Seagrams Extra Dry Gin

A few months ago, on a night out with friends in London, I came across Seagrams Extra Dry Gin. We found a bar with half a dozen gins and the Seagrams was one of them; after a couple of distinctly lack-lustre G&Ts we tried it and were blown away.

I try not to judge a gin after a night out on the town, so I had to get hold of a bottle to try in the comfort of my own home.

Seagrams Extra Dry Gin

Seagrams Extra Dry Gin

Seagrams is the top selling gin in the USA and while this gives it some credence, Gordon’s is the top-seller in the UK and this left me a little underwhelmed.

Seagrams gin is distilled using a ‘unique’ low temperature vacuum distillation process; details of this are scant and the word ‘unique’ is likely a matter of perspective (Oxley and Sacred spring readily to mind). It is also aged, or rested, for three months in charred oak barrels, which gives it its faint straw-yellow colour and mellows the flavours somewhat.

The botanicals listed on the Seagrams site we are…

  • Juniper
  • Cardamom
  • Cassia
  • Orange
  • Coriander
  • Angelica Root

The bottle is rather unique in that it is covered in little lumps and bobbles and the sides are indented, giving it a good grip in the hand. The cap is a metal screw-cap, but for the price, you can’t have it all.

At around £15 per bottle, this is a reasonably-priced gin and I understand it is cheaper still in the US.

Opening the bottle and giving it a sniff reveals all the right smells, but it lacks character; there is juniper at the fore, but only just.

Sampled neat, and with a dash of water, Seagrams is fairly smooth but it lacks spice. There are plenty of sweet, earthy elements from the angelica root and a faint tingle of citrus to back the juniper, but to my mind, it needs more spice. There is a sweet-creaminess to this gin that almost borders on coconut. The juniper is to the fore, but not really dominant.

In a G&T, Seagrams is a little lost; it is pleasant enough, but considering that Brecon Gin is only £2 more and makes a much better G&T, I am not sure it is worth it. With a dash of orange and cardamom bitters, it livens the G&T up a lot, but I am looking for something to stand well on its own.

As far as fairly neutral, generic gins are concerned, it is pretty good and will make a good versatile addition to the drinks cupboard; you should be able to mix it with most things and it generate some safe but unexciting results.

This experience is a far cry from how I remember it that night out in London, and this is why I like to quaff and review in the comfort of home. It could be that Seagrams works very well with Schweppes tonic water, which the pub had and I didn’t, it could just be that we were approaching a level of inebriation that makes anything seem rather appealing.

As for why it is the best-selling gin in the US, it is cheap and isn’t bad. I would be happy to see this as a house gin in the UK rather than Gordon’s. Beefeater probably has the edge though.

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2 thoughts on “Seagrams Extra Dry Gin

  • September 3, 2011 at 9:08 pm
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    I like Seagram’s but I need to get a bottle to review as it’s been a while. The distiller’s reserve is quite nice and I was surprised at how good the Seagram’s Lime was (the same can’t be said about the Apple, Purple Grape and Raspberry twists though!).

    Reply
    • September 3, 2011 at 9:20 pm
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      For the price it is good, and I have a feeling it is a fair bit cheaper in the US – which will make it even more appealing. The various “twist” products sounded a bit too much like the vodka market projected onto a gin for my liking, althought it’s interesting to hear that the lime isn’t bad. I will have to try the distiller’s reserve at some point – I like the way some distillers do a base-level priced product as standard and a few premium options – I really need to explore the winter and summer Beefeaters too.

      Reply

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