An amazing rye whiskey for the price – Favorite for our around the house rye, and best buy.
Notes: This is the 6 year-old version of the Sazerac Rye. This whiskey is produced at the scenic Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort (close to Woodford Reserve Distillery if you are touring) home of numerous other whiskies such as Eagle Rare 10 year-old, Eagle Rare 17 year-old, Blanton’s, Rock Hill Farms, Hancock Presidents Reserve, and Elmer T. Lee and George T. Stagg. (See our Adventure Section for a tour of the distillery).
This is not a single barrel (see above) but a small batch from the mixing of a very small group of barrels.
In what seems to be a company tradition (and a refreshing one), the price of ths whiskey is nowhere near the kind of money the competition would charge for similar quality if they could match it – it is much less.
Appearance: Antique copper/bronze like the highlights on a tsuba (the hanguard on a samurai sword).The color of this whiskey promises that you are in for a treat, well aged but not over the hill. Color of light baltic amber in the glass.Nice edge line on the glass when you swirl it, smooth layer of whiskey on swirling with scattered rivulets rather than legs developing.
First Impression: Rye spiciness of course with a overlay of sweet malt to make a spicy melange, vietnamese cinnamon, faint sichuan pepper scent,whisper of clove.Very lively for a whiskey at this age.
Taste: Thick body and mouth feel generating warmth wherever it touches. There is a definite sweetness with a spicy sourness underlying it. Unlike many whiskies of it age group it is neither tired or over oaked ( both common but usually separate perils of aging past 12 years (or younger really) Lingering spicy sweet finish with a pleasing if paradoxical dryness.
Drinks: Rye is, of course, the proper whiskey for a Manhattan. Bourbon was later substituted as Rye was on the brink of extinction for a number of years until recently, but Rye was the original ingredient.That being said, most of the Rye in the late 1800s to 1950’s was not aged much.This is a very nice expression of a rye for mixing as it still retains its youthful zest and spiciness to stand up well to mixers without being overly assertive. For traditionalists there is also of course the Sazerac Cocktail, the recipe from the Sazerac website is:
The Original Sazerac Cocktail
Take two heavy-bottomed 3 1/2-oz. Bar glasses; fill one with cracked ice and allow it to chill while placing a lump of sugar with just enough water to moisten it. Crush the saturated lump of sugar with a bar spoon. Add a few drops of Peychaud’s Bitters, a jigger of rye whisky and several lumps of ice and stir briskly. Empty the first glass of ice, dash in several drops of Herbsaint, twirl the glass rapidly and shake out the absinthe. Enough of it will cling to the glass to impart the desired flavor. Strain into this glass the rye whisky mixture prepared in the other glass. Twist a lemon peel over the glass, but do not put it in the drink.
Cigars: Works well with Joya di Nicaragua.
Bottle: The design of the bottle harks back to the pre Civil War days when barrels of whisky were poured into ornately engraved decanters supplied by the distiller.While the label is now silkscreened on the shape and style is reminiscent of the style. A long, thin, clear glass neck with a fluted shoulder flow into a round center with a octagonal flute at the bottom, the spare design shows off the color of the whiskey to good effect. There is a small clear rectangular label with white lettering on the back that contact information.
Final Thoughts: Much of what I said about the 18 year-old. This rye will change anyone’s mind about rye whiskey for the better. Most people who have tried rye in the past 40 years or so would rather drink broken glass than rye because of their experience of the commonly available ryes.Rye and rye drinkers had been written of by major whiskey producers years ago.This rye signals the renaissance of rye whisky making and a hopeful rebirth of not only the whiskey, but of a new population of rye drinkers. Any whiskey lover who try’s it will become a convert. – Further comments: This rye completely eclipses most of its contemporaries in its age group. Absolutely worth the extra money (just a few dollars) over Jim Beam!
Web site: http://www.sazerac.com
see also: http://www.bourbonwhiskey.com
Fast loading with a slightly annoying intro (no need for it). This however is followed by a display of all the bourbons and ryes they make (over 20, not counting overseas variations). Extensive information and good pictures of each one, with reviews and ratings by different people and organizations.