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Seagram's

The revived version of the famous blend, ‘Seagram's VO’ is produced at Diageo’s distillery in Valleyfield, Quebec. However, many will remember a time when the Seagram’s brand was a major force within in the alcohol world, before disastrous investment choices and ventures into the entertainment market spelt the end for the family-owned industry giant.

The Bronfman family that were famed in the 20th Century for leading the company to success were not the original founders. Neither was the distillery’s namesake, Seagram himself. The distillery was established in Waterloo, Ontario Canada in 1857, before a certain Joseph E. Seagram became a partner in 1869. It wasn’t until he became sole owner in 1883 and renamed the company Joseph E. Seagram & Sons that the beginnings of the brand we know now began to take shape.

The acquisition of the family business in 1928 by Distillers Corporation Ltd was to prove to be the catalyst for the success of Seagrams. The Montreal-based family business was established by the Bronfman brothers as a joint venture with the UK-based Distillers Company Ltd (DCL), which enabled them to distribute Scotch whisky brands the DCL owned in Canada. Following the purchase of the Seagram brand the senior brother in the family operation, Sam Bronfman, eventually came to steward the company in his direction, where it established itself as an international name.

Sam Bronfman strengthened the brand over a number of years with the purchase of Chivas Brothers and Milton distillery (now known as Strathisla), as well as Robert Brown Ltd of Paisley, William Walker & Co and the Highland Bonding Co for the whisky stocks they held. Further improvements were made to ensure the success of the brand, such as the construction of a new Seagram distillery next door to Strathisla, Glen Keith, alongside a new headquarters, bottling and warehouse complex near Paisley.

A further warehouse and bottling site in Dalmuir, Clydebank were added to the profolio in 1970, before Sam Bronfman would sadly pass away in 1971. However, thanks to his son Edgar, Seagram’s wasn’t finished yet. In the same year he took charge, Edgar began the planning phase for a new distillery in Glenlivet, which opened in 1973 as Braes of Glenlivet (it’s now known as Braeval), which was soon joined by the Glenrinnes-based Allt-a-Bhainne distillery in 1975. Major expansion occurred in 1977 with the purchase of Glenlivet Distillers Ltd – a group formed by the 1970 merger of The Glenlivet, Glen Grant, Longmorn, Caperdonich and BenRiach distilleries, with blender Hill, Thompson & Co. of Edinburgh.

By the time Edgar Bronfman’s son, Edgar Jr., took over as CEO in June 1994 Seagram’s was the largest owner of alcoholic beverage lines in the world. However, the glory years came to a sharp end in this era. Edgar Jr. had a vision that Seagram would become a diversified business with assets in the film and television industry, so he sold a highly lucrative 25% holding of chemical leader DuPont to finance the purchase of a controlling stake in MCA, which owned Universal Pictures and its theme parks, in 1995. Purchases of Polygram and Deutsche Grammophon soon followed, but in just five years it became clear this gamble had failed to pay off.

The failure to make adequate return on its investments meant that by 2000 Seagram was forced to sell its entertainment assets to the French company Vivendi. The result was more than just a surrender of the portfolio it assembled in the 1990s, however. Sadly, such was the state of this financial and business disaster the company was forced to cease its operations which led to the sale of Seagram’s wine and spirits assets to Diageo and Pernod Ricard, signalling the end of an era for a family business and of a remarkable and tragic story.

Seagram's V.O.

70cl, 40%

Seagram's VO is a classic Canadian whisky blend, made with spirit of at least 6 years of age. It is said the blend was created after a post-prandial conversation amongst the Seagram family; the…  More info

Seagram's V.O.
7
$29.63

Seagram’s V.O. Canadian Whisky - 1975

A collectible bottle of Seagram's V.O. Canadian Whisky, released in 1975 - the perfect gift for the Canadian you know who was born in 1975. Everyone has that friend, right?  More info

Seagram’s V.O. Canadian Whisky - 1975
$353.84

Seagram's Extra Dry Gin - 1960s

They're well known for their Canadian whisky, but Seagram's are also a dab hand at making Extra Dry Gin in Indiana, USA. They're proper globe trotters, they are! This bottle, produced in the 1960s,…  More info

Seagram's Extra Dry Gin - 1960s
$235.89

Seagram’s V.O. Canadian Whisky - 1961

Produced in 1961, the talented distillers Seagram's put together this handsome bottle of their V.O. Canadian Whisky.  More info

Seagram’s V.O. Canadian Whisky - 1961
$412.81

Seagram's V.O. 6 Year Old - 1983 (Christmas Packaging)

75cl, 43.4%

Canada loves Christmas! They've got snow, they've got fir trees and they've got Seagram's Canadian Whisky, so they've pretty much got everything they need for a good Christmas. Want to celebrate the…  More info

Seagram's V.O. 6 Year Old - 1983 (Christmas Packaging)
$196.58

Seagram’s V.O. 6 Year Old Canadian Whisky - 1966

75cl, 43.4%

This bottle of Seagram’s V.O. 6 Year Old Canadian Whiskey comes from 1966, the year that England won the World Cup. That has nothing to do with Canada, but we're still very proud of it.  More info

Seagram’s V.O. 6 Year Old Canadian Whisky - 1966
$235.89

Seagram’s Extra Dry Gin 1.14l - 1960s

114cl, 51.5%

An imperial quart of Seagram's Extra Dry Gin from the U.S. of A., bottled in the 1960s!  More info

Seagram’s Extra Dry Gin 1.14l - 1960s
$294.86

Seagram’s V.O. 1l - 1980s

100cl, 40%

The Seagram family's 'Very Own' Canadian whisky. This old one litre bottling dates from the 1980s.  More info

Seagram’s V.O. 1l - 1980s
$235.89

Seagram's 100 Pipers - 1970s

75cl, 40%

An antique bottling of Seagram's 100 Pipers blended Scotch whisky, which was named after the 100 pipers that followed Bonnie Prince Charlie into battle.  More info

Seagram's 100 Pipers - 1970s
$196.58

Seagram's V.O. - 1950s

75cl, 43%

An old bottling of Seagram's 'Very Own' Canadian whisky dating from the '50s.  More info

Seagram's V.O. - 1950s
$314.52

Seagram's 'White Label Tropicana' Rum - 1960s

75cl, 40%

A rare 1960s bottling of Seagram's 'White Label Tropicana' Rum, made with rum from Guyana. Sadly the label has been torn at some point over the years...  More info

Seagram's 'White Label Tropicana' Rum - 1960s
$235.89

Seagram's Benchmark 6 Year Old (1.13L) - pre-1964

113cl, 43%

This is a 1.13 litre bottle of 6 Year Old Benchmark 6 Year Old Bourbon, produced before 1964 by Seagram's (these days, Benchmark is made by Buffalo Trace). This bottle was part of a private…  More info

Seagram's Benchmark 6 Year Old (1.13L) - pre-1964
$589.73

Seagram’s V.O. 6 Year Old Canadian Whisky - 1969

118cl, 43.4%

This bottle of 6 year old Canadian whisky from Seagram's was bottled in 1969 - very rare, rather old and well kept. This bottle was part of a private collection - if you'd like more detailed info…  More info

Seagram’s V.O. 6 Year Old Canadian Whisky - 1969
$412.81

Seagram's V.O. 6 Year Old Canadian Whisky - 1971

95cl, 0%

A bottle of Seagram's V.O. 6 Year Old Canadian Whisky, produced in 1971 - the same year that ELO released their debut album. History! This bottle was part of a private collection - if you'd like…  More info

Seagram's V.O. 6 Year Old Canadian Whisky - 1971
$412.81

Seagram's Benchmark Bourbon - 1980s

75cl, 40%

A 1980s bottling of Benchmark Bourbon, from back in the days when it was produced by Seagram's. These days, you'll find Benchmark residing in the Buffalo Trace wheelhouse. This bottle was part of…  More info

Seagram's Benchmark Bourbon - 1980s
$235.89

Seagram's V.O. 6 Year Old Canadian Whisky - 1980

114cl, 40%

We believe that this sizeable bottle of Seagram's Vo.O. 6 Year Old Canadian Whisky was produced in 1980. The same year that the Empire struck back. This bottle was part of a private collection -…  More info

Seagram's V.O. 6 Year Old Canadian Whisky - 1980
$294.86

Seagram's V.O. 6 Year Old Canadian Whisky - 1986

75cl, 40%

6 year old Canadian whisky from the folks at Seagram's, produced back in 1986 - perhaps to the sounds of Paul Simon's majestic album 'Graceland', which was also released that year. This bottle was…  More info

Seagram's V.O. 6 Year Old Canadian Whisky - 1986
$196.58

Seagram's V.O. 6 Year Old Canadian Whisky (Boxed) - 1980

75cl, 40%

A bottle of Seagram's V.O. 6 Year Old Canadian Whisky, which we think was produced in 1980 - the same year that The Talking Heads released 'Remain in Light'. Stunning album. This bottle was part…  More info

Seagram's V.O. 6 Year Old Canadian Whisky (Boxed) - 1980
$196.58

Seagram's Extra Dry Gin

70cl, 40%

Since I acquired a quantity of Seagram's American gin for myself, everybody has helped themselves without reimbursing me for my purchase. This kind of behaviour happens frequently, and whilst you…  More info

Seagram's Extra Dry Gin
1
$26.03
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Mariachi Añejo Tequila - 1980s

75cl, 40%

So '80s. So mariachi. So pleasing. A rare old bottle of añejo tequila. "Don't You Want Me Baby?"  More info

Mariachi Añejo Tequila - 1980s
$157.26
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Seagram's 7 Crown

70cl, 40%

Seagram's 7 Crown is a long-running brand of blended American whiskey seen on back-bars across the lands. A reliable whiskey for enjoying with mixers, particularly the ever-popular 7up - a…  More info

Seagram's 7 Crown
$31.81
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Seagram's V.O. (43.09%) - 1950s

75cl, 43.1%

Classic Canadian blended whisky from the Seagram's range. This bottle Seagram's V.O. was produced in the 1950s and, according to the bottle, it was bottled at 43.09% ABV. "Canadian whisky at its…  More info

Seagram's V.O. (43.09%) - 1950s
$275.21
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Seagram’s V.O. 6 Year Old Canadian Whisky - 1968

According to the bottle Seagram's V.O. 6 Year Old Canadian Whisky is apparently "Honoured The World Over". This bottle from 1968 is definitely honoured here in the office. Technically that's all over…  More info

Seagram’s V.O. 6 Year Old Canadian Whisky - 1968

Seagram's 7 Crown - 1970s

175cl, 40%

A big bottle of Seagram's Seven Crown American Whiskey form the 1970s. If you look closely, you'll see that the 7 on the label is wearing a crown, as if it was a person, and a royal one at that.  More info

Seagram's 7 Crown - 1970s
$458.68
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100 Pipers - 1970s

The 100 Pipers blended whisky has since become the Black Watch blend, but this bottle comes from the 1970s, when it was still named after Bonnie Prince Charlie’s 1745 uprising, which was led by one…  More info

100 Pipers - 1970s
$196.58
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