I love whiskey. That being said, I usually only have one criteria to judge any whiskey that I drink. That is, if you have to mix it with soda to make it taste good, it really isn't worth drinking to begin with. All of the whiskies I enjoy fit this criteria: Wiser's Deluxe, Crown Royal, Talisker, Aberlour, The Glenlivet.... The list goes on. However, Seagram's Seven Crown is not quite in the same league as these other excellent spirits, and I have pulled this bottle out from my collection and poured myself a glass so I can tell you exactly why.
This is not my run-in with Seven Crown. My father, who did a stint in the U.S. Army in the early 60's, told me many times that "7 and 7" (a mixture of Seven Crown and 7 Up) was a popular drink on base when he was in the service. Years later, I spotted this bottle in ABC Liquors in Melbourne, Florida and decided to see what one of the drinks my father liked in his youth might taste like. I brought the bottle home, poured a hefty shot and grabbed a can of Bud for a chaser. I remember kicking back the shot and having a taste so horrible assault my senses that it literally took me 5 minutes to swallow it. I promptly packed it in my suitcase, brought it back to Canada and offered my father a drink when I arrived home. Fortunately for him, common sense overrode any lingering sense of nostalgia and he refused the offer. As such, I have had the bottle ever since.
Tonight, I poured the shot into a glass and grabbed a bottle of water as a chaser (this is actually going to be Liquor Pig's first "live" tasting!). I am actually curious as to whether age may have mellowed this stuff, or if it still tastes something akin to what is used to kill rats en masse. I figure I will try it straight and if I can handle it, mix it with water much like I do my Scotch. The smell off the hooch is a mild grain alcohol... Not too hard on the senses. The taste is inoffensive and not bad for a blended whiskey at all. However, the afterburn of swallowing this crap is what killed me last time and it is working its voodoo again tonight. I can honestly say that I can imagine drinking Drain-O would have a similar effect. The burn starts slow, intensifies and lingers around far too long. The aftertaste of Seven Crown is also quite vile, and not at all like what was initially promised... Kinda like picking up that "cute" girl at last call and waking up the next day to find out she looks just like a Sasquatch/grizzly bear love-child (something any seasoned drunkard cannot honestly say they haven't done, but something not one of us is proud of doing).
The addition of cold water mellows the flavour a lot, and minimizes the whiskey burn. Still, basing my assessment on the initial full-flavoured mouthful, I can't say this is something I would ever want to get drunk on. Something about that hellish burn screams "5 Star Hangover" loud enough that I think I'll leave this one to the soldiers. Hell, even they had the smarts to at least mix it with 7 Up. Now I'm off to find some Aberlour to wash this taste out of my mouth.