Seagram’s 7 Crown is a no-frills brand. The blended whiskey brand offers three products — original blended whiskey, dark honey, and apple. And it won’t break the bank, either. Unlike its premium competitors, Seagram’s will set you back less than $20 a bottle.
Simplicity is part of what has made the brand a staple over the past 80 years and part of the reason many turn their noses up at it today. Love it or hate it, Seagram’s 7 is unafraid to call itself an American icon. Read on to learn why, with eight things you need to know about Seagram’s 7 Crown.
The brand is a classic but not always a favorite.
Blended whiskeys were wildly popular in the U.S. in the mid- to late 1900s, and Seagram’s was a go-to choice. It’s captured the hearts of American whiskey drinkers ever since, but it often fails to win over palates. Whiskey reviewers tend to rate it mediocre at best, citing its high grain-neutral spirits content and harsh taste as turn-offs.
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It’s kind of a whiskey (and kind of not).
Officially, Seagram’s 7 is a blended whiskey. And it fits that definition — a blended whiskey is any whiskey composed of multiple whiskeys or that also incorporates grain-neutral spirits and flavorings — but there’s also some room for interpretation. Seagram’s 7’s blend is made up of roughly 75 percent grain-neutral spirits (think: Everclear) and 25 percent whiskey. National law holds that blended whiskeys must be made from a minimum of 20 percent straight whiskey, a standard that places Seagram’s 7’s whiskey content on the low end of the spectrum.
It’s a key component in an old-school cocktail.
Not many spirits brands can say a popular cocktail was named after them. But if someone’s ordering a 7 & 7, it’s almost impossible not to think of the two brands used to make it: Seagram’s 7 and 7Up. The cocktail first became a sensation on the ‘70s bar scene and the big screen, garnering mentions in hit films and shows like “Saturday Night Fever,” “Goodfellas,” and “The Sopranos.” There’s no doubting the cocktail’s legacy in drinks history and the role it played in popularizing Seagram’s 7 for the masses.
Seagram’s 7 gives back to the bars that love it.
Local, affordable, hole-in-the-wall dive bars are known for their eccentric charm and penchant for bringing in the regulars. Surveys show that American sentiment toward local businesses grew steadily after the onset of Covid-19, but dive bars have still faced challenges keeping their doors open in a country where they were already in decline pre-pandemic. Seagram’s has a reputation as a classic dive bar spirit. At under $15 a bottle and easy to pour in a variety of whiskey cocktails, Seagram’s checks the boxes as a simple, cheap, dive bar well whiskey.
As dive bars struggled in 2020, Seagram’s decided it was time to help drum up support. In 2021, the brand launched an ongoing campaign to “Keep the Dive Alive,” complete with ad spots featuring comedian Iliza Shlesinger, monetary donations to dive bars across the country, and (of course) its own #KeepTheDiveAlive hashtag to increase awareness.
Seagram’s has its own national holiday.
If you ever need an occasion to mix up a 7 & 7, July 7 might be your day. Seagram’s introduced National Dive Bar Day in 2018, further solidifying the brand as a champion of the dive bar. When it came to picking the official date for celebration, the answer came easily. National Dive Bar Day lands on the seventh day of the seventh calendar month.
Seagram’s 7 hails from Canada but calls the U.S. home.
Seagram’s may have had a major impact on American drinking culture, but it wasn’t always an American-produced spirit. The brand was officially founded in 1928 in Canada and was exported to the U.S. from its Montreal headquarters. Even back then, the Seagram’s 7 legacy was cementing itself as stronger in the States than in Canada, with consumer preferences for blended whiskey sweeping the country through the 1950s. In 2000, the brand was acquired by spirits giant Diageo, and today, it’s distilled in Norwalk, Conn. — a fact that’s shared front and center on Seagram’s 7 bottles.
Some see the brand as a relic of the past…
Seagram’s is synonymous with ‘70s drinking culture in the U.S., and it’s true that the brand may never again reach the level of popularity it once did. It was the best-selling blended whiskey brand in the country during a decade when blended whiskey was all the rage. Now, it’s often perceived as a brand that went downhill shortly after its era of fame — likely a result of greater variety and higher-quality whiskeys entering the market.
…But sales show it isn’t going anywhere.
No matter what you think of Seagram’s, it’s not just the whiskey your parents or grandparents drank back in the day. It continues to rack up sales across the U.S and is a lot more popular than one might think. In 2021, it was the 12th best-selling whiskey brand in the country — ranking above popular labels like Knob Creek, Four Roses, and Skrewball. It’s also the sixth most popular American whiskey in the world, racking up 1.9 million cases in global sales in 2021.