bibamus, moriendum est
Bought my first ever Saz Rye in Western Penn on Monday on my way to a hockey game. I'll open this weekend and give it a try. It was $25, so I figured it was worth a try, being the current BOTM and one I hadn't sipped before. If it's terrible, it won't be the most expensive mistake of my life.
I've still never had a Rye. I've been eying the Sazerac for a long time. I wish I could have afforded the 18yr that came and went, and the Handy. I always end up getting bourbon instead. This may have to be my next bottle.
I really would consider buying Old Overholt or Jim Beam rye. These ryes are much improved in recent years. Rittenhouse Bonded is excellent and well-priced, but the former ones mentioned, while not getting a lot of attention on the board, are excellent values.
I got a bottle of Sazerac about six months ago because I love the look of the bottle, and I was hoping I'd really like it and want to put it on my bar. This has to be the only whiskey that I can easily recognize by the smell and instantly know exactly what I'm drinking by the taste.
It tastes like nutty banana bread to me, which isn't a bad thing, but then hits me with a really funky sour bitter taste -- like a rum cake gone bad. It seems to have so much potential, but ends up being the most terrible thing I have in the cabinet. Nothing about it really says "rye" to me, either. I can pick out more of a distinctive rye taste in most bourbons than this.
Most stuff that I don't like I can just mix with Coke or ginger ale to get rid of, but the Sazerac tastes awful to me even if I try to cover it up.
Maybe I just got a bad bottle.
Tried it for the first time today. Very drinkable, but nothing special for me. I act like an expert when I have friends over, so it will be good to have a rye for them to sample, but that's probably the extent of the value for me.
For Baby Saz, the finish is so medicinal and off-putting, it sends me running for WT101Rye every time. I keep retrying, since some days it's passable, but in the end I'm not a fan.
Saz 18 is quite good, but a bit tired. Given the wonderful examples of fully mature Rye such as Hirsch, Vintage, and Black Maple, I don't understand why anyone would tank a Rye. If you're not bottling, leave it in barrel for god's sake, and be glad that you have old Rye in barrel.
I haven't had any off-putting flavors in the finish in any Saz I've had, sorry you aren't digging it. Baby Saz is one of my faves, and I find it to be an incredible value as well.
I hear you about the tanking, wtf? Maybe warehouse space is at a premium. A damn shame to take good rye out of a barrel and tank it.
Could not disagree more strongly with the gent who suggest Overholt or Beam Rye. Those two, in my humble estimation, are the most worthless ryes on the market, bar none. The Beam rye doesn't taste a damn thing like rye (too sweet, just like normal white label Beam) and Overholt tastes like sweaty socks...it has a mold/foul flavor, though it does smell decent enough.
See my other post, newcomer to rye, if you want to try something excellent, not break the bank and find out if you actually LIKE rye whiskey, go grab a bottle of Pikesville for $12-15...you can thank me later...it's the same juice as Rittenhouse BiB, just a younger expression.
I hope you'll join the rye army, my friend...I have actually largely left bourbon behind and am now drinking rye about 90% of the time.