Is Crown Royal the best whisky I can reasonably afford?

I’ve tried experimenting with different kinds in recent months - Wiser’s, Chivas Regal, Johnnie Walker (ok, never tried blue label, but red and black are terrible and underwhelming, respectively)… and… well… that’s it. There are also semi-ghetto types I tried but not really worth remembering, never mind mentioning.

Anyone has suggestions for a Crown alternative?


Can you put whiskey through a Britta filter a few times to improve its taste the same way you can charcoal filter vodka a few times to turn swill into pure heaven?


But no amount of charcoal filtering is going to make Smirnoff or Skyy drinkable.

I’m not sure why you would wish to have “an alternative”. If you find something that you really appreciate, go with it consistently. Good whiskeys are to be sipped and savored, not chugalugged.

I keep going back to JW black. I’ve tried many different scotches, but to my palate, it is the best. I’ve bought a bottle of the gold label (just to try it out) and didn’t much care for it. I guess the aroma and flavor were a tad strong for me.

At any rate, you are a man after my own heart, if you prefer whiskeys to bourbon. A fine cigar and a good three fingers, neat and maybe a couple of Guinness for chasing=booze heaven. I don’t drink liquor so often anymore (maybe two times a year) so I tend to go with what I like when the occasion is warranted.

What’s the cut off for “afford”? The thing that strikes me about your list is that they’re all blended scotches. Have you looked into single-malts? Now, single malts do tend to run a little pricier, but depending on what’s available in your area, you can usually find a couple of decent deals in any given month.

If you’re willing to drop $40 on a bottle, you can often find a good 12-year (Cragganmore, Macallan, Bowmore) or a 10 (Laphroaig). For under 30, there are the standard Glenlivet and Glenfiddich, but also sometimes a sleeper like the Balvenie Double Wood.

Not sure if those fall in the price range you’re thinking of, but there are certainly a lot of good scotches out there.


If you’re drinking it on a regular basis, Yes. To get an appreciable difference, you have to pay a lot more. And Crown Royal is great, so I don’t really know why you’d upgrade. But maybe I’m an uncultured heathen.

If you’re willing to try something a bit different, give Irish Mist a shot. It’s a liquer made from Irish whiskey, honey, spices, and other, unspecified alcohols. Amazing stuff. Very potent, super smooth, great taste. I prefer it neat, but some drink it on rocks or use it as a mixer.

I love a crown and coke.

Maker’s Mark.

Yes. Smoothest scotch I’ve tasted, and of decent affordability if you drink it like a gentleman (ie an after-dinner drink when the occassion warrants it).

Of course, as I hear from the actually cultured types, never ever mix single malts. For mixed drinks, the ol’ Crown Royal and Ginger is my favourite.

Green label is pretty tasty. Hard to find in the USA.

I really enjoy Maker’s Mark as a robust bourbon. I used to cut it with an ice cube, but have found that if I slow down and really just take teeny sips the experience is much grander.

For a good hip-flask whiskey to keep you warm at a football game, I strongly suggest Jamesons or Bushmills. Both can be had for around $20 a fifth, and great blue collar whiskeys if you don’t mind something with very little character and a sweet finish.

For single malts, make sure you learn about the drastic flavor differences you’ll find with the different regions. I, for one, really despise the greasy finish to found in Islay scotch – it’s like drinking liquid smoke – while Highland scotches tend to agree with my admittedly plebian pallette.

You want Canadian stuff, that is smooth the way you like it. Canadian Mist or Seagrams will do. American bourbon is like eating a loaf of bread with a diet aftertaste.

If I can’t afford a single malt I usually go with Irish whiskey. Usually Jamesons. Great whiskey at a reasonable price.

A relative owns a fancy liquor store, so it makes a real convenient gift for her to give… I think Johnny Walker Blue is the cheapest thing I have in the house right now… I don’t have a palate subtle enough to appreciate the many flavors in expensive whiskeys, but I do have a taste sensitive enough to dislike cheap whiskey, so it sort of works out. I haven’t actually tried Crown Royale, but so far Chivas Regal is the cheapest blended whiskey that I can stomach. Of course Chivas Regal has a very boring flavor compared to any single malt.

I find my taste for whiskey varies dramatically depending on some phase-of-the-moon thing, perhaps the current state of my palate, what I’ve recently eaten, or something like that. Sometimes a smooth blended whiskey like Chivas Regal is fine, other times it seems bland… sometimes a more peaty single malt like Balvenie, say, is fine, other times it tastes like some awful medicine. I think I prefer Macallan more often than not.

You should give Redbreast a try - it’s about the same price as the Jameson’s but (in my opinion) is much, much nicer.

You should give Redbreast a try - it’s about the same price as the Jameson’s but (in my opinion) is much, much nicer.[/quote]

Thanks for the tip, I’ll have to give it a try.