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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 7 Crown (1.75L) - 1980s

175cl, 40%

A rather large 175cl bottling of Seagram's 7 Crown American whiskey. We reckon this blend was produced in the 1980s. There's even the number seven wearing a crown on the label, and we appreciate the…  More info

Seagram's 7 Crown (1.75L) - 1980s
$281.11

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.
17
$30.27

Seagram's V.O. 6 Year Old Canadian Whisky (Boxed) - 1975

75cl, 40%

An old bottling of Seagram's V.O. 6 Year Old Canadian Whisky complete with impressive presentation box, from back in 1975. That's the same year Jaws was released. Not that we think they're connected.  More info

Seagram's V.O. 6 Year Old Canadian Whisky (Boxed) - 1975
$120.48

Seagram’s V.O. Canadian Whisky (1.14L) - 1975

1cl, 0%

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? Please note that the…  More info

Seagram’s V.O. Canadian Whisky (1.14L) - 1975
$100.40

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

Crown Royal Canadian Whisky (1.75L) - 1979

175cl, 40%

A sizeable bottle of Crown Royal from 1979! This collectible piece holds 1.75 litres of the classic Canadian blended whisky, and comes alongside its fancy purple drawstring bag. This bottle was…  More info

Crown Royal Canadian Whisky (1.75L) - 1979
$562.22

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

Ron Montilla - 1970s

98cl, 40.4%

The pirate on this rare bottle of Ron Montilla has an extraordinarily hairy chest, but considering it was produced in the 1970s, we're not that surprised. This was marketed in Brazil and was, at the…  More info

Ron Montilla - 1970s

Seagram's 100 Pipers

75cl, 40%

This blended whisky is named after the number of pipers who preceded Bonnie Prince Charlie into battle.  More info

Seagram's 100 Pipers
9

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. This bottle was part of a private…  More info

Seagram's 100 Pipers - 1970s
1

Seagram's 100 Pipers (2.27L) - 1960s

227cl, 0%

A huge half gallon bottle of Seagram's 100 Pipers blended Scotch whisky, thought to date from as long ago as the 1960s. Typical of the style, this large antique bottle has a built-in…  More info

Seagram's 100 Pipers (2.27L) - 1960s

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
$32.49

Seagram’s 7 Crown - 1964

95cl, 43%

Seagram's 7 Crown, their American blended whiskey rather than their Canadian blended whisky (which they are rather well known for). This full quart bottle was produced in Indiana in 1964 and has been…  More info

Seagram’s 7 Crown - 1964

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

Seagram’s 7 Crown - 1970s

100cl, 40%

In 1970, Seagram's sold 32 million cases of their 7 Crown American whiskey! Whilst this figure would fall dramatically in later decades, this 1970s bottling would have been extremely popular indeed -…  More info

Seagram’s 7 Crown - 1970s

Seagram’s 7 Crown - early 1980s

175cl, 40%

A great, big bottle of Seagram's 7 Crown American whiskey from the early 1980s.  More info

Seagram’s 7 Crown - early 1980s

Seagram's Benchmark 6 Year Old (94.6cl) - pre-1964

95cl, 43%

This is a 94.6cl 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 collection…  More info

Seagram's Benchmark 6 Year Old (94.6cl) - pre-1964

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

Seagram's Benchmark Bourbon - pre 1964

75cl, 43%

An old bottling of Seagram's Benchmark Bourbon, which we think was produced prior to 1964. Back in the day, they used to use the tagline "Measure your bourbon against it." This bottle was part of…  More info

Seagram's Benchmark Bourbon - pre 1964
1

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
$26.59

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

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
$80.32

Seagram's Selected Bourbon Whiskey - 1940s

75cl, 43%

An antique bottle of Seagram's Selected Bourbon Whiskey, produced during the 1940s in Waterloo. Why, that's just down the road! We could go there and see where this bottle was made! ...Oh, Waterloo…  More info

Seagram's Selected Bourbon Whiskey - 1940s
1

Seagram's V.O. - 1950s

75cl, 43%

An old bottling of Seagram's 'Very Own' Canadian whisky dating from the '50s. This bottle was part of a private collection - if you'd like more detailed photos just get in touch!  More info

Seagram's V.O. - 1950s

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. This bottle was part of a private collection - if you'd like more detailed photos just get in…  More info

Seagram’s V.O. 1l - 1980s

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