It looks like cachaca is continuing its rise, and now even mass market spiriters Seagram’s is getting into the mix.
Seagram’s (yeah, the gin guys!) new line of Brazilian rum doesn’t say cachaca on the label (and doesn’t offer a whole lot of information about what they’re created from or where, aside from “Brazil”), and that’s probably on purpose: At an ultra-affordable $12 a bottle, this is not intended to challenge the consumer with new and confusing terms but entice him into a new category of spirit while keeping a toe-hold on the familiar. “Brazilian” in the name gets that done.
Here’s how the rum — and its two flavored versions — stack up.
Seagram’s Smooth Brazilian Rum – Yeah, that’s the official name (snicker all you like), and compared to many cachacas it is on the mild, easygoing, even smooth side. The trademarks of cachaca — rubber, subdued sweetness — are here, but it’s all very mild. This is actually drinkable on its own — when’s the last time you said that about a $12 rum? — but of course it shines with simple mixers or in a caipirinha. Bonus points for such affordability. 80 proof. A- / $12
Seagram’s Citrus Brazilian Rum – Very sweet, with a kind of vague lemon/lime kick. Mostly natural-tasting (and specified as “with natural flavors” on the bottle), but it’s a little overpowering, to be honest, but with the right mixer — try club soda — it can work. Go easy on added sweetener. 70 proof. B+ / $12
Seagram’s Raspberry Brazilian Rum – You can’t get away from raspberry these days, and here (also a “natural” per the label it’s just too much for me. Even with a mixer, the raspberry flavor is on the cloying side, though it doesn’t taste artificial, just too, too sweet. 70 proof. B / $12