Seagram’s Gin is the best selling gin in America; therefore it warrants a closer look. I know that immediately it embodies one American virtue: thrift. This may be the only gin I review that I can tell you with confidence, “yes, they do sell it at Walmart.” In fact, this gin could be the next entry in my “It came from the Bottom Shelf” series. But although widely available we’re interested if the taste lives up to the hype. Does it warrant being the best selling gin in America.
But first, an Experiment!
At a recent party I held a blind taste test for two of my friends. Both are gin drinkers who are familiar with gin and this blog. I offered them each two plastic party cups. One contained Seagram’s Dry; the other had Oxley. I asked them both “which one do you think was the more expensive gin?” Both chose Seagram’s.
So does that mean that Seagram’s is a better gin than Oxley?!
If I did not know already the cost of this gin, I likely would have thought based on scent alone that this was a rather good gin.
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I mentioned at a party over the weekend that I had bought Saffron infused gin, and the reaction was an assortment of “really?!”, “I don’t think that goes together,” and “I’m skeptical but I’ll try it anyway.”
I’m on board with all three reactions to an extent.
First up is the color. It looks something like a children’s drink resembling Pedialyte or those orange hugs. I had the same sort of cognitive dissonance when drinking the Tru gin. If my Gin and Tonic isn’t crystal clear, it doesn’t feel like a gin and tonic.
As for the taste it goes surprisingly well in a gin and tonic, but prepare not to fully experience the saffron. In a gin and tonic, the saffron and fennel come through, but in a balanced manner. There’s a strange sweet taste- not bad, just strange, almost as if there was already simple syrup in the gin. Despite the sweet undertone, this gin does not go well in a Tom Collins, Martini nor in any other drink that has a strong sweet or sour component. The flavors seem to clash with one another. Dare I say, I found the perfect gin for a Churchhill Martini, or even to be sipped on the rocks.
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The first thing you’ll notice about G’vine gins is that this isn’t your standard Beefeater or Tangueray. You also don’t need to have a wine drinker’s palate to recognize that there’s something grapey and floral about the taste of this gin. It has just enough hint of a tart sweetness to make the gin interesting no matter how you mix it.
Firstly, in a tonic Nouaison really shines. Since the flavor of the gin is so strong and sweet, I suggest going easy on the lime juice or even leaving it out altogether. This gin has such a strong flavor, that though it pairs well with other flavors, such as in a Tom Collins, it doesn’t stand out so much that I would recommend it over a more inexpensive option. It stands strongly on its own, which makes it an excellent choice for a classic martini. It is exceptionally smooth, even when consumed straight. Its exceptionally fragrant- so much so that I may go as far to say this is the kind of gin you can serve to friends who don’t like gin. Consider it a gateway.
Best consumed: Straight or with Tonic
Availability: Fairly uncommon.
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