flavored,” and once you crack open the bottle, you’ll know by one sniff you aren’t dealing with a simple, wood-finished spirit.

Syrupy? You better believe it. On the nose it’s overpowering, like Mrs. Butterworth came over and gave you a swift kick to the huevos. On the tongue, it’s like Sunday morning, with syrupy waffles a-plenty to go around. It’s all very authentic, but tough to push through unless you’ve got an incredible sweet tooth. I know there’s whisky in there. I’m sure of it. But after an hour of sipping on Crown Maple (to coin a nickname), I never really found it aside from a bit of wood on the finish.

80 proof.

B- / $25 / 

Crown Royal Maple




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. A on November 30, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Definitely a unique whiskey, I found it really enjoyable to drink in some egg nog this holiday season.

  2. Shane on November 30, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    This sounds like it’d be interesting to bake with, or making French toast, or something with bacon. If I saw this on sale, I’d consider picking this up.

  3. GERALD GIBBONS on December 4, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Where can I buy Crown Royal Maple Finished whisky in Michigan USA near 49050?

  4. jeff on December 4, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    I had this at my local bar with bacon back. First night with bacon bits then with real bacon the second night just to see which is better. I must say it’s different. Breakfast shot. Lol.

  5. Rocky on December 8, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    I picked a bottle of this stuff thinking that it was actually fine whiskey finished in Maple barrels and I imagined that it would have some subtle difference from the basic crown royal. Was I surprised when I put my nose to the bottle!, I felt a hangover coming on without even taking that first disasterous sip. This stuff seems to have been engineered for making school children into alcoholics…yuck!

  6. Brett on December 8, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Bless my wife, she was told by the man in the store that this was not “too sweet” and it was a “big seller” so she bought a 1.75L I’m a huge CR fan but this is way too sweet! No just “no” but “HELL NO”!!! Very disappointed! Please don’t make the same mistake!

  7. Bill F on December 13, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Well, I am glad this review exists. I’m mostly a straight bourbon drinker, with the occasional Old Fashioned or Manhattan. There are flavors that are found in and go well with whiskey, like vanilla, cherry and maple. Alas, one sip of Red Stag nearly gagged me, and it sounds like this would be no different. Subtlety is an art lost in marketing and advertising.

  8. Freakin' Rican on December 15, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    I tried this the other day and have to say that the aroma is very strong, but it goes down smoothly. I couldn’t imagine drinking this all day or several times during a party. It’s more of a novalty drink and I don’t see them selling much of it after the holidays. We did some shots during a toast and we all agreed that was about all we wanted. I put some in my coffee and have to say that it was great. They need to stick with the great Crown Royals they make now and leave the novalty drinks to the lesser quality brands out there.

  9. Andrew on February 9, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    this is like mrs butterworth but you can get drunk on it yuck, hay crown royal stick to what you know

  10. JD on April 8, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    There is no maple syrup in the product, the maple comes from the staves. Know your whisky and pallet before you make stupid claims (i.e., like sugar added)…hence the 80 proof content…those products that are diluted with syrup are less than 80 proof!!!

  11. Christopher Null on April 9, 2013 at 7:49 am

    JD – With all due respect, you are incorrect. This is a flavored whiskey that draws most of its sweetness from added maple flavors, not the wood in which it is barreled. Most whiskey comes out of barrel at 110 proof or higher (ever heard of cask strength?), so there is PLENTY of room for dilution before you go below 80 proof. (See also Tap 357, a maple flavored whisky which is 81 proof – ) I know my whisky. How about you?

  12. R Stacey on October 6, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Just tried ” Crown Maple”. I must admit that I am a maple freak/lover. I love the stuff. Everyone in my family that has tried it likes it. I admit that I also love regular Crown Royal and single malt scotch but Crown Maple is a nice change.

  13. NJ Bob on December 26, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    I tried it and liked it…then thought “maybe too sweet” and went back to traditional CR. Now I’m back to maple. It grows on you.

  14. JH on February 28, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    I got it for $14…half price…I thought it was fine. Yeah, it has its maple flavor and aroma but for $14 I’m glad I bought it. I may just go back and get one more if they still have it. I would compare having this on hand and other types with having different color shirts, different cars and so on…a variety of spirits is never a bad thing. It just depends on what you’re in the mood for! I did NOT think it was terrible. Just can’t drink too much of it but it does have its place.

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