Introduced in 2006 and bottled at 51% ABV, Seagram’s Distillers Reserve is a blend of the best batches of Seagram’s Extra Dry, post-mellowing and bottled at cask-strength.
Colour: Very light, straw yellow.
Nose: The nose seems less intense than the original, with some juniper and citrus.
Taste: Firstly, the texture is quite different: viscous, silky and smooth. Most of the panel agreed that this was unusually smooth for a gin at 51% ABV. As well as juniper, there was sweet liquorice, floral and citrus flavours.
Although other Seagram’s gins are aged for the same period of time, the oak notes were far more pronounced in this version. The oaky flavour became even more pronounced when a drop of water was added to gin.
Gin & Tonic
A very fresh and crisp Gin & Tonic, with good levels of juniper and citrus with a well-rounded finish courtesy of the cask-resting. Very good.
This was a strong and bold Martini: it’s a bit spicy with some nice vanilla and woody elements. Very satisfying, with just a hint of anise at the end.
A rather tasty drink: intensely bitter-sweet, with powerful juniper flavours and a creamy, oak finish. Delicious.
I think that the basic Seagram’s is a decent gin, but the Reserve is even better: it has a good balance, a strength that makes it extremely mixable, and the process of cask-resting really makes a difference to the spirit, making it a yellow gin and something of a rare species.