The History

The year was 1933. Utah became the 36th state to ratify the Twenty-first Amendment, making liquor sales once again the domain of the licensed distributors. Within a month, Canadian Samuel Bronfman founded Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, Inc.

Originally, they had only planned to introduce a single blended whiskey. Instead, they produced two - Seagram's 7 Crown, and Seagram's 5 Crown. Within two months, Seagram's whiskey was beating out every other whiskey for market share nationwide. By 1935, more than 1 million cases per year were being sold, and as the 30's wound to a close, that had leaped to 1.5 million cases per year.

In 1942, due to reasons relating to the war, the company decided to cease production of 5 Crown. This left 7 Crown as the only blended whiskey in their lineup.

Seagram's 7 Crown has continued to grow in popularity, and even today, remains one of the better quality blended whiskeys, while continuing to be among the most popular. Since 1934, over 370 million cases of Seagram's 7 Crown have been sold, which according to the company's literature, gives "this brand1 the distinction of being consumed more often than any other brand in the history of the United States."

The Beverage

The ingredients list of Seagram's 7 Crown is quite terse, consisting of corn, rye, rye malt, barley malt, yeast, and water.

The corn comes exclusively from fields in Indiana, while the other grains are imported from farms in the Midwest United States or Canada. The grains are sour mash fermented, and then double distilled prior to aging.

From Seagram7.com:

All of the whiskies in Seagram's 7 Crown are aged for a minimum of 4 years, some in new charred white oak barrels and some in used charred white oak barrels. The maturing inventory is monitored by expert blenders for flavor development. As the inventory gets near its usage age, blenders lab-produce products using different percentages of inventory components until the exact flavor profile of Seagram's 7 Crown is achieved. This inventory survey and lab blending is a constant process and is one of the reasons the flavor of Seagram's 7 Crown has remained consistent through the years.

The Consumption

Though Seagram's 7 Crown isn't the greatest tasting blended whiskey ever created, it's certainly among the best in the reasonable price range. Some are able to enjoy it neat, others prefer it on the rocks, and many simply pick it as fodder for mixed drinks.

The most common mixed drinks one would find this in are the 7&7 and the 7 Highball. Although either of the two drinks could be made with any blended whiskey, that doesn't mean they should. It's called a 7&7 for a reason. Of course, this can be used in any drink that simply calls for a non-specific blended whiskey.


References:
  • http://www.webtender.com/
  • http://www.seagram7.com/

Footnotes
  1. It is safe to assume they mean "brand of blended whiskey," because a company such as Coca Cola has undoubtedly sold more of its flagship product.

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