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1974 Seagram's V.O.

Happy 150th, Canada! - Part IV of XIII

3 993

@talexanderReview by @talexander

19th Jun 2017

1

  • Nose
    24
  • Taste
    23
  • Finish
    23
  • Balance
    23
  • Overall
    93

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

A couple of years ago I scored a very interesting bottle from Scotch Whisky Auctions - an old bottle of Seagram's V.O. with a 1974 tax stamp. Although the SWA website says it was bottled in 1974, I believe the tax stamp actually refers to the year it is put in oak. Since the label says this is six years old, this must have been bottled around 1980. When I got the bottle home and gave it a closer inspection, I saw an old duty free stamp - from Taiwan! Very cool! Let's give it a try and compare it to today's Seagram's VO.

The colour is a light gold. On the nose we have toasted oak, wood smoke and freshly sawn lumber. Honey and tons of butterscotch. Furniture polish. Leather. Some rye spice. Buttery. Add water (just a drop) and you get tons more wood smoke (from the charred oak). The nose seems "old", not just in terms of time in the cask but in terms of the age of the bottling.

It's buttery on the palate as well, with lots of caramel and vanilla, rye spice and chewy oak. It's missing the smoke of the nose but it has a delightful mouthfeel. Even creamier with water. Seriously drinkable.

The long finish is warming, with raisins, wood and white pepper. This is wonderful stuff, exactly what you would expect from an old-style Canadian whisky. I truly believe that we are in a new peak era of high quality for Canadian whisky, but something like reminds me that these spirits can become even greater. There is no comparison to today's Seagram's VO, which I scored a 65 about 5 or 6 years ago. Today's bottling shows much more corn, very little age and simply lies there flat.

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9 comments

@newreverie
newreverie commented

I've got a bottle from the 1981 I'm saving for @paddockjudge Hope it is as good as this one Also have a Canadian club from about that time

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@talexander
talexander commented

I should add that I paid about $25 for this old, amazing liquid.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

Great review for a great whisky!

I was weaned on Seagram's. The first case of whisky I bought was none other than Seagram's V.O. The year was 1978, I had just achieved age of majority. I pulled twelve bottles off the shelf and placed them in an empty box. When I got to the cash the store manager asked what the special occasion was. I told him that it was my birthday and I was buying myself a gift. He asked which birthday it was and I told him it was my eighteenth birthday, to which he replied, "you little fucker, you've been buying liquor here for at least two years".

That V.O. was special juice. It came from the Waterloo distillery. After the Waterloo plant closed, Seagram's whisky went into a downward spiral. I moved on to CR Limited Edition (15 YO) and eventually settled on Alberta Premium and bourbon.

I look forward to visiting you again and sampling some of the fine purchases you have made at auction. I tasted this V.O with you and it was an absolute treat to revisit a brilliant bottling from the era of my misspent youth.

Thanks for the memories!

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

I'm sitting on this bottle of Seagram's. it is better than the 1975 we sampled 4 or 5 years ago, you and @ Victor both scored that one in the 90's. 1975 (1990 release) CR LTD EDITION POKER BOX

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

Expand image
@newreverie
newreverie commented

@talexander I also hear you are watching over my gooderham & worts lot4 that I gave to @paddockjudge I just had some from a freshly opened bottle as part of my best Canadian epic tasting. FANTASTIC. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I'd like to see a second or third review of it one day. My 1981 Seagrams and Canadian club were free. Someone was about to pour them onto the ground at a recycling center!

about one year ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

@newreverie I saw that bottle in your picture! And @paddockjudge I'll be reviewing that and all of those old Canadians I bought at auction in the coming days. Right now I'm enjoying the last of this 1974 Seagram's V.O. with a cigar on my back porch...

about one year ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

@paddockjudge Wow - what a fantastic box! I just picked up a Crown Royal Limited Edition in a Canada150 box, which I'll take to the cottage on July 1.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@newreverie
newreverie commented

@paddockjudge If you are gonna do that, I think it is only fitting that I get one of those CRs with the poker face on it

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

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