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Gillman
09-02-2008, 11:12
I picked up a pint for about $7.00 in Las Vegas recently, in the atmospheric hotel which is part of the Main Street Station complex.

I bought one some years ago which seemed thin and uninteresting but this current one is much better.

It has a strong scent and taste of straight rye, rye which is not too old, perhaps 3-4 years old but maybe more.

That is the first taste that hits the palate and it is unmistakeable, I recognise it not so much from the straight element of most Canadian whisky but from Forty Creek's artisanal whiskies which include a similar top-note.

The middle of the palate is cocoa-like and sweetish, perhaps from some bourbon in there, and/or maybe some caramel. The finish is where the neutral spirits show up and it comes as a kind of refreshing surge on the palate.

The label states 66% neutral spirits (or perhaps "grain spirits", I'll check soon again), but it did not say what the remaining 34% is! Older bottles would state straight whiskeys, this current label does not say!

This drink has a good, strong taste, is balanced and has a round soft mouthfeel. It is an excellent American whisky and in my opinion offers more true whisky taste than most Canadian whiskies on the market. It is also better ounce for ounce than some drinks that state bourbon or rye on the label.

People who like rye should try it, its palate is very influenced by rye whiskey and surely it represents a historical whiskey type which is falling (comparatively) out of favor, i.e., American whiskey which is of course a blended whiskey. If you added some Templeton rye to it it might be even better but it is very good as is. Except for the best of the Barton line in American whiskey, I'd say this is the best in that category I've had. I can see why Jim Murray rates it very high but that is just additional comfort, not validation. (I disagree with some of his judgements but not this one).

Incidentally this current sample is quite similar to a jug of the same brand from 1980 in a cousin's condo in Florida that I get to taste once in a while.

Gary

Jono
09-02-2008, 14:22
Probably my first whiskey drink....the famous 7 & 7...always liked it.

SBOmarc
09-02-2008, 14:51
I drank it early and often, usually with just a bit off water on ice. I was just 21 and was told by many that it was a "grown up" drink.

I would offer those same people some GTS now and see what they think.

Gillman
09-02-2008, 15:36
Thanks for that. I have the label before me now. It states, "66% grain spirits". I wonder if that is different than grain neutral spirits. Probably not since if that element was e.g., light whisky one would think the maker would state that. The label enjoins me to "enjoy our quality responsibly". Will do.

Gary

ratcheer
09-02-2008, 15:38
I also drank it back in the early 70's, but I remember almost nothing about it.

I went to the ABC a few weeks ago and seriously considered buying a bottle. But, at $17 here, it seems quite a bit overpriced, to me. Instead, I bought a bottle of OGD 86 for $11.

Tim

Gillman
09-02-2008, 15:46
I paid $6.99 for a 375 millilitre, so better than your price Tim but still more than OG. (The full bottle price in Nevada though may be close to your OG price).

Interesting how a blend can command a higher price.

You can of course make your own American whisky blend. Try 66% vodka and the rest Old Overholt and some of that Gran-dad. (Maybe a dash of maple syrup or caramel of some kind too). It may not taste just like 7 Crown but it will be good. You may have to experiment a bit before you get it right.

Gary

CorvallisCracker
09-02-2008, 16:46
It states, "66% grain spirits". I wonder if that is different than grain neutral spirits. Probably not since if that element was e.g., light whisky one would think the maker would state that.

You're right Gary, it is not different from GNS. "Grain Spirits" is one of the approved phrases for neutral spirits. See ATF Title 27, Chapter 1, Part 5, subpart D, section 5.39(a)(1), located here (http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2003/aprqtr/27cfr5.39.htm).

Gillman
09-02-2008, 17:02
Okay thanks Scott.

I quickly put together my own "American whiskey". I used two-thirds Ketel One (vodka) for the GNS and the rest WT rye and McKenna SB equally, adding a dash maple syrup.

I swirled well and tasted it next to the 7 Crown. Both are good, but the 7 Crown is better, yet not by that much. The 7 Crown might use an older, more concentrated rye or bourbon than I used or perhaps caramel explains it if that was used.

I'll keep trying. :)

That said, my own blend is very drinkable and a nice change from straight whiskey.

Gary

Gillman
09-02-2008, 17:04
On retasting I am not convinced 7 Crown is better. Mine is as good.

Gary

Gillman
09-02-2008, 17:05
On further retasting I think mine is better.

Okay I'll stop. :)

Gary

CorvallisCracker
09-02-2008, 17:24
"Grain Spirits" is one of the approved phrases for neutral spirits. See ATF Title 27, Chapter 1, Part 5, subpart D, section 5.39(a)(1), located here (http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2003/aprqtr/27cfr5.39.htm).

I'm sure my reading of that is correct; however Section 5.22 "standards of identity" further defines "grain spirits" as "neutral spirits distilled from a fermented mash of grain and stored in oak containers" (ref (http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2003/aprqtr/27cfr5.22.htm)).

Gary, I'd tell you that one way to improve your blend would be to barrel age the vodka, except that I did some not-very-successful experimentation along these lines many years ago. I barrel aged some GNS (153 proof Everclear, not vodka) and mixed that with straight whiskey and water. Sometimes that went okay and sometimes the resulting mix turned cloudy (and didn't clear no matter how long it sat).

After wasting too much good bourbon and rye on these experiments I decided the goal (creating an American blended whiskey comparable to the better imported blends) was of too little interest to anyone (myself included) to be worth pursuing.

BTW, as I'm sure you've already discovered, something containing 66-80% GNS is going to be a lighter color than Seagrams 7, unless you add caramel or some other coloring.

Gillman
09-02-2008, 17:30
Thanks Scott, and you're right too that my blend was lighter in color than 7 Crown. What you found about oak aging is very interesting. The extra color and flavor from that element, plus the caramel that probably is added, may make all the difference.

Gary

CorvallisCracker
09-02-2008, 17:30
On further retasting I think mine is better.

Okay I'll stop. :)

Gary

Good idea, because the next step would be to start trying to line up investors for a new American blend label, and I don't think you'd get many (don't call me, anyway).

CorvallisCracker
09-02-2008, 17:46
By the way, I've mentioned in other threads that for about 20 years (mid seventies to mid nineties) Seagrams 7 and Calvert Extra were both 100% whiskey, being 20% straight whiskey and 80% "light whisky" (aka grain whisky). This was the legacy of the failure of "light whisky", introduced in 1972 but which never found a market niche. Seagrams had produced vast quantities of this, so they started using it in Seven and Calvert, having nothing better to do with it.

I knew they'd run out eventually, so I'd occasionally inspect a bottle and examine the label. Sometime during the 1990s (I don't remember exactly when) they started using GNS again.

It's to their credit that their using only 66%, because they could legally go as high as 80%. That's probably why it tastes okay (but not, of course, as good as Gillmans 8 :lol: )

Gillman
09-02-2008, 18:52
[Quote: That's probably why it tastes okay (but not, of course, as good as Gillmans 8]
__________________]

You got that right. Maybe. :)

On the point of using light whiskey, maybe that is why the 1980 Seagram 7 Crown to which I referred is so good.

Next time I try this I'll use as the base instead of GNS a Canadian whisky of extra-mild character (which might be viewed as essentially aged vodka) - Canadian Mist may be right, amongst others. I'll add some Russell's Reserve rye and a tad of say an aged VW bourbon. I'll add spirit caramel if I can find it. That may get me closer to 7 Crown. (But mine was very good, really).

Gary

ratcheer
09-03-2008, 15:53
Next time I try this I'll use as the base instead of GNS a Canadian whisky of extra-mild character (which might be viewed as essentially aged vodka) - Canadian Mist may be right, amongst others. I'll add some Russell's Reserve rye and a tad of say an aged VW bourbon. I'll add spirit caramel if I can find it. That may get me closer to 7 Crown. (But mine was very good, really).

Gary

When I was reading the first few posts, I was thinking the same thing - mixing maybe 1/3 bourbon and 2/3 Canadian Club or some such. It wouldn't really save any money, though. But it might make a great mixing whiskey.

Tim

Gillman
09-03-2008, 19:03
Try it Tim, can't really go wrong.

Gary

Stu
09-04-2008, 10:59
On further retasting I think mine is better.

Okay I'll stop. :)

Gary

Keep tasting Gary! Pretty soon it will taste better than PVW 23!

Gillman
09-04-2008, 12:51
He sees where I'm going.. :)

Actually after tasting each I combined them to make a rather large Manhattan, tasted, added a large dash of Stagg 2005, and THEN stopped. :)

Gary

ratcheer
09-04-2008, 15:22
He sees where I'm going.. :)

Actually after tasting each I combined them to make a rather large Manhattan, tasted, added a large dash of Stagg 2005, and THEN stopped. :)



Well, just remember: No matter where you go, there you are!

Tim

CorvallisCracker
09-04-2008, 16:42
Well, just remember: No matter where you go, there you are!

I'm there dude!


Been there. Done that.

cowdery
09-05-2008, 12:35
Sometimes I'm a bit thick and it takes me awhile to put two and two together.

One of the unique characteristics of Seagram's Gin, which is the top-selling gin in the U.S., is that it is "mellowed" (they're not allowed to say "aged") in used cooperage for about 30 days.

The spirit component of Seagram's Seven and other American Blended Whiskeys is neutral spirit stored in used cooperage for about 30 days.

Both products are made at the former Seagram's, now Angostura distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

It just now dawned on me that it's all the same juice. When they take neutral spirit so made and aged and infuse some botanicals into it, it's gin. When they take that same neutral spirit and add some bonded whiskey to it, it's American blended whiskey. Duh!

Gillman
09-05-2008, 12:45
Interesting about the 30 days.

Use of Canadian whiskey as the base to confect a Seagram 7-type whisky won't really work, then.

Maybe I'll just house some vodka in a small barrel for a month and go from there.

Seagram gin for many years had a light yellow tint, then it was white-only (as I recall), and now it appears the yellow version is available again. Using 30 day-aged spirits to make a tinted gin would require as Chuck says infusion, not re-distillation over the "botanicals", since redistilling would presumably remove all color from the spirit.

Gary

cowdery
09-05-2008, 14:47
At least they use infusion. Most U.S.-made gin uses a flavoring concentrate.

ratcheer
09-05-2008, 15:31
At least they use infusion. Most U.S.-made gin uses a flavoring concentrate.

That probably explains why I prefer Saegrams over other US-made gins. I'll still take Beefeaters, though.

Tim

Gillman
11-03-2008, 07:31
Here is an update on this product, tasted after some months "rest" in a bottle I bought over the summer: It has a marked rye whiskey flavor - spicy and bready with some old flowers notes, but is well balanced with excellent drinkability.

The people who put this together know exactly what they are doing, trust me.

Those who enjoy straight rye whiskey are missing out if this is not in your cellar.

Gary

ratcheer
11-03-2008, 15:29
The people who put this together know exactly what they are doing, trust me.

Those who enjoy straight rye whiskey are missing out if this is not in your cellar.



Then I shall endeavor to buy some. I have been contemplating it for some time - I even looked at it closely this past Saturday.

Tim

Gillman
11-03-2008, 15:45
You won't be disappointed, Tim, trust me (once again).

Gary

ratcheer
11-04-2008, 18:06
You won't be disappointed, Tim, trust me (once again).

Gary

You know I do, Gary. I always do.

Tim

Dramiel McHinson
11-05-2008, 18:16
My wife is a devoted fan of Crown Royal. In fact, I have been unsuccessful in getting her to switch to any other whisk(e)y for 20 years. During hard times we always used poor man's Crown Royal which was, you guessed it, Seagram's 7 Crown. I thought it tasted remarkably similar and it was a lot easier on the budget. I have a bottle of the Seagram's VO Gold 8 year old sitting on the shelf totally unmolested for several years. I also have noted that Crown Royal Reserve has been very tasty lately. I wonder if they have made some changes in the blend that have really brought out the rye taste while keeping to the mellowing down of the rye by blending with GNS.

I think its time for me to go get another bottle of the poor man's crown royal and let the wife know that our retirement fund is gone and the Seagrams 7 is all we have left.

Cheers!

Gillman
11-05-2008, 19:35
Quite honestly, I'd take 7 Crown over any iteration of Crown Royal because 7 Crown has more straight whiskey - in particular, rye - character than CR in my opinion. The Special Reserve of CR is good but it is not inexpensive. 7 Crown is well worth its price and then some.

Gary

Dramiel McHinson
11-06-2008, 17:53
Quite honestly, I'd take 7 Crown over any iteration of Crown Royal because 7 Crown has more straight whiskey - in particular, rye - character than CR in my opinion. The Special Reserve of CR is good but it is not inexpensive. 7 Crown is well worth its price and then some.

Gary

Very sensible good advice. After my last post I decided to open the Seagram's VO and give it a go. It started out a little too astringent for my taste and the rye I was hoping for was a little weak. After I let it breath for a while it softened up and the rye came out. I believe the base spirit over powered the whisky in this bottle but it has sat on the shelf for a long time. I'll let it settle and try it again later.

This thread has peaked my interest in going back to Seagram's 7. It is, in fact, much less expensive than CR and if it taste better then there shouldn't be any reason, in these hard times, not to make it a regular pour.

Thanx!

Gillman
11-14-2008, 07:37
Well, last night I had again a small amount of Seagram 7 Crown. My opinion is only heightened. It is much better I think than VO and its straight rye character much more evident. This rye character at times reminds me of the rye hit in the Beam bourbons but the blending presents it in the best possible way. It reminds me too of the Russell's Reserve rye except less sweet and with a better overall flavor. The balance is perfectly calibrated for neat sampling (even though most buyers won't drink it that way I know). If I am out to lunch on this one so be it but I don't think so and I'd be interested in peoples' reactions once they taste it. To me it is a city cousin of the country rye whiskey family.

A 1980 bottle in a Florida relation's house is similar to the current one. In the 1990's I do not remember it being as good but I think it has returned to form. If I am not mistaken, Jim Murray stated in a book a couple of years ago that the whisky had lost some form since the time I am referring to. I think maybe his entreaty was heard. If anything the current issue is better than the 1980 one, more subtle with good rye character but lots else happening. Try it in a snifter.

Gary

Martian
11-21-2008, 11:31
I haven't tried Seagram's 7 recently, but I remember it as having a slightly salty taste. Anyone else experience this?

ILLfarmboy
11-21-2008, 14:51
Gary,

You've got me to thinking I might buy my first bottle of American blended whiskey in more than 15 years. Or at least try it in a bar. I remember drinking a few seven and seven's many years ago. I girl I briefly dated drank them. I remember she would have a wedge of lime added to the drink, just like a gin and tonic, Is that standard, or a standard variation. I think I will re-sample it both ways, neat and mixed, perhaps with ginger ale. I don't like 7 Up any more. They changed the formula and it has too much lemon. Mixed, heavy on the whiskey and light on the soda, it may make a nice summertime break from Powers or Jamesons on the rocks with the added splash of water as I'm won't to do.

Gillman
11-22-2008, 04:47
I think all the ways you suggest would be good Brad except perhaps not with lime juice (or use just a little).

I tasted it last night again and it does have a slight saline-like edge. I am sure no salt is added and this is an effect of the rye base whisky or the wood the components or some of them are aged in. Sometimes oak can have a "crisp" taste that can seem salty. Occasionally we see olives used as a simile to describe the taste of some whisky.

I'd try it neat of occasion or with some ice and soda water or as you say a pop that is not too assertive in taste.

Gary

Dramiel McHinson
11-23-2008, 08:11
I haven't tried Seagram's 7 recently, but I remember it as having a slightly salty taste. Anyone else experience this?

I honestly haven't heard anyone describe a salty taste in Canadian blended whisky until now. But, I have certainly experienced it in scotch whisky. I've never read or heard of the source of the salty taste but the reuse of barrels sourced from other locations might expose the whisky to whatever the wood has absorbed during its lifetime. I actually don't know if Canadian distillers reuse barrels or like American bourbon, must use a new barrel for aging. Gillman's explanation makes the most sense to me.

I certainly hope its not from the chemicals used to clean the mash tanks:shocked:

Gillman
11-23-2008, 12:32
Dan, Seagram 7 Crown is not a Canadian whisky.

Gary

Gillman
11-24-2008, 04:49
I should perhaps add that it is my understanding that flavorings of certain kinds can be added to American (blended) whisky. I don't know what these are but would think it unlikely salt is added. In Canada, as I read the rules this would not be permitted for Canadian whisky. Only a wine or a spirit or caramel may be added in Canada. There are resemblances in style between American and Canadian whisky but I find Seagram 7 different from the Canadian norm and more emphatic than most Canadian whiskies I'm familiar with.

Gary

ILLfarmboy
11-24-2008, 08:00
... In Canada, as I read the rules this would not be permitted for Canadian whisky. Only a wine or a spirit or caramel may be added in Canada.

Gary, I've heard that Black Velvet adds fermented orange juice to their whiskey, any truth to that, that you know of? For blending purposes can they call any fermented fruit a "wine" or just grape wines?

Gillman
11-24-2008, 08:16
Brad, it is possible that a wine for this purpose can include one made from oranges, and perhaps an orange wine is used to flavor some whiskeys here. Grapes of course are a fruit and a wine can be made from other fruits (e.g., rhubarb wine and so forth), so perhaps this is done. I'll check the legal definition when I have a minute and report back.

Gary

Dramiel McHinson
11-24-2008, 22:40
Dan, Seagram 7 Crown is not a Canadian whisky.

Gary

Ack! Kack! Sorry, I was just doing my village idiot routine again. I was unable to process all of the very clear clues through my one brain cell not consumed by body functions. Thanx for getting me out of the ditch and back on my way.

I have, for my entire adult life, believed that Seagram's 7 was Canadian blended whisky. I thought it was of the same range as Seagram's VO and Crown Royal. I did learn Diageo owns it. Who distills, ages, and bottles it?

Gillman
11-25-2008, 04:57
It's an error easy to make and I'm sure many people consider the brand Canadian whisky but it is not. It was always an American whisky in style and produced in America, even when owned by the Canadian-based Seagram company (which has since been broken up). Diageo owns the brand today and the label refers to a Connecticut address (Norfolk) but I am not sure if any production is done there. I believe the straight whiskey components at least were made at Seagram's plant formerly owned in Lawrenceburg, Indiana and perhaps still are sourced there from the company (Angostura) which now owns it. 7 Crown is a ong established quality brand of American blended whisky. Canadian and American blended whiskey present some similarities but I find American whiskey in general different and more variable in quality. Some has a predominant taste of GNS, but some is much better in quality and stresses the straight whiskey element, like 7 Crown and the Barton blends. Each seems to have a "house" or proprietary flavor whereas Canadian whisky in general seems more uniform in taste to me.

Gary

ratcheer
12-19-2008, 15:54
Gary, I finally bought a bottle of 7 today. I haven't tried it yet, maybe this evening. My plan is to taste it straight first, then try a Manhattan cocktail. More, later.

Tim

polyamnesia
12-19-2008, 19:30
Gary, I finally bought a bottle of 7 today. I haven't tried it yet, maybe this evening. My plan is to taste it straight first, then try a Manhattan cocktail. More, later.

Tim

looking forward to the notes. i almost made the leap. it's not an expensive experiment at all!

ratcheer
12-20-2008, 06:49
looking forward to the notes. i almost made the leap. it's not an expensive experiment at all!

But, not very cheap in Alabama. In fact, the distributor had set up a display with the bottles marked at $11.99. But at the cash register, it rang up at $12.99. I complained. The cashier went and removed the distributor's price tag. I had to pay the full price, plus tax. :smiley_acbt:

Not too bad compared to top flight straight whiskies, but that is not what it is.

Tim

Gillman
12-20-2008, 07:34
Well, I too look forward to your notes, Tim.

Retasting recently I was struck by the big rye notes - and its balance.

Gary

ratcheer
12-20-2008, 14:13
Ok, I just tasted the Seagram's 7 Crown, straight. Based on Gary's recommendations, I already had high expectations. They were exceeded. :yum: I cannot imagine a relatively inexpensive blend having such character of flavor. The flavors are, admittedly, very mild, but still very pleasant. As I have no experience with straight rye whiskey, I cannot provide any insight on that comparison. I detected a faint quality of good bourbon flavor, though.

I am certain that this can easily become my cocktail and other drink mixing whiskey of choice. Even the milder bourbons that I have used in the past easily overwhelm a drink with bourbon flavor. Seagram's 7 could never do that. I am sorry I have missed out on it for so long. I last remember having it in my early college years, probably 1970 or 71.

Tim

ILLfarmboy
12-20-2008, 15:06
But, not very cheap in Alabama. In fact, the distributor had set up a display with the bottles marked at $11.99. But at the cash register, it rang up at $12.99. I complained. The cashier went and removed the distributor's price tag. I had to pay the full price, plus tax. :smiley_acbt:

Not too bad compared to top flight straight whiskies, but that is not what it is.

Tim

They should have honored the sticker price.


Incidentally, I have yet to pick up a bottle. I have been spending my booze money on tequila and wine lately. Although I have ordered a 7 & 7 at a restaurant while waiting for a table. Some, but not much, of the rye character did come through. Pleasant enough for a whiskey/soda.

Gillman
12-20-2008, 15:14
Delighted to read this, thanks for your comments, Tim. (I do feel too it drinks nicely on its own, maybe with a cube of ice).

Gary

ratcheer
12-20-2008, 16:21
Delighted to read this, thanks for your comments, Tim. (I do feel too it drinks nicely on its own, maybe with a cube of ice).



Yes, my meager notes were based on tasting it straight - no mixer, no water, no ice. It was smooth and a little sweet, all by itself.

Tim

Gillman
12-22-2008, 19:10
Well, it is fortuitous to have this discussion since I have just completed a "vertical" tasting of three Seagram 7 Crown whiskies.

The first ("No. 1") was (from) a half-gallon purchased in 1980.

The second ("No. 2") was a half-pint purchased in Florida in 2004.

The third ("No. 3") was a pint purchased this year in Las Vegas.

In my opinion, No. 1 was the best. It was the darkest (in and of itself not decisive) and had a bourbon-like sweetness and roundness that was most appealing.

No. 2 was my least favorite: rather lean, spirity, not bad certainly but not replete of taste.

No. 3 was rich-tasting but in a different way than No. 1, it was balanced and full-flavored but seemingly rye-inclined not bourbon-inclined. Applying my own terminology to them, I'd say No. 1 was "bourbon-recipe", No. 3 "rye-recipe", and No. 2 somewhat like No. 3 but not as good.

This is just my impression, but it abides.

Gary