Distiller: MGPI, Lawrenceburg, Indiana, USA (Brand owned by Pernod-Ricard)
Style: Dry American gin.
Michigan State Minimum: $10
Note: 1.75 ml bottle pictured ($22)
Appearance: Clear with a very faint tinge of color.
Nose: Neutral spirit, juniper, citrus peel.
Palate: Milder than the nose would lead on to believe. Neutral spirits and a faint earthiness.
Finish: Burn and crushed juniper berries.
Mixed: Perfectly acceptable in the standard applications, especially in a Tom Collins or with tonic. Even makes a decent martini or negroni. Gets lost in orange juice.
Parting Words: Seagram’s the gin is the best selling American-made gin in the world. Seagram’s the company no longer exists. It was sold off for parts in the late 1990s in order to raise money for Edgar Bronfman’s adventures in the entertainment industry. That began a long, strange trip for the distillery (actually distilleries) in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. It’s now owned by agribusiness company Midwest Grain Products and is best known as the supplier of rye and bourbon whiskey for an endless parade of “micro-distillers” who are just selling it until their own product is ready, they swear. MGPI contains an entirely separate distillery for the manufacture of gin and vodka, though, and that’s where Seagram’s Gin (now owned by French giant Pernod-Ricard) continues to be made.
In days of yore, Seagram’s Gin was “rested” in oak barrels to take the edge off the spirit and give it a saffron tinge. The process was changed sometime before September 2013, , according to a source-friend of mine. The yellowish tinge (now barely there) is created by running the spirit through a juniper slurry under pressure. Barrel resting is a thing of the past. Just going by memory, it doesn’t seem to have altered the taste much. If anything, it’s a little less harsh than I remember.
At any rate, this is a perfectly serviceable well-gin. It’s barely palatable neat, but it does just fine for casual cocktails. Seagram’s is a fine gin for your Wednesday night G & T or your third martini on Saturday night. Recommended.
That said, I hate the bottle redesign. The cross-hatching thing is dopey. #BringBackTheBumpyBottle