Fact of Fiction: Crown Royal Pineapple

In April 2022, Crown Royal, the Canadian distiller of whiskeys, caused a media stir by announcing the release of a new flavor: Crown Royale Pineapple.

Fans of the brand were agog, besieging liquor stores and online retailers with queries.

Then someone noticed that promotional photos of the intended product were replete with spelling mistakes, the bottle’s label describing Royal Crown Pineapple whisky as a ‘limited edition’.

Thereafter – crickets. Silence. Dead air.

Fact or Fiction: Crown Royale Pineapple Release

why the announcement is fiction

There are several reasons why people have pointed towards the announcement of Crown Royal Pineapple being fictitious, we will look at the debate behind these.

1. April Fool’s Joke

Crown Royal Pineapple whisky was an April Fool’s joke.

Crown Royal announced the new release on April 4, not April 1, which is really the whole point of an April Fool’s joke. If Crown Royal had announced on March 31, does that qualify as an April Fool’s joke? Of course not.

If it was a joke, where’s the humor? Crown Royal already makes apple, peach, vanilla, and salted caramel-flavored whiskeys. There’s nothing intrinsically funny about pineapple-flavored.

If they had announced a sardine-flavored whiskey, that would have been a different story.

2. Crown Royal Pineapple Whisky is Not listed on the Official Website

Crown Royal Pineapple whisky doesn’t exist because it’s not listed on the official Crown Royal website.

If this was a real promotion, then the site should be promoting it, correct? Though this was never a concrete reason as the announcement did not need a site update until the product was readily available.

3. Whisky not for Sale by Online Stores, Liquor Stores, or Retailers

Crown Royal Pineapple whisky doesn’t exist because it’s not for sale by online stores, liquor stores, or retailers.

This theory doesn’t stand up to even the most casual scrutiny. Pablo Picasso’s Nude Green Leaves and Bust isn’t for sale in stores but it exists.

crown royal bottle
Image: crown royal bottle

4. Competition and Market

Crown Royal as a brand belongs to an umbrella organization, Canadian Distillers. Another brand belonging to Canadian Distillers is Red Ensign, which already makes pineapple whiskey.

It’s possible that whoever is responsible for Red Ensign objected to being forced into competition with a similar product from a bigger brand under the same umbrella. 

Pineapple whiskey is a niche beverage. Its consumers tend to be adventurous. They’re also more fickle, trying out different flavors, adopting a favorite, then switching up when something new comes along. They’re unlikely to find something they like and stick to it, drinking it exclusively. 

It’s possible that, when Canadian Distillers crunched the numbers, the market for pineapple whiskey wasn’t large enough to justify another brand.

Either way, it’s all conjecture. No one outside the chain of command at Canadian Distillers will ever know for sure.

5. Can you spot the error in this sentence?

The spelling mistakes can be attributed to someone in the PR department. For a long time, the word ‘adult’ on Disney’s online store was spelled ‘aduks’. A high-end chain of day spas asked prospective customers if they were suffering from ‘mascne’ instead of acne. 

It could be argued that this kind of mistake doesn’t occur on product labels. Not so. The description on bottles of Aldo’s Winking Owl tells us that Winking Owl goes well with ‘Asain’ cuisine when what they meant was Asian cuisine.

The label on a bottle of trebbiano rubicone from Moramari, an Italian vintner, says that it’s brimming with zesty lemon flavor and ‘freah’ notes of apple, ruining the label’s otherwise flawless design and execution.

Part of the problem is that Adobe Designer, the software most commonly used to lay out labels, doesn’t come with a spell checker.

Graphic designers, for their part, are hired on the basis of their visual acumen. Language is not in their wheelhouse. That’s the copywriter’s department. So while many pointed to the spelling errors to confirm the ‘joke’, this reasoning is not always solid.

Alternatives to Crown Royale Pineapple

alternatives crown royal pineapple

For those of us who can’t wait any longer, here are some pineapple whiskeys to keep you going:

1. Revel Stoke Lei’D Roasted Pineapple Whiskey

  • Plus or minus $20 for 750ml.
  • The company is based in Princeton, Minnesota, while the Revel Stoke Distillery is in High River, Alberta.
  • Revel Stoke is a subsidiary of the Phillips Distilling Company whose portfolio includes UV Vodka, Prairie Organic Spirits, and Trader Vic’s Rums.
  • 35% ABV.
  • Revel Stoke specializes in fun whiskeys. Their range includes Sonofapeach Peach, Shellshocked Roasted Pecan, Hotbox Cinnamon, Hardcore Roasted Apple, Nutcrusher Peanut Butter, Roadkill Cherry, Crackberry Blackberry, Root Of Evil Root Beer, Smokescreen Smoked Vanilla, Spicenheimer Spiced, Big Richard Dill Pickle, and S’moregasm Toasted S’mores.
  • Good as an ice-breaker for small gatherings.

How to drink it

  • Horizontal Hula: 1 part pineapple whisky, 3 parts lemonade.
  • Get Lei’D: a straight shot.
  • Honey Bear: a white gummy bear but with pineapple whisky and a dash of Sprite.

2. Whiskeysmith Pineapple Whisky

  • Made in Fort Collins, Colorado, from oak-aged whisky and pineapple essence.
  • Retails for about $23 for 750ml.
  • An ABV of 30%.
  • 2020 Gold Medal winner in the John Barleycorn Awards.
  • Bills itself as ‘a cocktail in a bottle’.

How to drink it

  • Pineapple Punch
    • Mix a 750ml bottle of pineapple whisky, 3 cups of pineapple Juice, a cup of water, 3/4 of a cup of fresh lime juice, a cup of watermelon juice, and a 1/4 cup of plain syrup in a punch bowl and stir.
    • Add ice.
    • Garnish with sliced strawberries and dried pineapple slices.
  • Hang Ten
    • Salt the rim of a 12 oz. glass.
    • Pour 2 oz. of pineapple whisky, ¾ oz. of lime juice, and ¼ oz. of pineapple juice into a cocktail shaker or a Mason jar.
    • Add ice and shake for half a minute.
    • Strain into the 12 oz. glass.
    • Garnish with a pineapple slice dusted with nutmeg.

Whiskeysmith Pineapple Whisky was designed to be drunk neat with ice. For an old-fashioned add bitters, or soda water for a cocktail.

3. Teeling Pineapple Rum Cask-blended Irish Whiskey

  • Made in Ireland in small batches.
  • 40% of Teeling is owned by Bacardi.
  • Average price: $50 for 750ml.
  • Single malt.
  • Multi-award-winner.
  • An ABV of 49.2%.
  • Teeling specializes in finishing off classic whisky in different ways.
  • Pineapple rinds are soaked in white rum for a week. Dark rum is infused with pineapple flesh for 3 months. The two rums are redistilled, blended with whisky, then allowed to age for 3 months in rum casks. Prior to bottling, 20g of sugar per liter is added.
  • Bottled without chill filtration or artificial colorants (except for a minute amount of E150a, a caramel colorant, as a brightener).

4. Ensign Red Pineapple Whiskey

  • A Canadian whisky with an ABV of 35%.
  • A Crown Royal product.

How to drink it

  • Straight
    • Garnish with grilled pineapple and a sprig of mint.
  • Apple Pie Delight
    • Mix equal parts sugar and cinnamon.
    • Wet the rim of a glass and dip it in the sugar and cinnamon mixture.
    • Fill the glass with ice.
    • Pour in 2 oz. of cinnamon whisky and 2 oz. of cider.
    • Garnish with a slice of apple.

Pineapple Whiskey Roundup

pineapple whiskey roundup

Brand ABV Nose Palate Finish
Revel Stoke Lei’D Roasted Pineapple Whisky 35% Roasted pineapple with citrus and vanilla notes. Sweet but not overly so; rich and fruity Smooth
Whiskeysmith Pineapple Whisky 30% Pineapple with hints of vanilla leeched from the rum cask. Pineapple, caramel, and charred wood. Tropical fruit and wood; exceptionally smooth; medium length.
Teeling Pineapple Rum Cask-blended Irish Whisky 49.2% Pineapple, citrus, vanilla, and caramel with a strong scent of rum complemented by cinnamon.

 

Oak, black pepper, and pineapple.

 

A thick, somewhat oily mouthfeel.

Medium length.
Ensign Red Pineapple Whiskey 35% Pine with orange peel, clove, and apple juice congeners Sweet and rich Slightly bitter

Conclusion

Whether or not Crown Royal climbs on the bandwagon, there is plenty of pineapple whiskey to go around. Take your pick.

If it’s an April Fool joke, it fell so hopelessly flat that no one can tell if it’s a joke or not.