Monday, June 18, 2012

Seagram's Escapes

I usually tend to dislike these sorts of beverages, and as a result I typically try to avoid purchasing them. However, during a recent trip to the grocery store, I found a lonely bargain bin full of Seagram's Escapes, and seeing as how they were only a dollar a piece, I decided to seize the opportunity to remind myself of the special sort of disappointment that only a 6.4 proof bottle of generic malt beverage can offer.

Although the picture above shows only the—prepare yourself—"Jamaican Me Happy" flavor, I have tried several of the flavors in which Seagram's Escapes are currently available. I will say up front that despite the Jamaican Me Happy's rather unfortunate name, it is definitely my favorite of the flavors that I have tried. However, rather than addressing each flavor in particular, I feel that this time would be better spent discussing the qualities of this sort of beverage in general, as they all tend to have the same features and shortcomings. 

For those unfamiliar with the "genre," malt beverages are brewed (and often fermented) beverages that use malted (sprouted) barley grain as the primary brew ingredient. Traditional beer is the largest example of this sort of drink, but there has been a rising insurrection of these sorts of "flavored beers" appearing on the market over they past few years. I use the term in quotations because Seagram's Escapes and it's competing products are not to be confused with traditional beer that may include flavorings that are added post-brew. Rather, these drinks tend to be vague approximations of the sort of fruity cocktail that one might expect to order at some ramshackle cabana during a particularly hot day at the beach. They lack the savory depth of flavor offered by many ales and lagers, opting instead to pack each sip with so much fruity sweetness that it is hard to taste anything much beyond the bite of the sugar on your tongue.

Now, this is not necessarily to say that they are bad just because they are not really beer. Comparing them to their more painstakingly prepared and carefully engineering counterparts may be a bit unfair, as that is not the image that these drinks try to portray. While many beer breweries strive for complexity, sophistication, and craftsmanship in their presentation, most of the companies that produce these sorts of light and fruity malt beverages aim to offer easy and accessible alcoholic beverages for people who may not like the intensity of stronger beers and spirits. Seagram's is especially specific in their goal for their Escapes line: images of ocean fronts and other equally tranquil locales rest conspicuously behind depictions of freshly sliced fruits, inviting the drinker to enter a world of refreshment and alcoholic relaxation. 

While it may be unfair to hold these more casual "dranks" to the same standards as other alcoholic beverages, my issues with the drinks in question actually stem from inherent problems with the beverages themselves, not the existence of superior or differing products. The first major problem that I find with products like Seagram's Escapes is the excessive sweetness. To me, the sweetness is entirely overbearing, and is more indicative of a sugary soft drink than a brewed malt beverage. The real turnoff, however, comes from the tiny, nagging hint of alcohol in the background. Seagram's Escapes are a particularly strong example of this. Clocking in at a mere 3.2% alcohol by volume, the drink feels confused and busy rather than light and refreshing. What little alcohol that there is in the drink competes with the other flavors in a rather uninteresting and non-cohesive way, and instead of offering a "lighter alcohol experience," it really just serves as a constant reminder that what you are drinking really just does not make sense as an alcoholic beverage. Every time that I drink one of these things, I feel like the companies that make them are just frantically trying to cover up the unappealing taste of generic malt beverage with soda-like qualities, and I often find myself staring at the bottle and wondering why they don't just make them as non-alcoholic soft drinks in the first place. That way, those who really do not like the taste of alcohol could at least use them as chasers.

If you are okay with the taste of generic, fruity beverages and you just want something low-impact to drink at a party, then Seagram's Escapes will likely do in a pinch. Otherwise, they really just aren't worth the calories.

Verdict: Not recommended

Purchased: Bi-Lo [Greenwood, SC]
Size: 11.2 fl oz [330mL]
Price: $1.00 per bottle [discounted]


  1. They are sweet but they are also tasty. I find they are better if you mix the wine coolers with wine to give them more punch! Like mix the berry cooler with some white zinfandel. Much better use in my humble opinion.

  2. My first time drinking this beverage was during the weekend and to be honest I actually enjoy the is not as sweet as how it's exaggerated in the review it's quite refreshing with jus a splash of alcohol...I really do not fancy beers as this seven my first time indulging in one and I think it balances out's good for laid back occasions...I get the concept they're trying to create..I like this product and will be drinking it from now on.

  3. These are not wine coolers. I find wine coolers to be too sugary sweet and overcarbonated, these have just enough flavor and sweetness but not overly too much. I do enjoy beer and wine on occasion and like this better. I find it refreshing.

  4. I also love the beer coolers. Much better than regular beer. I didn't care much for the Jamaica Me Happy, but love the Strawberry Daiquiri. I prefer these to the wine coolers that I loved so much back in the day.

    Thankfully, the writer doesn't have the option to choose what the rest of us drink. This is, after all, why all cars are not black. The world is filled with all kinds and we are all entitles to our own tastes.

    These are all I will be drinking from now on. A much more enjoyable way to end the day. If I was looking for strong, I'd drink something 100 proof!

  5. strawberry daiquiri is the only one ive tasted. it tastes just like strawberries fresh strawberries. no kick but great to mix or have a relaxing drink. im sure there are plenty of other good ones.

  6. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these! Can't think of anything else I'd rather drink. I like the fact it doesn't have a heavy alcohol taste. Just enough to relax me. I like most of the flavors, my favorite being the sangria. I have been drinking them for over a year. Innthe lasr month or so, all rhe stores that have sold them, are no longer carrying them---up here in Maine a nyway. ANYONE KNOW WHY??? Can still find the 4 pack, (only in 2 flavors I'm not crazy about) I will miss them! Oh, and by the way, I don't find it sweet at all.

    1. You can still buy them at Walmart in Maine :)

  7. They taste great i love the steawberry dairquiri my fav i just finished one wanna try others soon

  8. I luv the colypso colada!!! Cant get enough of the fruityness its not 2 xcessive with the alcohol which i like

  9. Jamaican Me Happy is definitely awesome... the others are absolutely disgusting... they are overly sweet, and like said in the review, are confused what what they actually are...If they are going to be that disgusting, they should add more alcohol to give it purpose. This is a drink a 15 year old boy brings to a picnic to get his potential girlfriend drunk and in bed with him.

  10. I love these little drinks during the summer time. They are light and refreshing. I like them all except the margarita one.

  11. I like most them. I can get a case of twelve mixed variety for $9.99 here in D.C.
    Not a big fan of the Lime Margarita though. But great beer beverage especially when chilled in the freezer for about a hour or two. I'm definitely a fan!

  12. How many calories in each bottle?

  13. Calorie count is 160 to 180 depending on the flavor of the wine cooler

  14. Well, apparently the writer does not care for these. To each his own. I have only tried the black cherry but I think it's delightfully refreshing. I'm anxious to try the other flavors.

    By the way, Mr. Author, possessive "it" ("Seagram's Escapes and it's competing products...") is never spelled with an apostrophe.

  15. They are twelve dollars for twelve at publix in florida. Why does their site say there is a vodka wildberry if these are all malt beverages? Are any of the different brands really liquor not malt?