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Virus_Of_Life
10-07-2010, 11:32
"Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye is an uncut and unfiltered straight rye whiskey. This year’s Handy was distilled in the spring of 2004 and aged on the third and fourth floors of Warehouses K, M and P. It is 126.9 proof. The flavor is cinnamon and allspice, with a bold lingering finish."

I know this has been said before, but how does a 6 year old product belong in the Antique Collection?! Am I the only one getting tired of paying ~$70 a bottle for 6 yo uncut whiskey yet seeing members of our board find superior (IMHO) 5-8 yo stuff and having it bottled privately at substantially less cost per bottle.

Sorry BT, but you'll only get me to purchase one bottle of this, and judging from the 08 and 09s still sitting on shelves around here I am not the only one. It's high time to seriously consider a change to the BTAC. Keep it Antique for those truly old bottlings, but come up a new moniker for your uncut stuff and price it more fairly. I've said it before the Buffalo Trace Uncut Collection would be just fine, and now that Tom Moore is in the fold I am sure another bottling or two could be introduced to make it 3 of each.

Of course this is just my opinion.

DeanSheen
10-07-2010, 11:51
I agree that it is a marketing gaffe. Considering I can get 2 bottles of Baby Saz and have money left over Handy has little to offer in terms of value to the consumer.

I really like Handy and would prefer it if it was a regular product instead of a once yearly release. While I'm daydreaming make it a little cheaper too.

BigRich
10-07-2010, 12:11
I completely agree. I never understood this one either.

matthew0715
10-08-2010, 01:19
Sorry BT, but you'll only get me to purchase one bottle of this...


Waah, waah, waah! Pull yer panties up. Either boycott the stuff if you really want to protest, or quit complaining. And the only reason their is stuff still on the shelf near you is allocation - there is none of it near me. Only ever saw a bottle of Handy once.

And about the word Antique, Weller used it on 7 y.o. juice (now NAS) so what's the big deal. I believe they are referring to the style of whiskey, not actual age.

Virus_Of_Life
10-08-2010, 01:52
And about the word Antique, Weller used it on 7 y.o. juice (now NAS) so what's the big deal. I believe they are referring to the style of whiskey, not actual age.
You're probably right, when it was introduced as a 17 and 19 year old bourbon and an 18 year old rye they probably didn't intend for the age to relate whatsoever to the term "Antique".

ThomasH
10-08-2010, 05:15
The big difference between Weller Antique and Handy is price. 20.00 a 750 for the former and 60.00+ for the latter. 3.00 per year of age vs. 10.00+ per year of age is quite a significant difference. I can get Saz jr. for 26.00 a 750 regularly too so the Handy is of no significance to me at all. I got one from the first year and that was it. I consider it to be some considerable whiskey sticker shock and nothing else!

Thomas

Josh
10-08-2010, 05:51
As I have said before, I too think that the Handy is overpriced. BT folks, how about making Handy a regular release at $45? Just throwing that out there.

smokinjoe
10-08-2010, 08:21
As I mentioned in another thread, I am not thrilled to lay out $70 for any of the special releases, from any of the distilleries. It is certainly reducing the quantities that I'm buying. Unfortunately, that's about the competitive price point for these types of releases, be it 4R, WT, HH, or BT. The thing that makes the THH special for me, is that it's an Uncut, Unfiltered, Big 'ol Tasty STRAIGHT RYE. And, those types of puppies ain't necessarily growin' on trees. I too, love the Saz Jr., particularly at $26. But, even though it's from the same family as THH, I just can't use it as a comparison from a worth standpoint, to THH. Night and day, IMO. All this being said, I wouldn't mind a release with a few more years on it. But, every year that I've had so far has been stellar, regardless of the less than "antique type" age statement. That's why my ryedar will be pinging for Handy next month when it's released. Damn, it's only 11:19 and I done gots me a hankerin' for some Handy. :crazy:

ErichPryde
10-08-2010, 12:13
I can get Saz jr. for 26.00 a 750 regularly too so the Handy is of no significance to me at all. I got one from the first year and that was it. I consider it to be some considerable whiskey sticker shock and nothing else!

Thomas


Same mashbill, totally different whiskey. We don't even have any idea how old the NAS saz is anymore anyway (other than 4+).

As for being a regular release: There are only so many "good" barrels around, which is unfortunate.

DeanSheen
10-08-2010, 12:24
As for being a regular release: There are only so many "good" barrels around, which is unfortunate.

I don't even know what this means.

6 year old barrel proof Baby Saz = Handy. Have you had non-Handy barrel proof Baby Saz and compared it to Handy?

callmeox
10-08-2010, 12:43
Same mashbill, totally different whiskey. We don't even have any idea how old the NAS saz is anymore anyway (other than 4+).



Weller SR and Antique are bottled from the same barrel dumps. As it was told to me by a BT employee, "if the SR loses its age statement, then worry."


Count me in with the "too much for what you get" crowd wrt THH. It is too hot straight and even cut the price diff isn't worth it being unftered.

I consider myself a rye guy, too.

Josh
10-08-2010, 12:48
6 year old barrel proof Baby Saz = Handy. Have you had non-Handy barrel proof Baby Saz and compared it to Handy?

It would probably be easier to do the opposite and water the Handy down to the same proof as baby Saz. I have done this, and although I didn't have any baby Saz handy (no pun intended) for the sake of comparison, Handy seemed to lose its remarkability at that lower proof.

Erik's point about barrel selection is a valid one, but being a bear of very little brain, I don't understand why a barrel proof Sazerac is $70 when a barrel proof Four Roses is $55, a barrel proof Wild Turkey is $40, and a (virtually) barrel proof Old Grandad is $25. Other than the fact that people are willing to pay that much for it.

smokinjoe
10-08-2010, 14:03
It would probably be easier to do the opposite and water the Handy down to the same proof as baby Saz. I have done this, and although I didn't have any baby Saz handy (no pun intended) for the sake of comparison, Handy seemed to lose its remarkability at that lower proof.

Erik's point about barrel selection is a valid one, but being a bear of very little brain, I don't understand why a barrel proof Sazerac is $70 when a barrel proof Four Roses is $55, a barrel proof Wild Turkey is $40, and a (virtually) barrel proof Old Grandad is $25. Other than the fact that people are willing to pay that much for it.

Worth, is....what worth, is. And, I'll certainly not argue with anybody's determination of what something is worth to them. But, a comparison of the price of 3 barrel proof bourbons with the price of a barrel proof rye (the only BP rye) is like, as the adage goes, comparing apples and oranges.

Virus_Of_Life
10-08-2010, 14:30
But, a comparison of the price of 3 barrel proof bourbons with the price of a barrel proof rye (the only BP rye) is like, as the adage goes, comparing apples and oranges.
I completely agree with your points on most accounts Joe, but what gets my me the most the price and lack of age, and I do truly enjoy this stuff. When it first came out I went googoo gaga over it, and still love it.

That said, when it did first come out we all thought that as it continued to age we'd see older expressions, I know by now I expected to see a 10yo in the AC, but no, they keep dropping back to 6. Charging basically the same price as a 17yo Stagg is just outright wrong. Isn't there tax issues with how long it ages, and evaporation to be considered? It just seem ludicrous to me to sell these things at the same price. It would go a long way to keeping my interest if they continued to let this one age so at least we could see the progression of this great Rye as the years go on. Let's face it, the Saz18 is about dead. Sure it is still decent Rye, but the longer it sits in that stainless the flatter it'll become and it'd be encouraging to see what another Rye will be like as it ages.

I agree with Josh in that I'd like to see this as a regular product at a lower price point. Its time for these folks to realize they best catch up with the demand for regular issue UC/UF whiskeys, just look at the craze over Willett.

sgtgto
10-08-2010, 16:38
Yup. And as long as you keep buying it.. they will keep raising the prices until it stabilizes out. There is obviously people out there that are willing to pay 120$ a bottle for the stuff, as evident from multiple online sources. As long as it keeps "selling out" within months of it's release, BT has every right to raise the price. Supply and demand.

I doubt they will listen to whining and complaining. Want to really kick BT where it counts? Don't buy it.

ErichPryde
10-09-2010, 00:09
I don't even know what this means.

6 year old barrel proof Baby Saz = Handy. Have you had non-Handy barrel proof Baby Saz and compared it to Handy?

The barrels that were selected for Thomas Handy are the "best of the best," and were selected specifically for a specific profile. I don't think that profile lines up exactly with the regular sazerac profile, although it is similar.

I actually just cut some 2008 handy with water, and although I agree that it does lose some of its flavor and punch, I do not agree that it tastes the same as regular sazerac. partly this has to be because Saz is NAS while the 08 handy is nearly 7 years old, and secondly because of barrel selection (also, the lack of chill-filtering may have something to do with it). I challenge any of you who happen to have both on hand to do the same thing- they are the same mashbill but they are not the same whiskey. Even cut 50/50 with water, I think that the handy tastes better. Of course, taste is very subjective.

Look, to a point I'm with you guys here- I'd love to see it offered at a lower price point. But Joe is right, there simply is no other whiskey on the market that is anything like Thomas Handy, and as long as the rules of supply and demand keep being met it will keep being sold. If you don't like it, don't buy it.


What I really want to see is more ryes at a reasonable age, PERIOD. If there was a 10 year old rittenhouse expression at 100 proof, I'd buy it. if there was a 10 year old Sazerac expression, I'd buy that too. But until there's more of a market demand for rye in general, I just don't see anyone making any more that are worth salt.

Josh
10-09-2010, 06:55
What I really want to see is more ryes at a reasonable age, PERIOD. If there was a 10 year old rittenhouse expression at 100 proof, I'd buy it. if there was a 10 year old Sazerac expression, I'd buy that too. But until there's more of a market demand for rye in general, I just don't see anyone making any more that are worth salt.

hear hear! Why does Rittenhouse have to be either NAS or over 20 y/o?

We do need more ryes at a reasonable age (RaaRA). Kudos as always to Julian and the Van Winkles for the FRR. Ball's in your court, everybody else!

smokinjoe
10-09-2010, 08:07
Our hope may lie in......................Beam.
When they released (Ri)1, they said there was going to be a (Ri)2 and (Ri)3. Hopefully, they're reading our discussion, and will answer our prayers of an extra aged, uncut, unfiltered rye, with one of those two.

But, until then, I'm very happy with Handy.

barturtle
10-09-2010, 08:10
Our hope may lie in......................Beam.
When they released (Ri)1, they said there was going to be a (Ri)2 and (Ri)3. Hopefully, they're reading our discussion, and will answer our prayers of an extra aged, uncut, unfiltered rye, with one of those two.

But, until then, I'm very happy with Handy.

That may be so, but looking at the price of (Ri)1, I'm thinking the 2 and 3 versions will be more expensive than Handy...

unclebunk
10-09-2010, 08:15
That may be so, but looking at the price of (Ri)1, I'm thinking the 2 and 3 versions will be more expensive than Handy...

And come in the same shitty looking bottle to boot.

smokinjoe
10-09-2010, 08:20
That may be so, but looking at the price of (Ri)1, I'm thinking the 2 and 3 versions will be more expensive than Handy...

Can't argue with your reasoning there, Timothy.

Virus_Of_Life
10-09-2010, 10:15
That may be so, but looking at the price of (Ri)1, I'm thinking the 2 and 3 versions will be more expensive than Handy...

Or they'll learn based on lack of sales that it was too high and price it more appropriately. Based on 120 proof KC, they may be listening.

I have been saying for a couple years that we needed more middle age Ryes on the market. I think WT Rye would be freaking awesome at 8-12 years old. AND 101 proof, not this 90 stuff of RR.

barturtle
10-09-2010, 11:08
Suddenly I have a thirst for some Beam Rye, while my inventory says I have a bottle here somewhere, I think it'll be easier to just go the the store...might even splurge on a (Ri)1...

smokinjoe
10-09-2010, 12:08
Suddenly I have a thirst for some Beam Rye, while my inventory says I have a bottle here somewhere, I think it'll be easier to just go the the store...might even splurge on a (Ri)1...

I almost splurged last week. I wasn't wowed with my first bottle of (Ri)1, particularly at the price point. But, my store has the price knocked down to $28ish, which is quite an improvement. Maybe, I'll head on down to the corner, too. :D

nor02lei
10-09-2010, 13:38
What I really want to see is more ryes at a reasonable age, PERIOD. If there was a 10 year old rittenhouse expression at 100 proof, I'd buy it.

Actually there were one here several years ago Erik and it is still my favourite rye in the taste per buck division. I still have one left in my bunker.
I do agree 100 % with your reasoning about the lack of “middle” old ryes.

Leif

ErichPryde
10-10-2010, 02:11
Actually there were one here several years ago Erik and it is still my favourite rye in the taste per buck division. I still have one left in my bunker.
I do agree 100 % with your reasoning about the lack of “middle” old ryes.

Leif


Sweet. If I ever cross the ocean and happen to be in the neighborhood, would you be willing to open that sucker up for a sampling? :rolleyes: Don't know if I will ever be in the neighborhood, but you never know.

nor02lei
10-10-2010, 05:26
Sweet. If I ever cross the ocean and happen to be in the neighborhood, would you be willing to open that sucker up for a sampling? :rolleyes: Don't know if I will ever be in the neighborhood, but you never know.

Yes I will if it’s still around Erik.

Leif

B.B. Babington
10-11-2010, 16:56
...I wasn't wowed with my first bottle of (Ri)1, particularly at the price point. But, my store has the price knocked down to $28ish,..
I'd be all over it for $28. I think (Ri)1 is not that super, but way better than standard Beam Rye and definitely worth 28 bills.

SBOmarc
10-12-2010, 13:29
I do wonder if Beam is going to go ahead with subsequent Ri one...two...or three as planned. This group not withstanding, I have paid attention to liquor stores and bars. No one in this area is buying it. The strategy of marketing it to cocktail drinkers, at least in this market has failed.

Beam may have deep pockets to carry out this strategy for the long haul, but I wonder how far they are willing to go?

dbk
03-29-2011, 17:45
I'm with the vocal minority here: I think the Thomas H Handys that I've tasted (2009 and 2010) are phenomenal, and is thus far my favorite rye to date. Admittedly, I haven't tried several of the other top shelf ryes, like the Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye, but I am blown away by the Handy every time.

I'd be happy to see it offered more widely, and I'd be happy to see it sold at a lower price, but I am also happy to pay the current asking price. I do sincerely thank each and every one of you who is unwilling to buy it at the current price, as you may well solve those twin distribution and cost problems for me.

wripvanwrinkle
03-29-2011, 18:51
I'm with you, dbk. I don't even agree that it is all that expensive. At 65% abv (2009) and at a price of 60 USD locally, if it was sold diluted to 46% abv...it should sell at 49 USD. That is about the same price as High West (another 6/7 year old.)

This logic says nothing though about preference. I love THH because it has an "older whiskey" nose, and a taste that doesn't betray that nose. Furthermore, it walks that line between something elegant while not letting you forget that you are drinking a rye.

Ultimatley though, I think that there are 2 variables that work against some peoples evaluation the most. First, its colleague GTS is a crazy good value. Second, it is often compared against the VWFRR13...an absolutely amazing value (one of the few whiskeys that I buy every bottle that I can find.)

Josh
03-30-2011, 05:55
I'm with you, dbk. I don't even agree that it is all that expensive. At 65% abv (2009) and at a price of 60 USD locally, if it was sold diluted to 46% abv...it should sell at 49 USD. That is about the same price as High West (another 6/7 year old.)

value (one of the few whiskeys that I buy every bottle that I can find.)

If it were $60 I would buy it. But it's at a minimum of $70 here and most places that still have it at this point are selling it at $80 or more. So it's not a good deal at those prices, especially when VWFRR is a few dollars cheaper.

And you're welcome DBK.:lol:

dbk
03-30-2011, 07:32
If it were $60 I would buy it. But it's at a minimum of $70 here and most places that still have it at this point are selling it at $80 or more. So it's not a good deal at those prices, especially when VWFRR is a few dollars cheaper.

I don't think this is necessarily BT's fault, though. I know someone in Maryland who claims he can find it for $58. The bottles I've found in New York, on the other hand, are closer to $85 (and the same place charges $100 for the Stagg). It seems like much of the price hike is on the State's, supplier's, or vendor's side of things


And you're welcome DBK.:lol:

Thanks, Josh! Keep it up. ;)

cowdery
03-30-2011, 18:38
I've never owned a bottle of the stuff but would like to. Whenever I've had it I have found it to be outstanding.

roostercogburn
03-30-2011, 20:27
One of the local stores I frequent had a slew of '09 Handys for $59. I can't detect a huge difference between the last two years (they are both rich, explosive ryes). For it being a consistent barrel proof offering, I don't mind the price.