Continuing with the theme of younger siblings of releases from the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, here is the Sazerac Rye, a 6 yo*. It just barely clears the requirements for being labeled a rye whiskey, being distilled from only a 51% rye mashbill. Though it bears the Sazerac name I believe this is supposed to be the same whiskey as is sold as Thomas H. Handy in the annual Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, only cut down to 45%. (If that’s not true please write in a correction below.) Unlike the Thomas H. Handy, however, it is both easy to find and very affordable (and easier to find and cheaper than the Stagg Jr. as well).
*As per Patrick’s comment below, there is apparently no confirmation that this is a 6 yo and I realize that Bryan’s label has the words “I think” after 6 yo. So this may not indeed be a 6 yo.
Sazerac Rye, 6 (45%; from a sample received in a swap)
Nose: Sweet notes at first, almost candied. Mild mint and dill and cold black tea. The sweetness intensifies quite a bit and there’s a bit of clove, some toffee, some honey, some citrus. Rather nice as it all melds together.
Palate: A little thin on the palate with a mildly spicy bite but very little of the sweet notes from the nose. On the second sip there’s some citrus, a touch of caramel and burnt notes somewhere between dark toast and toasted wood. And it’s much sweeter too now (brown sugar) and spicier (clove and cinnamon)
Finish: Medium. The toasted notes fade and it gets much drier at the end.
Comments: Very nice nose but the palate didn’t live up to it. Still, it’s very pleasant and very drinkable and for the price it’s hard to complain too much. I added some water at the end and all it did was thin everything out and bring some astringency to the finish—I’d avoid.
Thanks to Bryan F. for the sample!
Rating: 84 points.