Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bottom Shelf Blends: Seagram's VO & 7 Crown

Today, I go further down the bottom shelf with a comparisons of two Seagram's whiskeys. Seagram's was once a mighty Canadian beverage company with distilleries in Canada and the US, including Four Roses and LDI. It owned numerous brands including Crown Royal and also marketed spirit-friendly soft drinks such as ginger ale and tonic water. In the late 1990s, however, the company was bought out and sold into many pieces. Today Pernod Ricard, Diageo and even the Coca-Cola company own pieces of this once proud company.

The only whiskeys that still include the Seagram's name are two diageo blends: Seagram's VO and Seagram's 7 Crown.

Seagram's VO, 40% abv ($16)

According to David de Kergommeaux at, Seagram's VO is "produced at Diageo’s distillery in Valleyfield, Quebec, with some spirit components coming from other plants."

The nose is extremely sweet. It smells like artificial maple syrup. It tastes about like that too. It's syrupy sweet with maybe a slight spice in the background giving way to a vaguely vodka-like alcohol quality. The finish has some ginger. This is sort of a caricature of what I think of as bad Canadian Whisky, sweet without much else going on.

Seagram's 7 Crown, 40% abv ($13)

Possibly because of the Canadian heritage of the company, most people seem to think Seagram's 7 is a Candian Whisky, but it's an American blended whiskey. American blended whiskey must contain 20% straight whiskey and the rest can be neutral spirits (i.e. vodka), coloring and flavoring. The distillery isn't disclosed but for years the whiskey was distilled at LDI, the former Seagram's distillery in Indiana.

The nose is very vaguely whiskey smelling. That's about it. The palate is just foul. It's sweet and only tastes very vaguely of whiskey. It's sort of a generic whiskey taste, though it's more spicy than sweet so tasting blind I might have guessed that it was a really bad rye, but it doesn't have any really distinctive qualities. The major flavor is just alcohol. The finish is like the taste in your mouth after a bad hangover. There's just no reason to drink this.

Well, based on these, I would say the once mighty Seagram's name has definitely fallen on hard times.


Anonymous said...

What?? No review of last year's 750ml Seagram's Extra Dry packaged with Seagram's Du-Rag? You stay classy Seagram's!

Lazer said...

You're not supposed to sip this neat. When I was in college and ran out of beer and gin & tonic, I used to enjoy the occasional refreshing highball, the 7&7, that's Seagram's 7 and 7up, or sprite. Here's my recipe: Start with a tall highball glass. A plastic cup also works well. Fill with Ice. Add 1-1.5 oz. Seagram's 7 depending on how hammered you want to get. Then top off (or drown) with 8oz. of 7up or sprite. Recommended food pairings are taco bell, cheesy fries, buffalo wings, pizza, hamburgers, or any combinations of the above.

sam k said...

I would have expected this blog to have been more kind to these brands considering it is now yet another subsidiary of Diageo.

I'm pleased to see that at least a semblance of integrity has been retained.

tmckenzie said...

You know, they could make Seagrams 7 a lot better blend. It still is made by ldi I am pretty sure. I get a good rye tastes in it, but there is so damn much caramel in it that it just ruins it. And as far as Seagram gin goes, still one of the best gins on the market I think. Still aged about a month in used bourbon barrels. I still enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

gin not in barrels its colored not aged through juniper berrys for hour and a half

Anonymous said...

I'm very surprised by this negative blog. I've love Seagram's 7 for 27 years and it is always my "go to" whiskey. it has my loyalty and stands out as a brand leader among whiskeys to me!

Unknown said...

I've bartended for 25 years and VO or 7 have always been a good well whiskey. They taste pretty close and nobody ever complains.