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Shell
05-04-2011, 10:37
Excuse me if this has been discussed in other posts, but I'm wondering what the mashbill is in Sazerac Rye whiskey (both the 6 yr. and 18 yr.)?

I find the Sazerac Rye 6 yr. to be excellent. The Sazerac 18 yr. is on my 'to try' list.

Thanks in advance.

B.B. Babington
05-04-2011, 18:56
if I post the link right, this will take you to page 4 of the BTAC sticky which has barturtle's pdf files
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11718&page=4

Shell
05-05-2011, 07:09
if I post the link right, this will take you to page 4 of the BTAC sticky which has barturtle's pdf files
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11718&page=4

Thanks very much for the link. I just posted the following question on that thread:

I would assume that the Sazerac 6 yr. has the same mashbill as the 18 yr.
I am wondering the proportion of the rye (large grain), corn (small grain), and malted barley (finish grain) in Sazerac Rey. I know that the rye has to be at least 51%, but I suspect the % to be much higher.

Any insights as to the proportion of the 3 grains?

Brisko
05-05-2011, 10:30
Two questions.

Are you referring to the Handy or the regular issue Saz?

If the latter, does it still have an age statement? I thought that disappeared.

Rughi
05-05-2011, 10:53
...I would assume that the Sazerac 6 yr. has the same mashbill as the 18 yr....

There's no reason to believe that as far as I know. Anyway, industry people tell us mashbill is fairly unimportant when it's just a few % points compared to the house style of the distillery and the warehouse location.

Saz Jr. is its own creature. It is a current product at an operating distillery.

You might find VW rye and Saz 18 to be much more closely related. :cool:
Here's (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showpost.php?p=103863&postcount=15) a fun post to read.

Roger

Shell
05-05-2011, 11:25
Two questions.

Are you referring to the Handy or the regular issue Saz?

If the latter, does it still have an age statement? I thought that disappeared.

I was referring to both Sazerac 6 yr. & Sazerac 18 yr. I was wondering the proportion of rye, corn, and malted barley in the mashbill. (I suspect the rye is likely higher than 51%.)

Thanks.

Brisko
05-05-2011, 11:42
Let me try this again.

When you speak of the Sazerac 6 year, are you referring to the Thomas Handy Sazerac or the standard 90 proof bottling? If you're referring to the 90 proof bottling, does it still have an age statement? I thought that disappeared some time ago.

Shell
05-05-2011, 11:53
Let me try this again.

When you speak of the Sazerac 6 year, are you referring to the Thomas Handy Sazerac or the standard 90 proof bottling? If you're referring to the 90 proof bottling, does it still have an age statement? I thought that disappeared some time ago.

My apologies for not being precise/clear. I am referring to the Sazerac 90 proof. (Attached is a photo.)

I don't currently have a bottle on hand, so I don't know if it is still showing an age statement on the bottle. The reviews that I've seen on it all refer to it as a 6 yr.

Thanks, again.

Josh
05-05-2011, 12:12
I am 99.999999995% sure the Sazerac and Handy have the same mashbill. I have not even heard anyone insinutae that they may not be the same. The rumor is that the Saz 18 is from Medley or Berheim.

I would actually guess that currently NAS Saz (which is still available although hard to find around here) is firmly in the "barely legal" category, maybe even a little lower than Ritthouse.

craigthom
05-05-2011, 12:25
There's no reason to believe that as far as I know. Anyway, industry people tell us mashbill is fairly unimportant when it's just a few % points compared to the house style of the distillery and the warehouse location.

Saz Jr. is its own creature. It is a current product at an operating distillery.

You might find VW rye and Saz 18 to be much more closely related. :cool:
Here's (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showpost.php?p=103863&postcount=15) a fun post to read.

Roger

Is there any reason to believe that they are using more than one rye mashbill? It hadn't occurred to me that the Sazerac 18, baby Saz, and Handy might not be the same going into the barrels. It's certainly possible, but it seems odd that they would have special mashbills for such low-volume products.

Rughi
05-05-2011, 12:38
Is there any reason to believe that they are using more than one rye mashbill? It hadn't occurred to me that the Sazerac 18, baby Saz, and Handy might not be the same going into the barrels. It's certainly possible, but it seems odd that they would have special mashbills for such low-volume products.

Well, let's say it this way:

Sazerac company at their George T Stagg distillery in Frankfort made the current Sazerac NAS and Handy. There is every reason to believe they are the same distillate as each other.

Sazerac company is thought to have bought the Sazerac 18 from either one or two outside sources. They may not even know the mashbill(s) because they didn't make it.

Brisko
05-05-2011, 12:54
That's how I understand it, too.

cowdery
05-05-2011, 14:36
BT makes one rye mashbill. It is 51% rye, 39% corn, 10% malt, or thereabouts. That's pretty much everybody's mash bill for straight rye. The exceptions are the 'ingredient ryes' like Bulleit and WhistlePig, at 95%-100%.

Rye, wheat and barley (malt) are small grains. Rye and wheat, in bourbon parlance, are also referred to as 'flavor grains.' I've never heard anyone at a distillery use the term 'finish grain.' If you want to call malt something, call it the enzyme grain. That's what they use it for.

ethangsmith
11-27-2011, 07:15
That's interesting because that mashbill is almost the same as what HH is using for Rittenhouse/Pikesville and yet I find the "Baby" Sazerac to have a much stronger rye quality to it. The Rittenhouse and Pikesville, while certainly a rye whiskey, are mild, soft, and easy to sip. Almost bourbon-like. The "Baby" Sazerac I had was much drier, more bitter, and spicy. Everything a traditional rye should be. Not knocking the Rittenhouse or Pikesville and I have quite a few bottles of each in my stash. I actually prefer the easy drinking of the HH ryes over the BT ryes, but it's not to detract from the BT ryes. They too are very fine products. Just a bit too bitter for my pallet.

tmckenzie
11-27-2011, 13:40
each distillery produces a different taste even if it is the same mashbill. Yeast, still, water, all come into play.

White Dog
11-27-2011, 18:22
That's interesting because that mashbill is almost the same as what HH is using for Rittenhouse/Pikesville and yet I find the "Baby" Sazerac to have a much stronger rye quality to it. The Rittenhouse and Pikesville, while certainly a rye whiskey, are mild, soft, and easy to sip. Almost bourbon-like. The "Baby" Sazerac I had was much drier, more bitter, and spicy. Everything a traditional rye should be. Not knocking the Rittenhouse or Pikesville and I have quite a few bottles of each in my stash. I actually prefer the easy drinking of the HH ryes over the BT ryes, but it's not to detract from the BT ryes. They too are very fine products. Just a bit too bitter for my pallet.

The more I drink Ritt, the more it tastes like Bourbon to me. Not in a bad way, just not very Ryeish. It will be very interesting to taste Rye that was actually made at Bernheim, rather than B-F. It's coming soon.

cowdery
11-28-2011, 07:48
Don't get your hopes up. The Bernheim-made Rittenhouse won't taste much, if at all, different.

ethangsmith
11-30-2011, 14:45
Good, because I love my Rittenhouse and Pikesville just the way they are!

Shell
12-01-2011, 10:47
each distillery produces a different taste even if it is the same mashbill. Yeast, still, water, all come into play.

As well as the aging in the wood - and the craft of the master distiller.

Brisko
12-01-2011, 18:27
Well, let's say it this way:

Sazerac company at their George T Stagg distillery in Frankfort made the current Sazerac NAS and Handy. There is every reason to believe they are the same distillate as each other.

Sazerac company is thought to have bought the Sazerac 18 from either one or two outside sources. They may not even know the mashbill(s) because they didn't make it.

This has probably been discussed before, but what happened in the early 80's that so much rye got laid down? Who made it? How many different batches were there?

We know that VW is COK and Medley. Did Heaven Hill make the Rittenhouse 21/23/25? Where did the stock now known as Saz 18 get distilled? Besides those that are currently available, off the top of my head I can think of a few others-- Michter's 10, was it the same vintage? Hirsch? Then there are all the KBDs over the years, the Willetts, BMH, Vintage Rye, Red Hook, etc, which I suspect only amounted to a handful of barrels despite being released under so many different names.

My question is this: Out of all of those bottlings, how many of them are actually from different sources (do we even know?) Were these barrels laid down with the intention of long maturation, or was it a lucky accident for us?

I guess all I'm saying is it seems a little strange that there were/are so many ryes of similar vintage and age being sold by numerous entities, but not a single one had any more similarly aged stock in the pipeline. I mean, every last one of them has either been a very limited offering (the KBDs) or came from the same stock and was allowed to continue aging, some of which was eventually tanked.

Anyway, I'm curious to know where it all came from and how many different batches it actually represents.

Gillman
12-01-2011, 18:48
My guess is Sazerac 18 is same source as COK, i.e., UDV.

cowdery
12-02-2011, 11:42
I've often thought about that question and my conclusion is that it's an illusion. There was nothing special about those batches of COK and Medley, and some of Heaven Hill's Rittenhouse from that period. It's just that when they were finally bottled, so many years later, the actual number of bottles sold was very small, so one or two barrels went here, one or two went there. A batch of, say, 200 barrels isn't a particularly large batch, but when it dribbles out under a bunch of different names, a handful of barrels at a time, it seems like more than it is.

Brisko
12-02-2011, 11:59
So did they plan all along to make a superannuated rye, or was it just dumb luck that they had these barrels aging for so long? (I assume partially dumb luck or else they would have had more in the pipeline).

And, to clarify, because I'm a little slow:

VW= COK (UDV) and Medley.
Rittenhouse 21/23/25 = Heaven Hill
KBD= CoK?
Hirsch= CoK?
Saz 18= CoK?
Michter's 10= CoK?

And pardon a neophyte question, but where was the CoK/UDV rye being run at that time (I was still learning to tie my shoes in 1982)?

cowdery
12-02-2011, 15:48
The COK was made at Bernheim in Louisville.

Remember how the glut worked. Sales kept declining, so even after they stopped making so much, inventories continued to grow. When companies stopped making it altogether, but still had brands through which to sell it, they always bottled the oldest whiskey first. They also would then either discontinue or sell their rye brands, not necessarily with stock since the buyer was probably overstocked too. There was some left over and it just sat there, aging, until somebody decided they wanted it. It wasn't much, relatively speaking, so most people weren't interested. It was only when someone found/created the boutique market that they started to sell a few barrels, then a few barrels more. I'm prepared to believe it was Julian Van Winkle who started it. He started to see sales of extra-aged bourbons picking up and thought 'why not a rye?' And his business model worked in small quantities, that might just use a barrel or two at a time. The barrels he rejected then wound up at KBD, where they got bottled as a lot of other things, but always in very small quantities.

Brisko
12-02-2011, 20:17
That makes a lot of sense when you put it in that perspective. Thanks, Chuck.

I recall reading a thread on bourbonenthusiast where Mike Veach was talking about the early Van Winkle rye, which was at the time all drawn from Medley stock that he purchased from UDV/Diageo. After his initial success, he went back to them to get more and they had sold about half of what was left, so they offered him the CoK that the also held.

I wonder where the rest of that Medley ended up.

DeanSheen
12-02-2011, 20:42
I'm just wondering when supply will ease. At this juncture this stuff is scarce enough that I have to start hunting for it. The last bottle I had I bought in Bardstown because I had not had any in a long time. My thinking for not buying more was that we were still waiting for the annual release of this and that I would snag some when that happens.

Well it appears that Ohio got barely a dribble this year so I guess I have to wait till next year and snag a bunch then. At least in state.

cowdery
12-02-2011, 23:16
Supply of what? If you mean the very old stuff, we're unlikely to ever see that again. If you mean 4- to 6-year-old rye, there's plenty of it about, though perhaps not in Ohio. It takes control states a while to pick up on trends, like a decade.

DeanSheen
12-03-2011, 12:41
Supply of what? If you mean the very old stuff, we're unlikely to ever see that again. If you mean 4- to 6-year-old rye, there's plenty of it about, though perhaps not in Ohio. It takes control states a while to pick up on trends, like a decade.

I meant the young stuff. We were getting it pretty regular here and I'm under the impression that the last allocation just dribbled out.

cowdery
12-03-2011, 15:11
In your case, I think the problem is mostly geographic.

Josh
12-03-2011, 19:56
Our supply of Saz Jr. is pretty limited too. For most of the year it's easier to find Handy here than Saz. No joke.

BFerguson
12-04-2011, 04:00
Agree with you about the Saz Jr limitedness. Maybe see it once a year or so where I am, and geography also probably has something to do with it also.

Generally if i see it, I'll grab the bottle. Pleasantly surprised to find it in the boonies the other night. Now if only the misses will left me stop at a couple of more places on the way home. Had good luck this weekend........

B

HRay
12-04-2011, 12:29
Good, because I love my Rittenhouse and Pikesville just the way they are!

I second that emotion!

HRay
12-04-2011, 12:39
Our supply of Saz Jr. is pretty limited too. For most of the year it's easier to find Handy here than Saz. No joke.

The Sazerac Jr. is still available around here but from what I'm hearing, perhaps I should pick up a few bottles now....

Shell
12-05-2011, 13:33
Our supply of Saz Jr. is pretty limited too. For most of the year it's easier to find Handy here than Saz. No joke.

Here in MI, the supply (of Sazerac Rye with no age statement) is pretty much available only around Sept.-Nov. and Feb.-March. The retail stores call their favorite customers to let them know that when have a few bottles available. When I wrote to Sazerac, they replied that they "bottle Sazerac Rye only twice a year – typically around January and August" and "the popularity of Sazerac Rye has exploded the past few years and it is a challenge to ramp up production to meet demand since there is aging involved……we just can’t speed up the barrel aging process!".

timd
12-05-2011, 16:10
In my region (Dallas/Ft Worth) and down through Houston, I've been told that Baby Saz is now officially an "allocated product" - meaning there are more orders than they can fill, and as such they parse it out.

Not nearly as rare as BTAC or Pappy stuff, but typically if you see it - and you enjoy it - you should buy it, because you could go several months without seeing it again (until/if production matches demand).

Rittenhouse BIB has been in the same boat for about 18+ months, too. Just such a small amount of Rye produced relative to Bourbon, that even a moderate bump in interest screws up the availability.

Ritt BIB & Saz are only available about 1/2 of the year. Some states don't even get Ritt BIB (Michigan...)

WTR 101 & JB Rye seem to always be available, but I've heard that WTR101 is hit or miss in some places... never had an issue myself (sometimes a store is out, but the one next door will usually have it).

White Dog
12-06-2011, 08:04
In my region (Dallas/Ft Worth) and down through Houston, I've been told that Baby Saz is now officially an "allocated product" - meaning there are more orders than they can fill, and as such they parse it out.

Not nearly as rare as BTAC or Pappy stuff, but typically if you see it - and you enjoy it - you should buy it, because you could go several months without seeing it again (until/if production matches demand).

Rittenhouse BIB has been in the same boat for about 18+ months, too. Just such a small amount of Rye produced relative to Bourbon, that even a moderate bump in interest screws up the availability.

Ritt BIB & Saz are only available about 1/2 of the year. Some states don't even get Ritt BIB (Michigan...)

WTR 101 & JB Rye seem to always be available, but I've heard that WTR101 is hit or miss in some places... never had an issue myself (sometimes a store is out, but the one next door will usually have it).

I've been noticing occasional shortages on WTR101. I can live without Ritt and Saz, but I can't lose my supply of Turkey Rye!:smiley_acbt: Yeah, Josh, I said it!!:lol:

timd
12-06-2011, 08:12
I've been noticing occasional shortages on WTR101. I can live without Ritt and Saz, but I can't lose my supply of Turkey Rye!:smiley_acbt: Yeah, Josh, I said it!!:lol:

WTR101 is a MUST have - no bunker is stocked without some! It's a great Rye... I just don't understand how some people seem to dislike it.:rolleyes:

I feel naked without it!

DeanSheen
12-06-2011, 17:39
I've been noticing occasional shortages on WTR101. I can live without Ritt and Saz, but I can't lose my supply of Turkey Rye!:smiley_acbt: Yeah, Josh, I said it!!:lol:

:hot:Burn Him!:hot:

Josh
12-06-2011, 17:43
I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. Here I stand. I can do no other. May God help me. Amen.

the Duff
12-06-2011, 19:15
I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. Here I stand. I can do no other. May God help me. Amen.

Fellow Lutheran?

Josh
12-06-2011, 19:34
No, but my wife went to Valpo!:lol:

ErichPryde
12-06-2011, 19:43
That's interesting because that mashbill is almost the same as what HH is using for Rittenhouse/Pikesville and yet I find the "Baby" Sazerac to have a much stronger rye quality to it. The Rittenhouse and Pikesville, while certainly a rye whiskey, are mild, soft, and easy to sip. Almost bourbon-like. The "Baby" Sazerac I had was much drier, more bitter, and spicy. Everything a traditional rye should be..

I've been thinking on this a lot lately. Do we really have any idea what a typical rye should taste like? the dusty ones I've had have been sweeter and more floral, typically... But how many ryes are on the market, now? Is the number of 4 year old/NAS Ryes out there really enough to say? We all know what a bourbon should taste like, no doubt.

I love Handy, and despise "baby" saz with feeling. I really like Rittenhouse, and find the Rye presence to be there- but NOT bitter... and the spices aren't hot, which is the problem that saz jr has (but not exactly handy??)



Good, because I love my Rittenhouse and Pikesville just the way they are!


The COK was made at Bernheim in Louisville.

Remember how the glut worked. Sales kept declining, so even after they stopped making so much, inventories continued to grow. When companies stopped making it altogether, but still had brands through which to sell it, they always bottled the oldest whiskey first. They also would then either discontinue or sell their rye brands, not necessarily with stock since the buyer was probably overstocked too. There was some left over and it just sat there, aging, until somebody decided they wanted it. It wasn't much, relatively speaking, so most people weren't interested. It was only when someone found/created the boutique market that they started to sell a few barrels, then a few barrels more. I'm prepared to believe it was Julian Van Winkle who started it. He started to see sales of extra-aged bourbons picking up and thought 'why not a rye?' And his business model worked in small quantities, that might just use a barrel or two at a time. The barrels he rejected then wound up at KBD, where they got bottled as a lot of other things, but always in very small quantities.


Thanks, chuck. definitely one of the more concise explanations I've seen. Makes a lot of sense and helps me fill in a couple of pieces.


Here in MI, the supply (of Sazerac Rye with no age statement) is pretty much available only around Sept.-Nov. and Feb.-March. The retail stores call their favorite customers to let them know that when have a few bottles available. When I wrote to Sazerac, they replied that they "bottle Sazerac Rye only twice a year – typically around January and August" and "the popularity of Sazerac Rye has exploded the past few years and it is a challenge to ramp up production to meet demand since there is aging involved……we just can’t speed up the barrel aging process!".


Which is definitely a sign that it is, unfortunately, the minimum of 4. I've heard unsubstantiated rumors that Ritt BIB is older, but frankly I don't care. Ritt has gotten much, much better in the last 2 years. We'll see what changes may, or may not occur when it officially is produced at a different distillery...

cowdery
12-08-2011, 12:35
There wasn't any one profile for rye whiskey and we believe the Western ryes were more bourbon-like while the Eastern ryes tended to be not straight whiskey at all but compound products most resembling present day blends.

I've told the story before about my father, who died last year at the age of 90. He recalled rye whiskey from the immediate post-war era, when he was in college, tasting like rye bread. So I went through the process of having him sample a full range of modern ryes. None of them tasted as he remembered, but he did really like the Van Winkle Rye and I made an effort to keep him supplied with it thereafter. When he passed, I inherited about half a bottle, which I subsequently enjoyed in his memory.