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  1. #1
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    Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye: 2008 or 2009?

    I am a really, really big fan of ryed bourbons and rye whiskeys. Thomas Handy and VWFRR are some of my favorite pours.

    I had almost forgotten how much I loved Thomas Handy, as I haven't had a bottle open for 6 months or so. I cracked a 2008, and my god. It's as gritty and intense as a well done horror film, and a I love it.

    My mother-in-law is coming to visit this saturday, and she lives near a place that has a bunch of BTACs- specifically the (for whatever reason) unloved Thomas Handy. I bought a good number of bottles there before I moved, but I couldn't clean them out!

    Last time I was there, they had 2 bottles of the 2008 left, and 3 bottles of the 2009. Judging from the movement (I was the only buyer- they started with 2 cases of handy in 2008 and I bought the four bottles that DID sell), they probably have approximately the same inventory.

    I've never tried the 2009. If I were to call my mother-in-law and ask her to grab me an extra bottle, should I try the 2009, or stick with the 2008? The 2008 ranks in my favorite whiskeys of forever- The nose is armageddon (and there's something in there that reminds me of abunadh, actually), and there's something in the taste that reminds me of early spring nights with a cheap sci-fi book in my arms (Warhammer 40k, unfortunately. but damn did one of those space wolves novels come flying back to me when I cracked this bottle! Plus, the Cain: Hero of the Imperium novels are absolutely hysterical and completely worth reading).

    From you guys that have tried both 08 and 09- stick with the 8, or try the 9? Also, all of you guys who LIKE rye, and have tried 09- what say you? I like my Handy as much as I like my Stagg... but I'd have more trouble living without a bottle of Handy, I think.
    Quote Originally Posted by SMOWK View Post
    I like to save up the charred bits in the bottom of the unfiltered stuff. When I have enough, I pour milk on it and eat it.

  2. #2
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    Re: Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye: 2008 or 2009?

    I've only tried the 2009 Handy, nothing prior. I must say, it is one of my favorites as well. I bought 2 bottles of the Handy, and after opening one, I bought 4 more, ending up with a total of 2 cases. That should give you an idea of how much I like it!

    I've since only opened another, so I still have 4 in the bunker.

    Since you already have the 2008, I would say go for the 2009. Or, is a trade in order? I have no idea where to get a 2008, but I'm within arms reach of 4 2009s.

    SMOWK

    Quote Originally Posted by ErichPryde View Post
    I am a really, really big fan of ryed bourbons and rye whiskeys. Thomas Handy and VWFRR are some of my favorite pours.

    I had almost forgotten how much I loved Thomas Handy, as I haven't had a bottle open for 6 months or so. I cracked a 2008, and my god. It's as gritty and intense as a well done horror film, and a I love it.

    My mother-in-law is coming to visit this saturday, and she lives near a place that has a bunch of BTACs- specifically the (for whatever reason) unloved Thomas Handy. I bought a good number of bottles there before I moved, but I couldn't clean them out!

    Last time I was there, they had 2 bottles of the 2008 left, and 3 bottles of the 2009. Judging from the movement (I was the only buyer- they started with 2 cases of handy in 2008 and I bought the four bottles that DID sell), they probably have approximately the same inventory.

    I've never tried the 2009. If I were to call my mother-in-law and ask her to grab me an extra bottle, should I try the 2009, or stick with the 2008? The 2008 ranks in my favorite whiskeys of forever- The nose is armageddon (and there's something in there that reminds me of abunadh, actually), and there's something in the taste that reminds me of early spring nights with a cheap sci-fi book in my arms (Warhammer 40k, unfortunately. but damn did one of those space wolves novels come flying back to me when I cracked this bottle! Plus, the Cain: Hero of the Imperium novels are absolutely hysterical and completely worth reading).

    From you guys that have tried both 08 and 09- stick with the 8, or try the 9? Also, all of you guys who LIKE rye, and have tried 09- what say you? I like my Handy as much as I like my Stagg... but I'd have more trouble living without a bottle of Handy, I think.

  3. #3
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    Re: Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye: 2008 or 2009?

    Well,

    If it were me, I'd go for the 2008, just for the sake of variety and curiosity.

    That said, I've tried all but one of the Handy ryes and don't find a world of difference between any of them. The common threads are: a lot of spice (I pick up plenty of nutmeg), significantly less wood than the older ryes I've tasted, a lot of punch, and maybe some citrus (I don't have a bottle open at the moment, but am pretty sure I remember tasting a bit of orange or lemon).

    I've enjoyed them all, and buy whatever I can find, regardless of the year.

    To put it another way, I don't remember the Handy ryes to be as variable as say, the BTAC Wellers. I found the 2005 Weller very hot, too woody, and not sweet. The 2006 was much more to my taste, and the 2009 is among my favorite bourbons (I've not had the 2007 or 2008). But off the top of my head, I couldn't pick one Handy that's head and shoulders above the others.

  4. #4
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    Re: Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye: 2008 or 2009?

    I prefer the 2008 Handy to the 2009, but both are good . . .
    "A person can work up a mean, mean thirst after a hard day of nothing much at all . . . "

    Andy

  5. #5
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    Re: Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye: 2008 or 2009?

    Quote Originally Posted by funknik View Post
    I prefer the 2008 Handy to the 2009, but both are good . . .
    Same here, i put the 2008 slightly ahead. I still have 1 2008 bunkered and 2 2009's. Not a huge difference though.
    Whisk(e)y - a bargain at any price !!!

  6. #6
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    Re: Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye: 2008 or 2009?

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW View Post
    Same here, i put the 2008 slightly ahead. I still have 1 2008 bunkered and 2 2009's. Not a huge difference though.

    Make that 3 that like 08' over 09', but again, only very slightly. Have 3 of each year bunkered.
    Seems that this is the one BTAC that still remains on the shelves, that along with the ER 17 yr.

  7. #7
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    Re: Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye: 2008 or 2009?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Boozer View Post
    Seems that this is the one BTAC that still remains on the shelves, that along with the ER 17 yr.
    Yes, I recently saw 6 of each on the shelf the other day. I think the Handy is the one most overlooked and a better value than the ER17 IMO. However the price they were asking ($65) was well above what I paid for it this fall ($52).
    Whisk(e)y - a bargain at any price !!!

  8. #8
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    Re: Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye: 2008 or 2009?

    have her bring you both.
    Amy
    __________
    Be good and you will be lonesome.
    - Following the Equator Mark Twain

  9. #9
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    Re: Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye: 2008 or 2009?

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW View Post
    Yes, I recently saw 6 of each on the shelf the other day. I think the Handy is the one most overlooked and a better value than the ER17 IMO. However the price they were asking ($65) was well above what I paid for it this fall ($52).
    JamesW. Love the Handy, never bought the ER 17. Its $65 (and up) for all of the BTAC in MI - that's the going price and prefer Handy, GTS & WLW over the other two. Did buy 1 bottle of the Saz 18 just to compare with the Handy. Like to hear others opinion on the Saz and the Handy.

  10. #10
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    Re: Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye: 2008 or 2009?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Boozer View Post
    JamesW. Love the Handy, never bought the ER 17. Its $65 (and up) for all of the BTAC in MI - that's the going price and prefer Handy, GTS & WLW over the other two. Did buy 1 bottle of the Saz 18 just to compare with the Handy. Like to hear others opinion on the Saz and the Handy.

    The Saz 18 was the first member of the BTAC I tried. Perhaps that's what started my rye craze. I loved the 2008, and the 2009 has gotten a lot better since it has opened up. I find it a significantly more subtle pour to the Handy... both are good. Depends upon what I prefer I guess.

    The ER17 is a steal if you can find it for 45 or less- A place near me had 08s for 40 apiece, and I was lovin' it at that price. However, 65 is steep....
    Quote Originally Posted by SMOWK View Post
    I like to save up the charred bits in the bottom of the unfiltered stuff. When I have enough, I pour milk on it and eat it.

 

 

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