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Gillman

Seagram 7 Crown

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Gillman

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

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Jono

Probably my first whiskey drink....the famous 7 & 7...always liked it.

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SBOmarc

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.

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Gillman

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

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ratcheer

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

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Gillman

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

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CorvallisCracker
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.

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Gillman

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

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Gillman

On retasting I am not convinced 7 Crown is better. Mine is as good.

Gary

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Gillman

On further retasting I think mine is better.

Okay I'll stop. :)

Gary

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CorvallisCracker
"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.

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).

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.

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Gillman

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

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CorvallisCracker
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).

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CorvallisCracker

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: )

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Gillman

__________________]

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

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ratcheer

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

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Gillman

Try it Tim, can't really go wrong.

Gary

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Stu
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!

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Gillman

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

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ratcheer
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

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

I'm there dude!

Been there. Done that.

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cowdery

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!

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Gillman

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

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cowdery

At least they use infusion. Most U.S.-made gin uses a flavoring concentrate.

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ratcheer
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

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