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cowdery
01-28-2007, 09:15
Last night I followed a glass of Saz Jr with one of Rittenhouse BIB and the difference was really striking. The Rittenhouse is more bourbon-like and the Saz has that slight (and entirely pleasant) mustiness that some of the BT bourbons have too. The Saz also seems drier. Both are very enjoyable, but very different.

smokinjoe
01-28-2007, 19:08
I agree. The thing I really like about the Saz Jr. is that it is so different. I really can't tell you what rye should, or does, taste like in a whiskey. But, I can tell you that the Saz does not taste like most bourbons. It is an entirely different animal. The Rit is definitely more bourbon-like to me, almost to the point I could confuse it with a high-rye bourbon. Not so with the Saz Jr.

But I do love them both.

JOE

BobA
01-29-2007, 16:34
Maybe I shouldn't post in this thread since I haven't been able to get a bottle of the Rittenhouse, but I did (finally) find a Saz Jr. over the holidays. And I have to say that the mustiness, for me, is not slight, but overpowering, and not at all pleasant. It's disappointing, because I enjoy rye and really wanted to love this one. I have 2003 and 2005 bottles of the 18, and tasting them all together brings out the mustiness in the 2005 to level I don't like; in the 2003, it's there in just the right amount. The experience has reinforced the 2003 as one of the best whiskeys I've tasted, but it's getting low; I was nursing it before, now it will be worse since I fear any "replacement" will fall short.

I'll keep coming back to the Saz Jr. for a while; having the bottle open for a while has helped me with Old Overholt a lot. But I've had it several times in the last month, and haven't warmed to it. Probably should just put it away for a few months.

Bob

SBOmarc
01-29-2007, 16:41
I found that the mustiness in Saz Jr. was not at all what I expected. I have had 3 drinks from this bottle and as of right now I am very pleased. Just picked up the Riitenhouse BIB and was targeting it for Manhattans, but be sure that I will take some tastes neat.

afisher
01-29-2007, 22:12
I just tried this in the opposite order. To me, they are on a similar vector away from bourbon, but the Sazerac is about 2-3x as far as the Rittenhouse (hence I agree it's really different). I get from both a grassy note and an astringent finish, but the Sazerac is grassier and finishes much longer. I'm not sure what you guys mean by musty; can you add any detail? The closest I get is maybe old leather book bindings (which I like)...

cowdery
01-30-2007, 16:45
Tim described it perfectly in another thread. To paraphrase, it tastes exactly like the inside of a whiskey warehouse smells. It's wood, but not in the normal sense. I mean it really tastes like a whiskey barrel.

ILLfarmboy
01-30-2007, 17:22
I just tried this in the opposite order. To me, they are on a similar vector away from bourbon, but the Sazerac is about 2-3x as far as the Rittenhouse (hence I agree it's really different). I get from both a grassy note and an astringent finish, but the Sazerac is grassier and finishes much longer. I'm not sure what you guys mean by musty; can you add any detail? The closest I get is maybe old leather book bindings (which I like)...

In another thread I described the taste of Saz jr very similarly. Nice to know I'm not alone.


I find one of the main taste elements in baby saz very similar to the way the pages of a leather bound book smelled. Not just any book but a specific edition of the collected writings of Poe. Sadly I no longer have it, an old girlfriend stole it along with a lot of other stuff.

JeffRenner
01-30-2007, 17:36
... Saz Jr ... has that slight (and entirely pleasant) mustiness that some of the BT bourbons have too.


... the mustiness, for me, is not slight, but overpowering, and not at all pleasant. It's disappointing, because I enjoy rye and really wanted to love this one.

I'm sorry to say that I'm with Bob on this (not that I'm sorry to agree with Bob, but sorry about the mustiness ;)).

The BT mustiness has spoiled some otherwise wonderful whiskeys for me - two Cork 'n' Bottle single barrel BT's and Saz Jr as well. Interestingly, it was not present in the samples of the C'n'B bottlings that I tried at the shop, but it was in the bottles I bought - more so in one than in the other. I wondered at the time if they were from bad corks.

I am very sensitive to that earthy or musty character (I've been tested on it in "doctored" samples of beer) and I find it very unpleasant. It reminds me of a damp, musty earthy cellar. I can't believe that BT wants to have it in their whiskeys.

I have an older bottling of BT and an '04 10yo AAA that are completely lacking in this character, and they are wonderful. But it spoils the bottles that have it.

I am also a big fan of rye - I actually prefer it in general to bourbon, and like Bob, I really wanted to like Saz Jr, but I have trouble getting past this character. I consider it a flaw, especially as it seems new to me - last two to three years or so.

I wonder if Ken Weber would care to comment on this "house character."

Jeff

ILLfarmboy
01-30-2007, 18:24
Jeff, Do you like Handy? I find the same "old leather book" quality in Thomas Handy as well, albeit subdued and eclipsed by "spice" and "clove"?

BobA
01-31-2007, 10:14
I'm happy to agree with Jeff. Not happy that we have both been disappointed in the Saz Jr., but happy that he has well decribed the mustiness I get; "damp, musty, earthy cellar" is it. Haven't really noticed it in BT bottlings in general, just that 2005 Saz I mentioned. The OC 12, Stagg, ER 10/101 are all fairly common pours for me, but it's only been in the rye. Hope it's not a developing house taste; I've counted on the OC 12 as being a "regular" for years to come.

Bob

JeffRenner
01-31-2007, 14:57
Jeff, Do you like Handy?

I'm afraid I haven't had the pleasure.:(

Jeff